• by Anne Schmedding

The opening of the new exhibition “TALKING… & OTHER BANANA SKINS” was celebrated on June 17th, with the three-day art festival UNARTIG. Despite the heat, a total of about 10,000 people visited the URBAN NATION Museum and the “UNARTIG – Street and Art Festival”.

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The URBAN NATION Museum would like to thank all participants for this special success. The high level of participation in the workshops and urban art tours as well as the great response to the performances and the artworks on display are a positive signal for the work of the Stiftung Berliner Leben and the museum operations.


Very Impressive were the performances of Fugue/Trampoline by Yoann Bourgeois. I was s a small spectacular dance piece, somewhere between circus and poetry, for a man and an object, composed on Philip Glass’ Metamorphosis n°2. A Video of this you can also find displayed in the museum.

Yoann Bourgeois
Yoann Bourgeois / photo by Nika Kramer

There have been musicians like Cile, Souly & Matt Mendo, DJ Taip (Hip Hop & Funk, Elektro), Okujou Beat and Nicolas Engel (Piano). Also four horn players of the Komische Oper Berlin show their skills. The sound of the instruments mixes with the noise of the city as “Opera for All”.


There was a particularly big rush on the opening evening, with many people taking part in the numerous offers on the street and taking a look at the exhibition in the museum. The selection of offerings ranged from rap music to tea ceremony & street food to discussion forums, floating murals and artistic performance. Many project partners, such as the Komische Oper, the Bundesstiftung Baukultur and the Ludothek, were present.

In the context of UNARTIG the Stiftung Berliner Leben introduced the programm Stadtraum!Plus and invited to a discussion and open exchange about the potentials of education on the building environment. The Panel was supported by the Bundesstiftung Baukultur.

UNARTIG Kunstfest im Quartier
Discussion moderated by Anne Schmedding (Stiftung Berliner Leben) / photo by Nika Kramer


Among other things, a Berlin Bear was designed by ImedARt (URBAN NATION Production Office) with children from the neighbourhood. There has been a stencil and graffiti workshop with graffiti artist Marycula, ARGH79 and DEJOE where children and youths had the opportunity to try handling a spraycan, learn cap know-how and freehand techniques from design to piece.

Thus, the foundation offers participation for all residents of Berlin. Especially through the programme Stadtraum!Plus and the cooperation with the Komische Oper, the Bundesstiftung Baukultur (Federal Foundation for Building Culture), as well as many primary and secondary schools and various other actors from the city’s districts, the aim is to contribute to the mediation of art and culture and to ensure an increased number of sports and leisure activities.


The STIFTUNG BERLINER LEBEN, organizer and initiator of the Stadtraum!Plus program and the URBAN NATION Museum, is linking social and artistic projects for Berlin’s residential neighborhoods with streetart and contemporary art. Here are some impressions of the floating murals.


A special highlight is a ONE WALL by the artist PARADOX, specially designed for the opening of the exhibition. It was created on Bülowstraße and refers to the exhibited work in the interior of the museum. It is one of a number of mural projects created in the neighbourhood that could be viewed and explained during guided tours. Techniques, the history of their creation as well as the artists behind the works were discussed. The tours were available in German and English.


For the broad spectrum of events and the high number of visitors, we would like to thank our cooperation partners in particular, who have contributed considerably within a few months to making “UNARTIG- Kunstfest im Quartier” and “Talking… & Other Banana Skins” [The pitfalls of communication] became possible at all. Special thanks for the support to Gewobag inside and outside the Museum and to the Israeli Embassy for the façade design by Broken Fingaz from Israel.

BROKEN FINGAZ façade & print / Foto: Nika Kramer


Finally the doors opened for “TALKING… & OTHER BANANA SKINS” so everyone could enter the exhibition rooms. For the opening a new audioguide is available and we have recently updated our products in the museum shop.

The admission for the URBAN NATION Museum is free. Therefore the foundation is always grateful for support through donations. By making a donation, you can help to ensure that the projects of the Foundation Berliner Leben stays accessible for everyone.


Thanks to everyone for celebrating the opening with us. We are glad everyone enjoyed the weekend and hoping to see you next time – we are looking forward for the next oppotunity!