Special Events

Once a month IWAH offers a special event for its members such as guided tours to places of interest or day trips to other cities.

Here you can read about some of our past special events: 

Berlin: From Fashion to Politics - Gianni Versace and Government District with Reichstag including Plenary Hall

 

by Barbara H.

 

Our nice group of 28 excited women started early in the morning from grey Hannover and reached sunny Berlin in time. The tour started with a short bus tour or a walk to Kronprinzenpalais, where we had an excellent guided tour through the exhibition “GIANNI VERSACE RETRO-SPECTIVE”.

 

Gianni Versace was born December 2nd in Reggio di Calabria und murdered July 15th 1997 in Miami Beach. Versace began to help at his mother's sewing business and was in charge of buying the silk from Messina in Sicily. Due to his enthusiasm and talent he had learned all abilities autodidactically without having a proper apprenticeship. In 1978 he founded Versace, an international fashion house. His philosophy was always quality, quality and again quality. All materials he used were from Italy, the silk came from Sicily, the wool form Sardegna. Versace was very creative, combined various high class materials (“Bondage Collection”) and created new fabrics such as metal mesh. Versace was strongly influenced by ancient Greek history, which dominates the historical landscape of his birthplace, especially the Greek key.

 

Following this fantastic exhibition our group could enjoy an excellent lunch for a very reasonable price at Hauptstadt restaurant at Gendarmenmarkt. After the break we continued our trip with a walk to Brandenburger Tor where our guided tour started. We learned a lot about the history of Brandenburger Tor, the Wall and the Reichstag. As a highlight we had a chance to visit the Plenarsaal, with its open and modern architecture and learn about the meetings. Especially the procedure of the votes, which still is done by show of hands, not in secret and not electronically was new for many of us. Interestingly, even though all meetings are recorded, there are still 4 steno typists who are working in 5 minutes intervals writing down the minutes including information about the atmosphere in the room. This procedure allows to document as much as possible and make the meetings transparent and comprehensible for everyone.

 

A bit tired and very happy, we all returned to the train, spending the time talking about that wonderful day and arrived save and sound in time in rainy Hannover. Thank you Sabine and Angelika for arranging that fantastic trip for us. Everything was so well planned, we were truly spoiled.

December Special Event: Exploring the Kreuzkirche

by Astrid S. 

On Thursday, December 20th, a group of IWAH members, some partners and one boy met in the Kreuzkirche in Hannover’s old town to have a guided tour. In the rib vault of the entrance hall a coloured keystone caught our attention. It shows two important dates: 1333 was the date of consecration when the church was finished in the middle ages, and 1960 tells us about its second consecration when it was rebuilt after the Second World War. The phoenix rising from flames which is also shown on the keystone is an encouraging symbol of resurrection overcoming death and destruction. 

We then had a very close look at the precious altarpiece by Lucas Cranach the Elder. It was created for a monastery in Einbeck and then moved to the Palace Church in Hannover and finally to the Kreuzkirche. The paintings seen on it are of special interest as they mark the time between 1534 and 1537 when the workshop of Lucas Cranach the Elder was taken over by his sons. The difference in the style between the central painting showing the crucifixion of Jesus and the wings showing Saint Alexander and his mother Saint Felicitas is evident in many details. The horses in the central painting are a special challenge. If you get the chance just count their heads and their legs. But take care – it might become a never ending story… 

During a short walk around the church we had a look upon the baroque part of the steeple which was added by Johann Duve, a successful businessman, and the Duve Chapel where his family was buried. 

We went down to the vaults where very important people were buried up to the end of the 18th century. During the Second World War their bones were brought into one huge tomb beneath the Duve Chapel to make room for a “Luftschutzkeller”. Writings on the walls still tell us about the severe conditions for those who searched for shelter from the bombs. Finally we looked on the relics of people who lived some hundred years ago and now rest in this church. The light of our petrol lamps was just right for the thrilling atmosphere down there. 

From hell, we went right up to heaven. The steeple of the Kreuzkirche is not very high but it offers a beautiful view upon the old town. In the dark with all the illumination around us it was just fantastic. And of course looking down to the Christmas Market right at the feet of the church was a highlight. The “Glühwein” we had together was a perfect end to our evening.
 

Trip to Taboo Exhibit

by Rita R.

On January 24th, a group of 20 members of IWAH were guided through the special exhibition TABOO – SECRET – CONCEALED in the Hannover State Museum (Landesmuseum). We journeyed around the world starting in the South Seas, on to Africa, Brazil, Siberia, Tibet and ended in China. We saw some of the highlights of five ethnographic collections of Lower Saxony (Hannover, Hildesheim, Brunswick, Göttingen and Oldenburg), with emphasis on the religious and social context, but also on the aesthetic characteristics and beauty. The objects often had two functions: to strengthen the individual as well as the community. 

The exhibits were collected in their countries of origin by Europeans as documentation of non-European cultures. The earliest exhibits date back to the time of scientific expeditions in the late 18th century, for example the Cook/Forster collection (chief mourner) and the Baron von Asch collection (shaman of Central Siberia). Others were bought during the colonial period before World War I. The latest acquisition of the exhibition was made during several journeys in 1960 and 1970 to Brazil by the head of the ethnological department of the Hannover State Museum. 

The word “taboo” was brought to Europe towards the end of the 18th century by James Cook and gradually came into everyday use in nearly all European languages. It came from the Polynesian word “tapu”. In Tahiti it had two meanings: forbidden, to be strictly avoided, but also sacred. The Polynesian society was a strictly ordered hierarchy and the principles of tapu gave each individual the regulations for what he was not allowed to do and what he was expected to do. It was easy for the Polynesian chieftains and the nobility to legitimise their power. They claimed to be the descendants of the Gods. 

In the next section in Melanesia we met a society that was totally different. There was no hereditary status and people had to earn their own merits during their lifetime. Ancestors were honoured instead of Gods. 

We moved on to other regions and with each step we came into contact with astonishing civilizations that all had to answer the vital human questions of personal and collective crises. 

The complete outfit of a shaman of Siberia dating back to the 18th century is unique in the whole world. By looking at the details of his dress, we can see what shamanism meant in the nomadic community of the Ewenki people.

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