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Summer of Respect
The Campaign

With the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023, topics are coming into focus that were previously under-lit in the German public sphere: The price of freedom, society’s treatment of soldiers and respect for those who risk their health and even their lives for democratic values and security.

Although the members of the German armed forces, police, fire brigade and rescue services perform their service to society responsibly, dutifully and selflessly, there is often a lack of social respect for their commitment.

With the “Summer of Respect”, the Invictus Games will focus on this respect for the services of the emergency forces and want to express their gratitude to all emergency forces. Works of art, theatre plays and cooperation with schools are all part of the Summer of Respect.

I AM sculpture

The world-famous shopping mile Königsallee is also marked by the approaching Invictus Games. After all, two floating sculptures on the Kö are now clearly pointing out the event to passers-by. The sculptures were anchored in the Kö-Graben in a joint effort by the Invictus Games 2023 project team, the pioneers of the German armed forces and the Gemeinnützige Werkstätten Neuss. They will remain there until October, after which one sculpture will be moved to the Bundeswehr Sports School in Warendorf and the other will be placed in front of the Ministry of Defence in the centre of Berlin.

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General Marstaller looks onto a not yet finished 3D art piece in front of the Staatskanzlei NRW.

3D artwork

In June, Düsseldorfers were able to admire the 3D artwork by Gregor Wosik on Johannes-Rau-Platz. For the artist himself, the focus was on making the invisible visible: “Soldiers defend our security and freedom worldwide in public. What we don’t see, however, are their injuries, wounds and illnesses. Art can be a form of expression to make the invisible and incomprehensible visible. With my artwork, I would like to make a contribution to draw attention to the fate of the competitors.”

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Theatre Axensprung

The play “Kampfeinsatz” by the theatre group Axensprung traces the lives of people returning home who have been confronted with death, violence and traumatic experiences. The inner conflicts, psychological burdens and the search for healing and forgiveness of the characters as they try to find their way back to civil society are vividly portrayed. In this way, “Combat Mission” raises questions about responsibility, morality and the price of war for those who experience it. The audience is encouraged to think about the reality of war and the psychological impact on servicemen and women.

The performance of “Kampfeinsatz” is on Sunday, 3 September, 2 pm, at the Volkshochschule Düsseldorf, Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz 1, 40227 Düsseldorf. Admission costs 5 euros, registration via the VHS site is required.

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Cooperation with schools

In numerous school projects, pupils dealt with the Invictus Games and the topic of respect. In addition to video projects and participation in a debating competition, the art course of the Bettine-von-Arnim-Gesamtschule (comprehensive school) in Langenfeld/Hilden also addressed the topic of respect. The artworks created there will be exhibited in the Invictus Village during the Games. In addition, many schools will be offered an attractive and interactive supporting programme in the Invictus Village. Through the cooperation with schools in Düsseldorf and the region, more than 12,000 pupils have been reached so far. Around 200 young people visited the Invictus Games project team to find out more about the upcoming games.

The Invictus Bench

We invited personalities to Invictus Bank, a place to meet, listen and dialogue on the topic of respect. Respectful treatment of fellow human beings is an important cement of society. Whether at work, in private life, in sport, in culture, in integration or in international relations, respect is essential for peaceful coexistence. With the Invictus Bank, there is a mobile place where citizens can exchange ideas on the topic of respect. The bench will also go on tour in the coming weeks.

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