European Youth Culture Award

European Youth Culture Award 2019 – The Nominees

Category: Art & Media

Tapefabrik Festival

Tapefabrik Festival is a place for hip-hop lovers from all over Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland. The day-long festival with a DIY-mentality has taken place annually since 2012. For some years it has found a home at the cultural center Schlachthof in Wiesbaden. About 40 artists perform here on three stages in front of an audience of 3.000 people for impressively low ticket prices. Contrary to more commercial festivals, Tapefabrik Festival is less geared to trends and online clicks. In this way it offers a platform to anyone creating or enjoying music that doesn’t appear in the charts. Onstage one will find newcomers next to established acts and beat artists. In its mission statement the Tapefabrik positions itself decidedly against racism, homophobia and sexism. When booking artists, the organisers apply this mission statement as a benchmark to ensure that the festival has a positive impact on the scene.

The whole project is organised by a team of volunteers together with the host institution of Schlachthof Wiesbaden e.V. In this pool of people everyone works out of love for the music, the culture or the project. The team, hailing from all over Germany, overcomes economic and geographic barriers to make this event happen.


ViFest! – Festival für Gebärdensprachler*innen

The ViFest! took place for the first time in April 2019. The idea behind it is to have an inclusive festival for newcomers that welcomes everyone independent of the state of hearing.

The concept of ViFest! provides for three stages: one for children, one for teenagers and one for adults. Everyone can apply who would like to give a performance in sign language (poetry, visual vernicular, theatre, dance, comedy, story telling etc.). And everyone can take part who wants to give it a try without being judged by a jury. Thereby the diversity oft he community of sign language is supported. On the artistic level groups of people are brought together who previously had just few points of contact.

Special focus put on supporting children and teenagers because cultural events in the past have layed too much emphasise on „old hands“. For the first time not only deaf but also hearing persons who learn sign language or Children of Deaf Adults (CODA) can contribute to the program. This becomes apparent already in the diverse organisation team. The ViFest! is organised by the Berliner youth association jubel3 e.V., which was founded in 2009 by a group of deaf teenagers. Their goal: to give teenagers from Berlin and its surroundings an opportunity to exchange and thereby experience something new.


KUNTERGRAU – Medienprojekt des anyway e.V. / anyway e.V.

KUNTERGRAU is an online show that strives to capture the perspective of young gay men and espouses the view that being queer is normal. Since 2015 more than 4 million people from all over the world have seen the show on Youtube. Hence the message of the show reachs people at places where homo- and bisexuality cannot be lived out freely. Lots of the comments below the videos are made by South Amercians, Russians, Turkish and Arabic spectators. Moreover, the show has many fan-forums in China. KUNTERGRAU highlights important issues such as life with HIV or lacking the acceptance of one’s own parents. Enthusiastic spectators subtitled the show in more than 12 languages because they found the message important.

The show has been developed since 2014 by volunteers in the Offene Jugendarbeit of the LGBT* youth center by the association anyway e.V. in Cologne. Young, gay and bisexual men between 14 and 27 years work in their freetime on the show, which is mostly funded by donations. Amateurs, film students and young professionals work hand-in-hand to tell the stories that they represent. Recently the team has worked on the third season, which deals with anti-gay hostility and homphobic violence.


Category: Science & Research

schnitt # stellen

To date there hasn´t been much artistic research in the field of video games as a youth culture: that makes the research and the practical work with video games as tools of social participation path-breaking. This is exactly the starting point of the project schnitt # stellen, in which artists, students of a public middle school in Salzburg and a media educator look into video games as a link between the use of media in youth culture and contemporary media art.

In this artistic research project they work together at eye level on a digital game. In doing so, a central question is: how can teenagers and artists face each other and learn from each other in the process of developing a common game and moreover how can artistic research with teenagers in the field of media art be designed? Hence the project makes a contribution to what the common work of artists and teenagers means for the further developement of video games and their use as artistic and participative media.

At the same time schnitt # stellen presents video games as an essential part of youth culture, and what potential they have: As tools to apply the creativity of teenagers they provide a new experience of daily life and serve as a bridge to cultural participation for teenagers in which they can be experts themselves.


Jugendkultur in Stendal: 1950-1990

From April until August 2018 the exhibition „Youth Culture in Stendal: 1950-1990“ was presented in the Altmärkisches Museum in Stendal. The exhibition was based on the research project of the same name, led by Günther Mey with the help of students of the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences. Three exhibition spaces showed exhibits, (interview-) video collages and photographs surrounding the topics of „sound“, „style“ and „events“ to exemplify youth cultural practices in a GDR-province. Hence the project took up two topics, both neglected by the research of youth culture: on the one hand the still existing „orientation towards the West“ in the discussion of youth cultural practices along with a simultaneous neglect of „Eastern German“ specifics and intrinsic logics. On the other hand, youth cultures and scenes are to a large extent treated as „urban“ milieus, whereas youth cultures in the province (small towns, rural regions) are barely investigated. The research and exhibition project presented a profound counterhorizon to this disparity.

The project also featured an accompanying cultural and scientific program in the form of readings, theatre, cinema program, storytelling cafes (as an intergenerational dialogue form) as well as a scientific conference. At the exhibition opening Mey presented an accompanying book whose further availability is guaranteed by a documentation-website, which has been up since 2019.


Offene Jugendarbeit Dornbirn – Freiräume für Jugendliche

The Offene Jugendarbeit Dornbirn (OJAD) is a pioneer, a stimulator and an innovator in all questions concerning youth culture and participation in Austria. Aside from three houses, a skate hall and mobile social work with youth, the OJAD runs projects about integration, qualification, education, social work with youth, culture, sports, participation, inclusive youth encounters, political as well as digital education and ecology. The OJAD was founded in 1992 as a politically independent association. Currently about 60 people work for OJAD.

In 2017 the city of Dornbirn developed a guiding principle for communal life in the context of diversity. Subsequently, the OJAD comissioned an impact study in order to analyse their work regarding their guiding principles: „promotion of equal opportunity“ and „support of cohesion“. The study draws on developements and associated requirements in society and economy and questions to what extent the OJAD provides answers and proposals. The goal is to bring knowledge about specific developments into dialogue with the core competencies of the OJAD, find similarities and name resulting possibilities for development in terms of the OJAD’s work.


Category: Youth Work & Self-Organisation

Freiwilliges Jahr Beteiligung/ Demokratie & Dialog e. V.

The „Freiwilliges Jahr Beteiligung“ (Voluntary year of service) is a provider of the BFD and FSJ in Berlin. Based on their own experiences a group of former volunteers has developed a volunteer program that highlights the participation of young people. The program wants to support teenagers to experience self-efficacy.

The educational field of the program mainly seeks to promote the development of democracy in schools and projects about participation. Furthermore, the project works with non-profit organisations and foundations in order to support political education and democratic structures. Fundamentally underpinning the pedagogical approach is the attempt to instill maturity as well as the conviction that the Freiwilliges Jahr Beteiligung can be a year of learning and orientation. Empowerment plays a central role too: volunteers shall learn to act responsibly towards their own environment, gain the awareness to bring up problems, actively espouse their concerns, enter into mutual exchange and shape society as active and mature citizens. The Freiwilliges Jahr Beteiligung aims to support young engagement for a democratic and participative society.


Modular Festival

For the past 10 years, the Stadtjugendring Augsburg has organised together with ca. 450 volunteers the biggest non-profit festival for youth- and pop culture in the Bayerisch-Schwaben region, the Modular Festival. Over three days more than 30.000 visitors are regularly in attendance. The reputation of the Modular Festival, funded by the city of Augsburg, has by now established itself throughout Germany. The event distinguishes itself through its continuity, the diverse quality of its program, the ambition of its participants and its strong local character. The involvement and cooperation of many local program partners as well as the participation of numerous, young volunteers have made the festival into a flagship project in the field of youth- and pop culture. Diversity and equal rights are priorities for the festival organisers, who consciously integrate refugees into the volunteer work and work with partners to provide free tickets. In putting together the festival program, the youth centers of the Stadtjugendring Augsburg worked hand-in-hand and on a volunteer basis with around 35 young refugees, teenagers with a migration background and socially deprived teenagers.


Festival Deuje babe

Festival Deuje babe (‘Wild Hags Festival’) gives space to the artistic and political expression of girls and young women. It prioritizes the work of emerging artists and activists who reject stereotypical notions of women and femininity as well as men and masculinity, implicitly questioning the (un)written gender rules that define what is supposed to be “right”, “normal” or even “natural”. It is the only festival of this sort in the periphery of Slovenia, all others take place in Ljubljana (the capital).

Since 2013 the annual Deuje babe Festival takes place in Cerkno (west of Slovenia) in the weeks after International Women’s Day. It is named after Divje babe, a local cave and internationally important archaeological site, surrounded by stories (folklore, pagan mythology) about the wild and untamed women who supposedly lived there. The figure of “divja baba” seems to be a source of great inspiration to the people who have been committed to the festival for the past seven years.

The 7th edition took place between March 1st and 23rd 2019 and it was, like all the previous editions, organised by The Alternative Youth Centre C.M.A.K. Cerkno. To local youth, the festival gives the opportunity to socialize in the festive atmosphere and learn (how to organise events, how to build your own (counter)public, how to (re)claim sexist or homophobic venues etc.) by doing. In other words, to gradually build their self-esteem (daring to be different) and slowly form their political and artistic identity.