Goethe Institute – Fairy Tales Exhibition

Marking the occasion of the Brothers Grimm Year 2012 krafthaus, the workshop belonging to facts and fiction designed and implemented the Fairy Tale Worlds exhibition for the Goethe Institute


From 2012, over the course of the next few years, the exhibition toured the Goethe Institutes worldwide in four identical versions. Structurally, it needed to be modular and able to adapt to different spatial conditions, easy to construct and compact to enable efficient transportation.
The content of the exhibition used fairy tales as a means to bring learners of German abroad closer to the language.
The fairy tale collection “Children’s and Household Tales” compiled by the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm was first published in 1812 and celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2012. Next to the Luther Bible this collection of fairy tales is the best-known and most widespread book in German cultural history.
The exhibition presents the enchanted forest as a place of refuge, but also a place of impending danger. Seven groups of trees with interactive treasure chests dealt with recurrent fairy tale themes like magic, animals, villains or heroes. The treasure chests brought these themes into the present and showed how current the treasure of fairy tales still is. In the forest clearing two writing desks stood under an oversized reading lamp. The focus here was on the Brothers Grimm and the fairy-tale language.
Visitors were constantly invited to join in with the fun. At a turntable they faced the hero’s challenges, a voice distorter led them into the world of evil, and the writing desks let them contribute to the “endless fairy tale”.
The exhibition continued its tour 2014, stopping off in India, Kenya, Siberia and the Russian Federation.
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