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    • العربية
    • Deutsch
    • English
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$6,874
pledged of $23,669 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Daniel Seiple
$6,874
pledged of $23,669 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

Would you like to read this in your language? We've created translations in Deutsch and عربي.

“We are building the boat ourselves now – of higher quality, with a good motor and features that make it safer than crossing the sea in a raft. I’ll remake the experience but in a good way. I’ll be at ease and unafraid. There are many safety features on a luxury boat. It will be a different experience.” Nawras Alwali, workshop participant

Hassan Aji and Alain Alwali construct a scale model of an Overnight Cruiser.
Hassan Aji and Alain Alwali construct a scale model of an Overnight Cruiser.

Making Waves is a project that invites refugees to build a motorboat. Participants engage in all stages of the boat’s construction from design to completion. The workshop offers experience in carpentry, boat-building and more. When the vessel is complete, we will explore Berlin’s abundant waterways and converse about the different paths that led us here.

More than a workshop

Building a boat is an ambitious activity, which provides a context in which to share our stories, and discuss the challenges of migration, assimilation and cultural difference. We envision the boat as an exploratory vehicle for cultural research and local engagement. We will make it accessible for public use by offering private tours, boat shares and other leisurely uses! We will invite cultural organizations, artists and scholars to use it for special events and short-term residencies.

Around our activities, we’re producing a film, which documents the construction of the boat and our adventures on it. The film will veer between genres – a documentary, how-to, adventure and nature film all in one. By recording our conversations, labor, leisure and divergent personal stories, we hope to offer multiple viewpoints that challenge the portrayal of refugees and contemporary European life.

Your support will buy the materials we need! The more we raise, the bigger we build, the faster we go!

Why a Motorboat?

By designing a workshop in which refugees craft their own luxurious ride, we create a more ambiguous cultural image than the ones presented by the media, politics or aid organizations. It is not an attempt to counter this image. It is our intent to complicate the image, to create a new narrative, so that one might take notice, rather than passively dismissing it as known.

We are interested in creating forms of representation for refugees beyond the static and traditional symbols of victimization, passivity and poverty. The workshop format provides a model to reconcile knowledge and emotions through action. Far from utopian, the workshop aims to confront cultural and social conflict, and the challenges of assimilation through artistic, constructive and personal means.

Team

Making Waves was initiated by artist and educator Daniel Seiple. The workshop is led by Seiple with refugees Hassan Aji, Nawras Alwali, Hanna Jarada, Nafee Kurdy and a dedicated crew of volunteers. The team offers an array of expertise, skills and experiences. In 2016, Seiple worked for the Berlin-based boat company, Bootsmanufaktur GmbH, to restore the Don Juan, an historic steel and wooden barge, which was widely seen in 2013 carrying the entourage of Queen Elizabeth on the Spree River (pictured at the bottom of this page). 

Left to right: Nafee Kurdi, Hassan Aji, Nawras Alwali, Daniel Seiple, Adriana Bianchi, Bettina Lamprecht, Hanna Jarada, Yamen Almekary. Not pictured: Hiba Alyounes, Emily Moore, Wafa Mustafa

History

Berlin has welcomed over 100,000 refugees in the past three years. At the beginning of this year, we presented the idea of a boat workshop at local shelters and other refugee initiatives. With immediate interest, we began hosting weekly model boat making workshops. Participants carved boats out of wood, sculpted them in clay, and constructed scale models as a means to learn about boat design and various construction techniques. From these sessions, our core team developed, which continues to meet weekly to craft models and plan what motorboat we will build. We encourage people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures to join.Through the workshop, we have been invited to talk in public forums, exhibit our models, and meet local artists, educators and boat builders.

Participants solder wires onto a motor.
Participants solder wires onto a motor.

Partners

Facilities – We will construct the boat at the BBK Sculpture Workshop whose facilities make it possible for us to even dream about this project! The Sculpture Workshop provides ideal conditions and equipment for building boats, including industrial machines, power tools, cranes and forklifts. Supervisors are on hand to offer technical advice, provide information on specific materials and tools, and help with developing solutions for unconventional ideas.

BBK Sculpture Workshop in Berlin-Wedding
BBK Sculpture Workshop in Berlin-Wedding

Technical Support – We are excited to have many great partners providing support and opportunities for the workshop and its participants! The boat restoration company, Bootsmanufaktur GmbH, with its team of qualified boat builders offers technical guidance and consultation. The Caritas Refugee Shelter in Berlin-Wedding provides access to its qualified team of social workers. We also coordinate with other local refugee initiatives including ZUsammenKUNFT and the Arabic-German magazine Eed be Eed.

Visiting the Bootsmanufaktur factory with owner Nils Clausen
Visiting the Bootsmanufaktur factory with owner Nils Clausen

Exhibitions and Cultural Partners – We are grateful to already have multiple opportunities to exhibit our work! After our campaign, we will exhibit our model boats, videos and Kickstarter rewards at the Museum Lichtenberg in Berlin. When our boat is finished, we are invited to travel the inland canals from Berlin to Strasbourg, France and exhibit our boat with the arts organization, Apollonia Art Exchanges. This wonderful art space sits directly next to the European Parliament where international policy on refugees and immigration is debated. Apollonia helped fund our model making workshops earlier this year. As part of their exhibition, Philoxenia / e.city - Berlin, we exhibited our models and participated in a public roundtable discussion with other initiatives from the region.

 

Our Goal... 

… is to cover the cost for all the materials related to building a motorboat – marine plywood, lumber, epoxy, paint, fasteners, upholstered seats, lights and other components. It will also pay for a seasonal motor rental, docking fee, and of course, your rewards. Our labor is voluntary. We consider our efforts an investment! Those who help build the boat will be given a stake in its ownership respective to their contributions. Accordingly, if we ever decide to sell the boat, it will be a collective decision with shared profit.

  

Rewards 

Our rewards are designed to share our experience with you! We provide poetic gestures, surprise treasure, beach towels, artworks and much more. Each week we will offer one hand-crafted model boat! We also invite you to use the real boat! We provide rentals, charters and boat-shares! Explore Berlin on your own or with our captain! For top supporters, check out our Club Status with exciting benefits and your name engraved on a prestigious plaque! Here’s a sampling.....


10€ – Shout out from the middle of a lake!

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35 € – We'll teach you how to say "Making Waves" in Arabic!

 50€ – Captain's Hat

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150€ – Join us for a round of shuffle board! We constructed our shuffle board after playing the same game with Marty, a friend from Ocean City, Maryland. He is the son of a Norwegian shipbuilder who emigrated to the United States. His father needed a lid for a crate that was carrying his grandfather clock – so he used this game. Ours will be the first piece of our boat – the underside of a bench or table. Until we start, we'll keep playing.

175€ – Limited edition print by artist Ali Fitzgerald

We are thrilled to offer you an artwork by artist Ali Fitzgerald who has been a dedicated volunteer for refugees in Berlin. Ali is a regular contributor to the New York Magazine. Her comics and drawings have appeared in the Huffington Post, The New Yorker, Art21, Vox, Modern Painters, Gastronomica, Berlin Quarterly and more. Her first graphic novel will be published by Fantagraphics in 2018. Print size: 29.7 x 42.0 cm (11.69 x 16.53 in)

200€ – Dry off with one of our limited edition beach towels! Designed by our very own Hiba Alyounes! 140 x 70 cm (55 x 27 in)

300€ – Join us on board to watch the sunset (drinks included)

   

Model Boats

These are our workshop learning models. Each one is hand-made with its own individual story. We will offer 1 per week! Follow us so we can send you updates or click here to see the boat of the week. You will have 6-chances in 6-weeks to buy one! 

 

Boat Rentals, Charters and Sharing

We offer several rewards for which you can use our boat! The Berlin-Brandenburg region has the largest network of inland waterways in Europe. The city itself has more bridges than Venice! Its two major river systems, the Havel and Spree, supply 180 kilometers (112 miles) of navigable and interconnected rivers, canals and over 20 idyllic lakes. 

  • 400€ – A spin around the lake! Max. 1 hour 
  • 600€ – 1/2 Day Pleasure ride 
  • 1000€ – Full Day Pleasure ride 
  • 1600€ – East-West Berlin River Tour (Commodore's Club)  
  • 2500€ – 7-day Boat-Share (Commodore's Club)
Waterways in the Berlin region
Waterways in the Berlin region
  • A driver is included in all the rewards except the 7-day Boat Share, for which a driver can be hired. Otherwise, a license (SBF) is required to drive the boat.
  • We will not decide how big to build the boat until after the campaign, but we expect it to carry at least 5-8 people. The same goes for where we dock the boat. Berlin has innumerable moorings. We'll likely be on Wannsee or near Müggelsee. Both are accessible with public transport. We'll keep you posted!
 
 

Club Rewards and Christening Ceremony

Each of our top rewards is different and offers unique status – Yacht, Captain’s or Commodore’s Club – for which your name will be engraved on a Club Plaque and displayed in the boat. In addition to each specific reward, members will receive invitations to our much anticipated boat christening and maiden voyage, tentatively, scheduled for June 2018! We will break the ceremonial bottle of champagne, unveil the boat’s name and sing songs of the sea! It will be momentous! Celebrate with us, the crew, friends, family and other club members. For more details, check out each reward!

A song for our launch! (courtesy of Stephan Apicella-Hitchcock at the Steamboat Natchez)

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Why Kickstarter? 

Making Waves is a local refugee- and artist-run initiative for the community and we want it to be community funded. We also realize that our “community” is one formed as much by global issues as by locale. That’s why we’re using Kickstarter! Wherever you are, we hope you'll share our experience. 

About Daniel Seiple

Daniel Seiple is an American artist who moved to Berlin nearly 15 years ago. In 2016, he worked for the Bootsmanufaktur GmbH, a local boat restoration company. He has initiated and directed several large scale artistic projects and workshops in Germany and abroad. He is a founding member of the non-profit KUNSTrePUBLIK e.V., in which he worked as artist, curator, researcher and activist at Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum and in other public art contexts. He is currently employed by Syracuse University, New York for whom he administers a graduate art residency in Berlin. Since 2016, Seiple volunteers with various grassroots organizations that offer multilingual workshops and services to Berlin’s burgeoning immigrant population.  

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are followed by their entourage on a barge, which Seiple helped restore.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are followed by their entourage on a barge, which Seiple helped restore.

 We appreciate your support! Follow us here...

Risks and challenges

We realize that building a large motorboat is a very ambitious project for newly settled refugees, volunteers and first-time builders. But it is not more challenging, nor even more costly than the trips we took to get here. We did not want to leave our homes. Most of us didn’t even have a chance to think about where we would go, until we were on a raft halfway across the sea. But we arrived safely, with different stories, and we know we can build a boat, because we want to!

We expect it will take roughly 6-months to construct the boat. Our goal is to be ready for Summer. We will be following professional boat plans that use plywood construction. This method is economical and ideal for first-time builders. It requires adequate carpentry skills, but not the intensive processes such as steam bending and planking.

Of course, delays are possible! This is entirely a volunteer project, and refugees who are going through the immigration protocol have typically busy schedules, consisting of German courses and mandatory job training. We will be inviting more participants and setting up multiple teams. Most importantly, Seiple and the core team will work consistently to assure the boat’s completion.

We are hard-working, committed and passionate. For us, this is more than just about building a boat! With a spirit of camaraderie, we’re constructing a collective object that carries our histories, emotions and ambitions for the future! This is the beginning of our journey. Our workshop leader, Daniel Seiple, also has a proven track record of creating workshops, films and large-scales public projects in Berlin and around the world.

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    Pledge €10 or more About $12

    Shout out!

    When all is still and quiet, we'll shout your name from the middle of a lake. We'll make a recording and post it, so you can hear it too.

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    Pledge €25 or more About $29

    Boat Launch Party

    Invitation to the boat launch and christening! We'll break a bottle of champagne over the boat and sing songs of the sea! It will be momentous! Celebrate and mingle with workshop participants, the crew and other supporters. Tentatively scheduled for May or June 2018 in Berlin. We'll keep you posted.

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    Postcard Appreciation

    Can't attend the boat launch? We'll send you a postcard to express our gratitude!

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    Pledge €35 or more About $41

    Learn how to say Making Waves in Arabic

    A native speaker will teach you how to say "Making Waves" in Arabic – لنصنع الامواج. It sounds even more poetic. Please send us an email with the best way (Skype, phone, etc.) and time to contact you.

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    Pledge €50 or more About $58

    Your name carved on the boat!

    We'll carve your name with a knife on one of our hatches and call it the Hatch Club! It's not quite the Admiral's Plaque, but people will see it every time we open the hatch.

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    Pledge €50 or more About $58

    Captain's Hat

    A black Making Waves captain’s hat with our crescent moon/eclipse/motorboat wake logo.

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    • Boat launch party invite
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    Pledge €100 or more About $116

    Treasure Hunt

    It’s a surprise! A small treasure that we find on our excursions. We don’t know what we’ll find or what will strike us as treasure. But 100% guaranteed we’ll find something that you might like.

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    Pledge €100 or more About $116

    1-minute Boat Video

    We'll attach a camera to our boat and use it to shoot a short video for you. Bobbing up and down, fast ahead, landscapes approaching and receding, chasing a sunset, motorboat wake, boaters waving, partial conversations and who knows what more! Each video we produce will be unique and one-of-a-kind. We’ll send you the video as a digital file.

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    Pledge €175 or more About $203

    Ali Fitzgerald Print (Limited Edition)

    "I always thought of boats as classic backdrops for adventure stories. They were sites of daring maneuvers, great escapes, and impossible romance."

    We're thrilled to offer you a print by artist Ali Fitzgerald. She is a regular contributor to the New York Magazine and other publications. Read more about Ali our featured rewards.

    
Print details: Riso print on archival paper, 29.7 x 42.0 cm, 11.69 x 16.53 in

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    Pledge €200 or more About $232

    Beach Towel (Limited edition)

    Take it to the beach or hang it on a wall! It’s a limited edition! 'Making Waves' written in Arabic is screen printed across the front. It was designed by our very own Hiba Alyounes! You can choose between a colored towel or a black one. 140 x 70 cm (55 x 27 in)

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    Pledge €300 or more About $348

    Moving Landscape Drawing

    A blind contour line drawing of the passing landscape by Daniel Seiple. Sizes will vary (c. 35 x 25 cm (14 x 10 in)

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    Sunset Club

    Share a Berlin sunset and refreshments with one (or more) workshop participants on board the boat. If you can't be there physically, we'll arrange a Skype date.

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    Refugee Guided City Tour

    For those who prefer land... See Berlin through the eyes of a new Syrian arrival. Nafee Kurdy compares the conditions he left in Syria with evidence of how it was in Berlin during WW2. This walking tour weaves the past with the present as evidenced in Berlin’s architecture and Nafee’s experience. Tours can be scheduled throughout 2018. Location: Berlin-Mitte, Max. 20 people, Duration: 2 hours, Language: English

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    Pledge €400 or more About $464

    A spin around the lake

    Visit and join us for a ride! Feel the lake mist and wind in your hair as we transform the lake into a thrilling, high speeds landscape!
    Max. 1 hour, 6 people*

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    Pledge €500 or more About $580

    Boat of the Week (Overnight Cruiser)

    Available now until November 29!
    One of our top learning models! Six participants contributed to its construction. It is an Aeronaut Diva Cabin Cruiser with an all-wood construction. If you so desire, the cabin is removable, allowing you to install a motor, battery and radio control steering!
    58 x 18 x 16 cm (23 x 8 6.25 in)

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    Pledge €600 or more About $696

    1/2 Day Pleasure Ride

    Party cruise, fishing trip, lake tour, you name it! Our captain is on hand to assist and entertain. Music and a shrimp wheel included!
    Max. 4 hours, 6 people*

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    Pledge €1,000 or more About $1,160

    Sunrise to Sundown Pleasure Ride

    Early morning fishing trip, party at dusk and the world in between! Our captain is on hand to assist and entertain. Music and a shrimp wheel included!
    Max. 8 hours, 6 people*

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    Pledge €1,100 or more About $1,276

    Maiden Voyage (Yacht Club)

    Join us on board when we christen and launch the boat! You will be among the first to enjoy it. We will unveil the boat's name, break a bottle of champagne over its bow and sing songs of the sea! It will be momentous! Celebrate and mingle with workshop participants, the crew and other club members. There will be food from the lake, music, dancing and more. Tentatively scheduled for May or June 2018 in Berlin. We'll keep you posted.

    Includes:
    • Maiden Voyage & Boat Launch Party
    • Captain's Hat
    • Name engraved on the prestigious Yacht Club Plaque
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    Pledge €1,600 or more About $1,856

    East-West Berlin Tour (Yacht Club)

    Take an exclusive Berlin river tour, receive two invitations to our boat christening and other rewards. The full-day tour circles the city by connecting its many waterways! There is no better way to see and to be seen in Berlin. The will travel as far East as Treptower Park and as far West as Wannsee. It offers spectacular views of natural settings such as Peacock Island and passes by historic and downtown landmarks including Charlottenburg Palace, Federal Chancellery, Reichstag, Museum Island and Nikolai Quarter. Max. 6 people*

    Includes:
    • East-West Berlin River Tour
    • Maiden Voyage & Boat Launch Party
    • Captain's Hat
    • Name engraved on the prestigious Yacht Club Plaque
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    Pledge €2,000 or more About $2,320

    Model of our boat (Captain's Club)

    For joining the Captain's Club, we would like to express our gratitude with a signed, hand-crafted artist's model of our boat, an invitation to the boat christening and other rewards. We will keep you posted, so that you can see the construction of the boat, that will inspire your model. Each model will be unique. Estimated length: 25 cm (10 in)

    Includes:
    • Hand-crafted model of our boat
    • Maiden Voyage & Boat Launch Party
    • Captain's Hat
    • Name engraved on the prestigious Captain's Plaque
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    Pledge €2,500 or more About $2,900

    7-Day Boat Share (Captain's Club)

    The boat is yours for 7-days! Reserve it for a week or spread your days over the course of a season. You can call just 48-hours in advance to schedule. For multi-day reservations, we advise scheduling ahead. We’ll prepare the boat and fill the tank. A motorboat license (SBF) is required. If you don’t have one, our captain is at your service for an additional 200€/day. Fuel costs not included. Our season will run from June until October 30, 2018.

    Includes:
    • 7-Day Boat Share
    • Maiden Voyage & Boat Launch Party
    • Captain's Hat
    • Name engraved on the prestigious Captain's Plaque
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    Pledge €5,000 or more About $5,799

    Making Waves Film (Commodore's Club)

    A signed limited edition of the film “Making Waves: How to Build a Motorboat” by Daniel Seiple. It will veer between genres including documentary, how-to and adventure. It will offer insight into building a motorboat and explore the Berlin landscape through fresh eyes. It will include interviews, reflections and other unforeseen encounters! Estimated duration: 1 hour

    Includes:
    • Making Waves Film: How to Make a Motorboat
    • Maiden Voyage & Boat Launch Party
    • Open invitation for a spin around the lake
    • Captain's Hat
    • Your name engraved on the prestigious Commodore's Plaque
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    Pledge €7,500 or more About $8,699

    Name the Boat – Commodore's Club

    We'll give you rights to name our "baby" for 2-years with the opportunity to renew it in perpetuity for an additional one-time payment of 5,000€. The name that you choose will be displayed prominently on the side of the boat. We'll also present you with a certificate at the boat christening. (We reserve the right to decline any names we find offensive.)

    At the boat’s christening party, we will unveil the name! You and an entourage of three guests are invited VIPs. We’d also like to extend an open invitation to join us for a spin anytime, two captain's hats and beach towels, and your name prominently engraved on the Admiral's Plaque.

    Includes:
    • Name the boat
    • Maiden Voyage & Boat Launch Party
    • Open invitation for a spin around the lake
    • Making Waves Beach Towel
    • Captain's Hat
    • Your name engraved on the prestigious Commodore's Plaque
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    Pledge €400 or more About $464

    Boat of the Week (Fishing boat)

    Available now until November 22!
    This little wood fishing boat is entirely handmade. It’s one of our first. It was constructed from the imagination, without plans or pictures. A true gem!
    21 x 8.5 x 3.5 cm (8.25 x 3.25 1.25 in)

    Includes:
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    Pledge €550 or more About $638

    Boat of the Week (North Sea Cutter)

    Available now until November 15!
    No less than eight participants contributed to this North Sea Fishing Boat Cutter over the course of many workshops. It includes a fully installed battery-powered motor and propeller. So all you have to do is put in the water and watch it go! Cutters are most often used for coastal utility work. This model was assembled from a wooden kit, sanded and painted. The deck is removable allowing you to add radio control steering! 4-AA batteries required.
    49 x 17 x 35 cm (19.25 x 6.5 x 13.75 cm)

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