The peace competition »pax AN« 2018

In 2018, a very special peacemaker came to Dresden: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. By giving a public speech in the Frauenkirche Dresden, she introduced us to her visions of peace. But before she did that she was interested in the views of the young.

Therefore Frauenkirche Dresden Foundation and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf launched the 2018 student competition »pax AN«. Girls and boys aged 14 to 19 were invited to share their ideas for a more peaceful world. After 2014, 2016 and 2017, it was already the fourth time that Saxon school students were able to develop their own solution approaches in this way and present them prominently. Once again the Frauenkirche received many exciting submissions.

The task set

More than 65 million people worldwide are currently displaced. Half of them are children and adolescents under the age of 18. Many of them are leaving their homes because of war, hunger and lack of prospects. Fewest exceed national borders or even continents: 40 million humans search within their own countries a new place to life. Particularly affected by both internal migration and immigration are developing countries.

For Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, migration is one of the »crucial issues of our time«. As a woman who has not spent much of her life in her homeland – whether seeking better education and voluntarily going abroad, or later exiled for political persecution – she calls for and encourages a new approach to migration and integration. That's also why she came to Dresden and set the following competition task:

»Home is where the future is – Outline key elements qualifying a region as worth living in and to care for«

The participants were able to decide for themselves upon how this question was answered and how they wanted to design their competition entry. Whether a short film or a podcast, whether a website or an essay, whether a song, a poster or a newspaper – the decision was up to the students and they came up with many different but stunning ideas.

The winning entries

An expert jury met and named three equal winners. We are happy to present their submissions here. (Please note that they are presented in their original language.) But first of all, we would like to sincerely and expressly thank all participants and supervisors for enriching the 2018 competition with their creative ideas and commitment.

"With great interest and enthusiasm we have looked at the submissions and were amazed by their variety, creativeness and quality. It was highly interesting to see how intensively the students dealt with the task set by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf." (Excerpt from the jury assessment)

Winning entry »A multicultural recipe for home«

In the form of a cartoon and a likeable fictitious young mayor, the film presents factors that are important for a successful community and that can support the idea of "Heimat", the place we call home. Scientific information is linked to interviews conducted by group members with friends from different countries.

Submission by Mona Rudolph, Maria Ilgner, Clara Einhorn, Eva Victoria Kreft, Laura Schloemann, Bengt Sandhop und Lucas Starke | final year students of the Evangelische Kreuzgymnasium Dresden (Teacher: Dr. Frank Nicht) | WATCH

Winning entry »Heimat – Dieser Ort, wo du dich auskennst«

What do we call home? Six Dresden students produced a music video for a song they wrote themselves, in which they are looking for answers to this simple-sounding yet so complex question. At the beginning, interviews with people from different backgrounds provide insight into different perspectives, factors and priorities. The song impressively reveals the scrutiny of the copywriters and video makers with the collected own and foreign experiences and ideas.

Submission by Julius Richter, Lorenzo Rademacher, Moritz Elkan, Nelly Petrasch, Amelie Große und Martha Hiecke of the Romain-Rolland-Gymnasium Dresden (Teacher: Stefanie Pusch) | WATCH

Winning entry »Ein Morgen vor Lampedusa«

The submission is an excerpt from a one-hour scenic reading given by young students to study the topic of escape. They wanted to look behind the anonymous numbers and statistics and find out more about the fates and fears that move people to leave their home in search of a new place to call home.

Submission by Laura Schumacher, Julian Donat, Freya Eckhardt, Amy Schmidt, Leon Grimm, Mila Basson, Lena Funke, Johannes Schmidt und Max Kuhfeld of the TRIAS Oberschule Elsterberg (Teacher: Doritta Korte) | WATCH

We cordially congratulate the members of the three award-winning groups and would be delighted if they and the many other students who participated in their submissions are back for the next student competition »pax AN«.