Pink Pong

Dilruba Erkan, Sally Kotter

The dimension of diversity is a challenge for urban life, which starts with the dominance of one particular group on another. The ancient dominance of male over female is an issue within the urban context since the urban space is heavily gendered. As the space is as well aged, the early teenage girls are disappearing from the content completely.

Colourful, self-made ping pong rackets

PINK PONG primarily focuses on girls’ participation in public space. We distinguished two main phases; the first phase aims to empower early teenager girls by creating a safe community sense, the second phase aims to position them in the public realm. In other words, we aim to empower girls by using a created situation to claim their space in public. This situation is a hook which is called PINK PONG, to make the girls come around, work for it and own it.

Urban space is heavily gendered.

Inspired by an Austrian interviewee who claimed that the ping pong tables in parks are the only places for many groups to come together and interact, we have chosen ping pong as a tool which is known by everyone and neither nationalised nor gendered.

Girl with self-made ping pong racket

Photos: Sally Kotter

Girl using a saw
Pupils holding up their self-made ping pong rackets
Girl using a saw

For the presentation of the work the group shot a video of themselves explaining PINK PONG, which was edited by us later. Furthermore the girls prepared and translated an instruction of a self-made racket in their mother tongue and send them away to the whole neighbourhood before our two events. This functioned on one hand as an invitation on the other hand as a communication tool between the neighbourhood and the girls as a group for the first time. Under the certain condition to wear something pink or paint a fingernail also the boys from the school were allowed to play.

In 10 workshops a group of 13 girls from the Mittelschule at Max-Winter-Platz, with 7 different nationalities, at the age between 10 and 12, designed a round and mobile table, manufactured the rackets, built the net and learned how to play through the workshops which were held by Dilruba Erkan and Sally Kotter.

Summer 2015
Dilruba Erkan
Sally Kotter