Bonn · The new app "City Stories" by Fringe Ensemble and the Bonn Stadtmuseum makes city history a personal experience. There are more than 50 stories to discover in Bonn.
Experience, tell and actively write on city history - yellow signs with QR codes have been hanging in several places in four districts of Bonn for a few days now. This is exactly where Bonn citizens have experienced moments and stories that they have told to the Fringe Ensemble and the Bonn Stadtmuseum and thus made them available.
These stories can now be found in the "City Stories" app: Simply scan the code or come close to it with the app switched on. Then the audio pieces, podcasts, interviews, sounds, music and picture stories appear automatically. This is how the museum and theatre group want to make city history tangible - and audible.
"We simply asked the people if they had a story for us," said project dramaturge Svenja Pauka at the presentation of the app. Personal stories came out on the spot, but also anecdotes, memories or stories with political and historical references. Some passers-by were sceptical at first, conversations had to develop. Others chatted straight away, Pauka recalled, when she and her colleagues were on the road with the cargo bike.
50 different, personal stories
"The moments are place-based, you can listen to the stories if you are near the place where they happened," said Yvonne Katzy, director of the Stadtmuseum. That was important in the conception and development of the app, she said. "Sometimes there is something to see, sometimes something happens at the stations."
There is a lot going on in the app: 50 incidents to discover in Kessenich, Beuel, the city centre and Poppelsdorf. It was important that all the places are easily accessible and close to each other. There are also exciting things to see in other parts of the city, "but for the time being we concentrated on central places," says Pauka.
Website as archive
Actors from the Fringe Ensemble have professionally recorded everything. So that the older generation can also benefit from the project, the stories are also available in bundled form and barrier-free on the website www.citystories-bnx.de. The website will also be used as a kind of archive, because the plan is to expand the project and also exchange the stories, says Pauka. In total, the team had collected more than 100 memories. Not all of them found their way onto the web, sometimes the developers bundled several aspects into one story, according to Pauka.
Positive feedback expected
The Fringe Ensemble and the Stadtmuseum are looking forward to receiving more stories, which can be handed in at Studio_bnx. There on Franziskaner Straße, the focus is on citizen participation, everything is interactive. "We have already received a lot of feedback for the studio, but not yet for the app," said Katzy. Now she and the others hope that the people of Bonn will accept the city stories well and soon roam the streets with their mobile phones.
The app is available for Android and Apple, in the store or at www.citystories-bnx.de.
Original text: Maike Velden
Translation: Mareike Graepel