Internship Field: Art, Humanities, Social Sciences
Major: Comparative Literature
Host: Schlesische 27 Jugend Kunst Kultur International
Duration: 7 weeks, Summer 2000.
Description: I started out my internship with helping to prepare, set up and run a 'Sommerfest' put on by the Schlesische 27. My primary job during the following weeks was to assist various artists in teaching children to make various forms of art in weekly art projects. An integral part of my job was participation in rather than passive observation of the creative processes. I worked with a dancer, a hip hop singer, several painters and one conceptual artist. My duties varied with the different forms of art from being responsible for stage lightning at a dance performance to helping children deal with paint. Occasionally, I also had to supply various materials, props and costumes. Apart from that, I was, together with several other interns, responsible for the preparation and organization of the
weekly presentations. Towards the end of my internship I was also responsible for helping make preparations for upcoming projects. Another integral part of my internship was paying attention to possible difficulties with individual students or within the groups of students; those difficulties as well as ways to amend them were discussed at one of the 2-3 discussions of the participating artists and interns. My final project, a collaboration with the "Haus der Kulturen der Welt" as part of the 'Festival of Vision. Hong Kong Berlin ', further entailed translating from English to German and vice versa. Two of the artists were from Hong Kong and spoke no German; I was the primary translator between them and other German artists and the children. Documenting individual projects as well as the accompanying discussions was another one of my responsibilities.
Comments: First of all, my work experiences have helped me choose a course of study/a Major and provided insight into possible careers. Some of the skills I gained ... might be useful in a number of those. My immersion in the German/Berlin culture ... were highly valuable for my studies of culture. The worksplace itself provided me with an example of a social institution which successfully utilizes different forms of art for social purposes.
... The internship exposed me to numerous parts and aspects of the Berlin
culture and and enabled me to increase my language proficiency. Furthermore, the work with children as well as the continuous involvement with art were both very fulfilling and valuable. Occasional close contact with individual children from different backgrounds and Berlin subcultures was very unique and rewarding. In the course of my internship I also formed several friendships which extended beyond the workplace.