School of the Present. Frankfurt

High schools, Frankfurt

Cervantes Institute in Frankfurt, Germany


Artistic practice enables the imagination of possible futures.

The inspiration for the project School of the Present comes from the above premise and, as its name indicates, it aims to influence the “now” in the midst of the multiple crises we are experiencing. A present that involves the environment, social, gender and migration conflicts, as well as other influxes that generate a crucial moment of change.

School of the Present is a project curated by hablarenarte in collaboration with the Cervantes Institute, which collectively addresses emergency issues from an artistic perspective, in dialogue with schools, associations and Cervantes Institutes in different cities.

Time is up for tomorrow. School of the Present refers to a present time, to the now, as well as to the significant role of art teaching to promote the emergence of new sensibilities, of other understandings.

In each city where School of the Present is developed, it deploys an intergenerational device of listening, learning and action that assumes the format of workshops, performances and artistic interventions, in close dialogue with local schools and teachers.

School of the Present. #1 Pending subject: Memory

City of Frankfurt, two workshops in various secondary schools in the city, taught by the Art al Quadrat collective.

The workshops consist of a rendezvous between older Spanish immigrants, first and second generation, and students of Spanish as a foreign language from institutes in Frankfurt and Offenbach, recipients of this memory. The aim is to achieve a creative transformation of the biographies of immigrants through poems, traditional songs or drawings that contribute to generating a connection between past and present, allowing spaces for reflection in the context of collective memories.

The workshops begin with an oral tradition activity linked to autobiographical experiences and historical events that forced the migration of previous generations. Subsequently, young people as recipient subjects redefine these experiences in dialogue with their current social and political context, and with the history of the country in which they live, Germany.

A historical constellation made up of analogies, differences and even new anecdotes will be the resources with which we will work collectively to generate a poem, a traditional song or drawing that contributes to generating a connection between past and present, enhancing both personal experiences and collective memory.


#1 Workshop: Songs of memory

Monday, November 13, 2023

Institute Albert Schweizer Schule (Offenbach) is a secondary school that teaches Spanish as a foreign language as well as the topic of historical memory and the Spanish Civil War as part of its curriculum. The session has the support of the teacher and foreign language coordinator of the Frankfurt Education Ministry, Marco Camacho López.


#2 Workshop: Poetics and songs of transgenerational memory

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

The second educational center in which School of the Present is activated is the Spanish classroom of the Spanish Language and Culture Group of the Department of Education of the Spanish Embassy in Germany directed by Pilar López, and it involves students of C1-C2 level taught by teacher Mari Cruz Márquez.

Within the framework of the workshop, exchanges and conversations will take place between Spanish immigrants and Spanish students. A second part of understanding and contextualization of the stories. The third part consists of creating poems, traditional songs and/or drawings/comics; and finally, a joint presentation of the results.


Art al Quadrat, conformed by Gema and Mònica del Rey Jordà (Valencia, 1982), are visual artists and twin sisters who created, in 2002, this artistic collective. Their work is divided into two areas that dialogue with each other: the first encompasses work inspired by their own intimacy that includes autobiographical reflections using their life and the second aspect, which results in a work of a social nature, critical and committed that has led them to review topics such as the Civil War and overcoming collective trauma.

School of the Present is a project curated by hablarenarte and created in dialogue with the Cervantes Institute. In its first iteration it has the support of the Cervantes Institute in Frankfurt, where it takes place on November 13 and 14, 2023.

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