Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Since I was...

ZUZANA HUDEKOVA Visual artist, Slovakia

Since I was living next to the school, I saw the schooyard all the time from my window. Me, my brother and my neighbours were spending also our free time there, cause the place was perfect to play tennis, basketball or football. Almost every day after school, homeworks and all kind of hobbies I came home, took a glance out of the window to see who is on the schoolyard and I ran out. We were there till dark, so when the ball wasn’t visible anymore it was the time to go home and sleep.
But of course this was happening only in summer. During the winter we had other activities. When I was a little child there used to be enough snow everywhere, comparing with nowdays. So, when the whole schoolyard was under the snow we used to do big snowball fights, which were happening during the big breaks but also in afternoon. Once I became very angry on one boy who broke the rule, cause he throw one very freezed snowball straight to my face after the fight was officialy finished. That was the reason of my first real fight with a boy.
After some great time we have spent on the free schoolyard one very nasty and unfair rule came out. The schoolyard was closed during the weekends and evenings and guarded by a big scary dog. But we didn’t give up, cause being on the schoolyard was our live. Since all of us have had a great view on the schoolyard it was easy to see when the dog is there and when not. If “the air was free” we have called to each other, jumped over the very high fences and playing till dark again. But of course, it wasn’t always so easy as it seems. Many times we saw the dog with his owner runnig towards us. We had to be always prepared for an organized and concentrated escape, but after some time we were so trained that nobody could catch us.