Kingdom of Children

A project in public space by Pawel Althamer

Pawel Althamer, Installation (Kanzel mit Rutsche) in der Kirche St. Elisabeth, Aachen 2010. Foto: Holger Hermannsen

In 2014 the city of Aachen commemorates the 1,200th anniversary of the death of Charlemagne. In cooperation with the Ludwig Forum for International Art, the Polish artist Pawel Althamer has developed a project with young people. He built a “Kingdom of Children” that stretched over the garden and courtyard of the Ludwig Forum to the church of St. Elisabeth and all the public space in between. Althamer invited the children of Aachen and the surrounding region to creatively participate in the project. In several workshops, the organisers asked them to think about what they would like to change (if anything) in their environment and encouraged them to use their imaginations to design public space. Under artistic supervision, they could erect a monument, design facades and buildings, hold street conferences or organise ceremonies in St. Elisabeth’s. The children had the freedom to carry out their projects according to how they envisioned them. Based on the ideas of the writer and doctor Janusz Korczak, who was murdered in Treblinka, Althamer’s project explored the concept of a “Children’s Republic” and the discourse on freedom, power, organisation, politics and the role reversal of adults and children. As a contemporary commentary, the project “Kingdom of Children” addressed the significance of the youngest members of society, their existential conditions, wishes and ideas of freedom.

Curators: Brigitte Franzen, Esther Boehle
Artists: Pawel Althamer (PL) and friends


Ludwig Forum for International Art

Jülicher Straße 97-109

52070 Aachen (external link, opens in a new window)