Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Anna Pabst / Lorenz Langenegger (Switzerland) /
Ákos Németh (Hungary)

Last First Week

Die Letzte Erste Woche

Text Extract

Lorenz Langenegger
2. Encounter

JOELLE Are you afraid of me?
ARMIN waves aside
JOELLE Why did you run?
ARMIN Did I run?
JOELLE As soon as you saw me.
ARMIN I run a lot. It’s good for the legs. I run whenever I can. When I’m not on my bike that means.
JOELLE You’re weird.
ARMIN How old are you?
JOELLE Old enough.
ARMIN How do you want to know?
JOELLE Old enough to be here on my own.
ARMIN: That we’ll see.
JOELLE Why are you so harsh?
ARMIN I am not harsh.
JOELLE Kindness is the most important thing, my father says. Kindness always wins.
ARMIN And what does he win?
JOELLE He just wins.
Me for example.
That wasn’t easy at all.
ARMIN If something truly matters, not even kindness helps.
JOELLE How do you want to know?
ARMIN That’s what my father says.

JOELLE I dance ballet.
It’s good for the legs too.
ARMIN And what are you doing here?
JOELLE thinks I am doing whatever I want.
ARMIN And what’s that?
JOELLE Well, you can see that.
ARMIN I see nothing.
JOELLE That’s what I am saying
I am doing nothing.
ARMIN Nothing?
ARMIN Are you doing nothing because you do not want to do anything? Or are you doing nothing because you can’t come up with an idea?
JOELLE I’m not doing anything because I don’t have to.
ARMIN Tidy up your room?
JOELLE Diana is doing that.
ARMIN Who is Diana?
JOELLE Our Au Pair from Hungary.
ARMIN Go to school?
JOELLE All the children in my school love to go there and they go there by choice It’s a good school. We have but the best teachers.
ARMIN Isn’t it boring?
Doing nothing.
JOELLE Mind-numbing.
ARMIN That’s what I thought.
JOELLE But it is better than having to do things.
ARMIN Are you here for the first time?
JOELLE I come here everyday.
ARMIN Holidays?
JOELLE nods.
ARMIN Where do you live?
JOELLE (makes a gesture with her head meaning “up the valley”)
Are you a – makes a gesture meaning “farmer”
ARMIN (Doesn’t understand at once, Joelle repeats her gesture, than) Why do you think so?
JOELLE My father says everyone is a farmer here.
ARMIN I’m going to school now.

JOELLE nods.


ARMIN Ok. I’ll have to go.


An old, abandoned school. The summer break is not yet over. But why is Armin going to school everyday anyway? And what is Mr. Fiedler still doing there? He retired before the summer break. At first Armin is scared when meeting the seemingly neglected Mr. Fiedler. But as he overcomes his shyness they become friends. Mr. Fiedler, at first upset by the young mischief-maker, then starts enjoying Armin’s company, too. But the next intruder is already on her way: Joëlle is spending her holidays with her father in the village. She lives in the city and is used to constant entertainment. Her father, however, doesn’t have time to care about Joëlle. For him, the village is an investment project. He’s planning to build new houses, whatever is old, has to go. Out of boredom, Joëlle is lingering around the old school. But she is by far not the only one:
A police woman is guarding the school during the holidays. She doesn’t like it when children are hanging around in places where they shouldn’t be. The skeleton from the biology class has been in the school for ages and knows stories about when Mr. Fiedler was a child and the cactus a delicate plant in a flower pot. The two sparrows under the roof are observing what is happening in and around the house. And then it all goes haywire: Mr. Fiedler is delivering a speech in the empty auditorium and talks about parallel universes. Joëlle sticks to her guns. Armin tries to learn more about the school from her. And the police woman has to escort Mr. Fiedler, the man who used to be her teacher, out of the school building.


© Anna Papst
Lorenz Langenegger
Ákos Németh


M: 2
F: 2