“Handmade!” Tipis will become „Tents of Encounters“ at the Hanseatic Days 2020.

As colourful and diverse as the Hansa, so are the tents.

At first glance the single knitted squares look like potholders. But at the press conference addressed by the Mayor of Brilon, Dr. Christoph Bartsch and the group “Kunterbunt eV” in the community rooms of the protestant church, informed us that these squares of acrylic yarn would be joined together to form tipis four and a half metres in diameter and five metres high – “Handmade”- true to the adage of the Brilon Hanseatic Days.


The idea originates from a Remscheid artist, Ute Lennartz-Lembeck. Heike Fritz from Kunterbunt eV explained that 1,200 squares were needed to produce one tipi and that only acrylic yarn would withstand the wind and weather. The overall project leader for the Hanseatic Days Brilon, Ute Hachmann, put the idea into the context of this international event. People of many nations are coming together and need a peaceful place to meet and greet each other. Moses built his tabernacle where stranger could meet with God. We have a handmade welcoming tent to meet and exchange experiences, to discuss similarities and differences in peace with one another.




From conception to realisation


“Kunterbunt eV” has been in existence for three years and it was while we were knitting, crocheting and having coffee, that we had the idea. Sabine Volmer and Barbara Harding explained. They approached Frau Hachmann and enthused her with the idea. “Meet and greet”, coming together, diversity and similarity that is what it is all about. Each square is individual and we want them to join together to be symbols of freedom. An important banner of our times.


Recently the churches came on board. Rev. Rainer Müller as their representative met with Frau Hachmann and Kunterbunt representatives. He praised the good cooperation with Kunterbunt and acknowledged their ability to cross boundaries and extent limits. He added “one should get as little in the way of the Holy Spirit as possible.”


“To identify as part of the greater good- that is Hansa” (Ute Hachmann)

„Everybody can be a part of these handmade tents, by knitting or crocheting squares. These many parts will be joined together to form two meeting tents by June 2020 and they will get a special place on the festival grounds. They are a symbol for peace, connectedness and the diversity of Europe”, Frau Hachmann illustrates the implementation of the project.

“The journey is as important as the arrival,“ that is how Dr. Bartsch praised the common project, that has developed. „Made by many“ that fits the basic concept, which we recognize in the Hanseatic Days“. The Hanseatic Days are colourful and diverse, and equally so colourful and diverse are the Meeting tents .


From idea to realisation

The integration project circle  has existed for three years now. Heike Fritz: „The idea occurred while we were knitting and crocheting and having coffee.“ Sabine Volmer and  Barbara Harding explained, „We approached Frau Hachmann and managed to delight her with the idea. `Encounter´, coming together, diversity and commonality, that is what it is all about. And each square has its own signature. We want them to be tents of liberty. An important symbol for our times.“

About three weeks ago the representatives oft he circle and Ms Hachmann took the churches on board. Reverend Rainer Müller as representative of the churches

praised the previous good cooperation with the circle, where limits are always

crossed. “One should get as little as possible in the way of the Holy Spirit”, he smiled.


 To identify as part of the greater good“, that is Hansa „ (Ute Hachmann)

„Everybody can be part of these handmade tents, by knitting or crocheting squares. These many parts will be joined together to two tents of encounters until June 2020 and will get a special place on the festival grounds. They are a symbol for peace,  connectedness and the diversity of Europe, Ms illustrates the implementation  of the project.

 “Becoming is as important as being,“ that is how Dr. Bartsch praised the common project, that will thus come to exist. „Made by many“ that fits the basic idea, which we recognize in the Hanseatic Days“. For colourful and diverse are the Hanseatic Days , and evenly colourful and diverse are the tents of encounter.


International Hanseatic Days from June 4th to June 7th 2020.

Brilon will host the 40th International Hanseatic Days under the patronage of Bundespräsident Frank-Walter Steinmeier. During this Europe wide cultural mega event approximately 120 towns and cities will represent themselves with a stall. The representatives of the town of Brilon expect  between 1.500 and 2.000 guests from 16 countries with in total  100.000 till 120.000 visitors.  The centre of Brilon will become the meeting place of the world’s biggest gathering of towns and cities and thus a metropolis of encounters.

The tents, which will have seating during the Hanseatic Days, serve as small rooms of reflection where the guests can let the colours and forms work their magic.

„Lots and lots of people can do their bit at various locations. Ms Hachmann encourages everyone to take part with mind, heart and hand “ true to the motto „Handmade“. To give jointly rise to something New and not forget the Old – that is how sustainability developed, the project coordinator emphasises,   „And the Hanseatic citizens stand for sustainability and Fair Trade, too.”


That is how you can become part of this great project:

  • Knitting and crocheting are age-old craft techniques which are practised all over the world. If you have acrylic yarn at home, you can knot or crochet squares. In single colours, multi-colours, with ajour- and other patterns. They have to measure 15 x 15 centimetres. Very important: The starting thread and the end thread have to be firmly finished.
  • Contact points: The finished squares can be handed in up to the October holidays: (14/10 – 26/10)Evangelisches  Gemeindezentrum (Kreuziger Mauer 2), Stadtbibliothek Gartenstraße 13), Lena’s Dekostübchen (Petrusstraße 2), KUNTERBUNT-Laden (Friedrichstraße 10) or they can be sent by mail to the respective addresses in 59929 Brilon.  
  • If you have no yarn you can pick some up at the above mentioned locations at cost price of 50 cents.
  • Donations of acrylic wool will be gladly received in the KUNTERBUNT shop.
  • Would you like to knit and crochet in company – with coffee, tea and home baked cakes and gateaux? Then the craft circle of KUNTERBUNT is exactly right for you. The meetings take place every fortnight on Monday from 14:30 till 16:30. The next meeting is Monday, 9th September, in the Evangelisches Gemeindezentrum.


Source: Brilon Totallokal - Silke Nieder

Translated by Mechthild Lewis