The exhibition Unser Viertel shows photographs by children and youths, who have been supervised by art educator Inci Güler. Over the course of one year, 25 participants between the ages 10 and 18 with different nationalities worked on the project that represents their everyday life in Stuttgart’s Bohnenviertel.
Bohnenviertel is one of the oldest districts in Stuttgart and centrally located. Small half-timber houses, antique stores and cafés suggest an idyllic atmosphere. It is, however, Stuttgart’s red-light district, where prostitution, drug business and homelessness are daily fare. The city has bought most of the buildings of the district and turned them into social housing estates. Recently, the city installed skater halfpipes inside Bohnenviertel, right in between a parking lot and a playground. This has led to a very diverse mixture of people frequenting Bohnenviertel.
The photographs made by children and youths of Bohnenviertel depict their everyday life: their families, the architecture of the district, their hang-out spots. It is a life in a district full of social conflicts.
In addition to the photographic project, filmmaker Cem Kaya has made a video project with the participants. It deals with the young peoples’ fear of the obscure figures who regularly linger around their district and the experience of crime.
It is more than obvious that the urban planning projects that were launched at Bohnenviertel don’t work out. Playgrounds won’t eliminate prostitution and drug business. More likely, the children are expelled from the scene. Parents don’t let their children play on the playgrounds, but as there is no alternative meeting spot, the children meet on the streets. Inci Güler is a social worker who has been working in mobile youth work for about five years. She tries to encourage children and youths to develop self-consciousness, self-responsibility and common sense. She is the initiator and organizer of the project Unser Viertel.
The exhibition contains a film by filmmaker Cem Kaya and portrait photographs by artist Gülsüm Güler. A book about the project was made and published by Angela Hörnle, Ralph Kenke, Guido Negenborn, Jonas Vietense and Alvaro Landsberger.