The 21st century witnesses an explosion of interest in the social media and participatory practices. Referred to as the iconic turn of the communities, this new field of inquiry has its roots in narrative, scientific and pedagogic practices, coupled and linked with the arts.
After a period of preoccupation with the personal and biographical we are at the cusp of a major shift back to the political and its fusion with educational practices and interestingly enough -- contemporary arts practice. Thus newly intertwined, art and education deal with an inquiry into the quality, force and mainstay of individual identity in a community setting.
This phenomenon can be investigated in the rural area around Berlin and its neighbouring territory, Brandenburg, with its history, politics, traditions, even castles, used through time not only as representative buildings, but also as a location of culture and special events.
The key concepts and connecting elements in these Euorpean-based initiatives rely mostly on a common cultural and political heritage: the phenomenon of border countries, the experience of war and the continued search for identity suppported by the exchange of artists in residence programs under the heading Rohkunstbau (literally translated: raw art under construction).
The Association of the Friends of Rohkunstbau was founded in 2002 to support exhibition projects 20 years after the Iron Curtain in sites chosen for the exhibitions of Rohkunstbau on a long-term and sustained basis. The goal of the Association is not only to provide the exhibitions with financial support , but to impart the expertise and contacts of the association and its members, to disseminate the urban and the culture with a political aim on a local level.
The Rohkunstbau project allows artists to develop new site-specific projects dealing with „abstract themes of power, morality, revolution and eventual demise in the course of four exhibitions.“ spanning the thematic concerns of artists from Europe and Eastern Europe. The 2013 theme at Roskow Castle, located in the vicinity of Potsdam and Berlin in Brandenburg, is Morality. It is the second in a series of four exhibitions mounted yearly in reenacted locations that have dealt with the renewal of civil committment in today’s society.
A basic need for community comes from the idea of sharing ideas, sharing affinities, which come from the desire and the need to grow and learn. The transmission of ideas and of knowledge is at the heart of the communal being, which drives the spirit of community. These philosophical ideas spawned the interest of the funding organization, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, and continue to motivate the people whose ideas of civil society drive the Rohkunstbau initiative. They view their political art project as an inspiration for private-public partnerships. Members of the Association see their initiative as an outward sign of civil committment and utilize their own donations as a reflection of their own political engagement. Seen in this light, the project Rohkunstbau deals with communal learning.
Dr. Dieta Sixt
 Curator Marc Gisbourne, in the preface of the catalogue for the 19th Rohkunstbau exhibition, 2013 at Schloss Roskow, Roskow, Brandenburg, Moral, 2013, p. 9.
 Roskow Castle was built between 1723 and 1727 by the von Katte family, native to the region since the 14th century. The manor remained their property until 1945. The family was then expropriated in the course of the land reform. The school year 1953/54 saw it turn into a village school. 1963 saw a complete renovation of the building in order to preserve its functionality. In 2010 the building was rebought by Bodo Krug von Nidda, member of the Katte family.