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(English below)

Social Muscle Club ist eine Gruppe von internationalen Künstler*innen und Performer*innen, die seit 2012 kontinuierlich zusammenarbeitet und performative Events produziert. Die Beteiligung der Öffentlichkeit und das gemeinsame Hinterfragen von Denkgewohnheiten stehen dabei im Vordergrund. Der Club wurde gegründet für alle, die sich im globalen Dorf gegenseitig unterstützen wollen, inmitten einer Gesellschaft, in der man sich als Einzelner oft überfordert fühlt. Vorbild und Inspiration war ein Dokumentarfilm über einen Arbeiter-Club in Sheffield. Als Gegengewicht und Ausgleich zu Stress und Leistungsdruck einer kapitalistischen und wettbewerbsorientierten Arbeitswelt bot der Club für alle Mitglieder nicht nur ein selbstverwaltetes soziales Auffangnetz sondern auch Unterhaltung. Den sozialen Druck und das damit verbundene physische und psychische Leid kannten auch die Gründungsmitglieder des Social Muscle Clubs Berlin aus eigener Erfahrung. Man traf sich zunächst in einer kleinen Gruppe im Wohnzimmer und entwickelte gemeinsam Ideen, um sich gegenseitig zu unterstützen und dies auf eine Weise, die Kunst, Kreativität und Soziales miteinander verbindet. Seit 2012 ist der Social Muscle Club exponentiell gewachsen und hat tausende von Menschen in über zehn internationalen Städten erreicht. Darüberhinaus gibt es regelmäßige Clubs in Berlin, Basel, Bristol und Wien. Inzwischen ist auch die Mitgliederzahl angewachsen. Der Social Muscle Club verbindet Leute aus verschiedenen sozialen Zusammenhängen, auch Menschen, die sich normalerweise nicht in der Theaterszene bewegen, so ist ein wachsendes internationales Netzwerk entstanden, dass sich durch Vielfalt und Solidarität auszeichnet.

 

Social Muscle Club is a group of international artists who have been working together since 2012 to change our usual habits of thinking and doing and 'train the social muscle'. The club was founded for everyone in the global village seeking to support each other in a society in which one often feels alone.  The club began in a Berlin living room and was inspired by a documentary about a workers club in Sheffield, English which promised 'entertainment and mutual support'. As a contrast to stress and pressure to a capitalistic, competitive working world, the club offers a self-organised social net. The founders of Social Muscle Club experienced personally the psychological effects of pressure to succeed, earn money, and fit in society. So they began practicing giving and receiving with friends and colleagues in their living room, in order to support each other. Since 2012 the club has grown exponentially and has reached thousands of people in ten international cities, including ongoing clubs in Berlin, Basel, Bristol, and Vienna.  The club integrates people from different social backgrounds as well as people who normally don't visit or participate in the theatre scene, out of which a growing international network of solidarity has been established.

 

Social Muscle Club Team: Since it’s founding in the living room of Till Rothmund and Jill Emerson, SMC quickly grew to a pool of international artists and performers who are able to take on different roles in the club, including Rahel Savoldelli, Jared Gradinger, Agathe Chion, Knut Berger, Ronald Berger, Anna deCarlo, Steve Heather, Siegmar Zacharias, Claudia Baswari, Juli Reinartz, Rainer von Dziegielewski, Tayfun Schulzke, and Judith Strössenreuter. 

On-going clubs are running in Basel (with Beni Wyss), Bristol (Richard Aslan, Chris Gylee, Jen Bell), and Vienna (Thomas Kasebacher and Laia Fabre).

 

What is Social Muscle Club?

On August 2016 seven people got together to try to write the essence of SMC.  Here is what we came up with:

Jared Gradinger

Imagine a present time where one doesn’t need to be ‘good’ at life; where one only needs to participate consciously and have a little fun in the meanwhile. Imagine a present time where we could acknowledge that life is a practice and we can recognize and support each other in our differences rather than only our similarities. That is the social muscle club.

SMC is a tool

SMC is a movement

SMC is a group training that anyone can participate in

SMC is an individual training

SMC is a social project

SMC is a practice

SMC is not a group with all the answers

SMC is not ‘a way of life’

SMC is not a new economy

SMC is not a show

SMC is not a collective

SMC is not a goal

SMC is not separated from ‘real life’

SMC is not for everyone

SMC is not exclusive nor inclusive

SMC is not charity

SMC is not fixed

SMC is not responsible for your problems

SMC will not change you

 

Agathe Chion

SMC is an organism,

SMC is  sometimes big, sometimes little

SMC has simple rules to develop itself

SMC needs people training together

SMC spreads unconditionnal GIVING and RECEIVING

SMC is not a Tauschbörse

SMC is not just a show

SMC is not a game

SMC is not just an artistic project

 

Felix Veve

SMC is a group of artist, a network of people, a society of individuals, whe decided to train social muscles. It means trainingand discovering your interest towards the person next to you and yourself. It means finding and creating new interactions with strangers and friends. Finding other ways to interact, to speak, to feel the others. It means training your interest toward what is already in front of your eyes.

SMC is not a show, where you come, sit and go.

SMC is not bordered

SMC is not fixed

SMC is not a brand

SMC is not chosing its audience

SMC is not only art

SMC is not soöething to see but to experience.

SMC is not disconected from the world.

SMC is not one-sided

 

Jill Emerson

SMC trains social muscles using art and creativity.

SMC is simple but deep.

Social Muscle Club was started by people in a crisis. What do we do when we feel pressure, separate, alone? Divine Inspiration said open up- talk to that person on the street and see what happens. Try it again. Make a practice out of it. We noticed we tend to have a narrow view of the world. Is interest a muscle that can be trained? SMC uses are and a creativty as a tool to train the social muscles.

SMC isn’t a static, conforming, inflexible, dried potato that desperately wants to grow. SMC isn’t about only me.

SMC isn’t only about you.

SMC isn’t a platform, a festival, a cool hip party, a place to give up all responsibility.

SMC isnt about closing, about forcing, about holding.

SMC isn’t unpersonal.

SMC isn’t only light.

 

Till Rothmund

We’re all mentally and spiritually bound by an idea of what capitalism is. It’s difficult to see or live beyond that. SMC tries to break that and establish a more generous support for ourselves and others.

It is

Not not an offspring of new ideas and spirit

Not not embracing the other

Not not exciting and enriching and fun

Not not all the time changing

Not not without premisses

 

Beni Wyss

SMC is a(n art) movement towards (the encounter with) the unknown.

SMC is not a game; it´s never what you expect.

 

Rahel Savoldelli

SMC is an invitation. SMC ist wie der Name schon sagt ein Fitnesszentrum für unsere sozialen Muskeln. SMC ist eine Einladung.  We get richer when you come. you get richer when you join.

SMC is an empowerment organism. SMS is celebrating training. SMC is an invitation. SMC is really a pain in the ass. Sometimes i love the pain in the ass. SMC is an invitation. you are ´welcome to do it in your living room. or even when you're at the bakery. SMC is stubborn. SMC is insisting invitation.

SMC is not : he we all love each other bla bla

SMC is not a group of verblendete naive idealists. SMC is not vague. SMC is never too complex. SMC is not all about Harmony- SMC is not afraid of Capitalism. SMC is not about obeying to fear. NEVER!!!! its never to complex.  SMC is not a system. SMC is not a theory. SMC is not nice. SMC is not a utopia.