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A performance art project for passing train passengers

A performance art project for passing train passengers
Source: DeutscheWelle/Datenstrudel

Some 500 residents and volunteers carried out live performances along a 30 km train route in the German countryside as part of an art experiment.

Hundreds volunteer to perform along train route to entertain passing passengers

The art project, called "Bewegtes Land", transformed Germany’s Saale valley into a 30 kilometre long stage, entertaining passengers in passing trains with some 500 residents and volunteers taking part along the Jena-Naumburg route. With grassy meadows, lakes and farmland as their stage, and the iconic German countryside as their backdrop, the performances were far from ordinary, an interweaving of reality and fantasy, with papier-mâché sharks, floating bicycles and personified plants.

Scenes included “running” bushes and a shark emerging from a lake to startle canoers The concept was an effort that not only amused passengers, but also brought together the small communities along the route. Source: Facebook/DW.Euromaxx

One of the pleasures of train travel is sitting back and gazing at the landscape as it speeds by

Recently however, ordinary passengers on trains through Germany’s Saale Valley were in for an extraordinary series of surprises, as the train route was transformed into a giant stage for more than 50 pieces of performance art.

The Bewegtes Land project saw almost 500 residents along the 30 kilometer/19 mile train route volunteer their time over two days to put on short performances for passengers.

The mini-plays included everything from “running” bushes, to a shark emerging from a lake and scaring canoeists. It was a project that not only amused passengers, but also brought together these small communities.

Below: A seemingly typical farmer works his field, when suddenly he digs his pick axe into the ground and a “fountain” emerges.

Source: MyModernMet

Bizarre vignettes greeted passengers who looked out the window of their speeding train A seemingly typical farmer works his field, when suddenly he digs his pick axe into the ground and a “fountain” emerges. Source: Facebook Zugtheater

The flashes of art given to the passengers are akin to the flashes of media we soak in everyday

The whole idea was the brainchild of Jörn Hintzer and Jacob Hüfner, media artists and professors at the Bauhaus University Weimar. They see the flashes of art given to the passengers as akin to the flashes of media we soak in everyday online, as imagery is presented to us at a rapid pace.

While for those who volunteered to take part, it was a fun and different way to spend a weekend. For an American Ph.D. student who participated, it way a way to become involved in local life. 

In Dornburg-Camburg, one of the towns along the route, almost all of the residents took part in the project. The mayor, Dorothea Storch, hoped that the weekend would have another effect. “For one thing, it’s a great weekend, but also people get to notice the beauty of the countryside,” she told Deutsche Welle. “This is not a typical tourist area so maybe this will attract more people.”

Below: As the train moves past, volunteers magically transform this abandoned house into a brand new home.

Source: MyModernMet

Fleeting feats of magic As the train moves past, volunteers magically transform this abandoned house into a brand new home. Source: Facebook Zugtheater
Make an Impact

The 25 Most Amazing Community Arts Projects

Some of the community arts projects in this list offer children & adults an opportunity to create art and build self-esteem, some are a means to revitalise disenfranchised communities, and some simply offer people a place to express themselves through a visual means. The following community arts projects were chosen for their ingenuity, resourcefulness, and their ability to fully engage and inspire their communities. These ideas are to help get you started in your own community.