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Carnival in Beckum

Exhibition design & realization
Beckum City Museum, 2005

An interactive stand invites you to undertake a journey through the history of the foolish and festive Beckumer Carnival. Fourteen enamel plaques of the historic Carnival Prince’s chain can be selected, which recount, in the regional dialect, typical shenanigans, foolish pranks, and other forms of Carnival tomfoolery. Songs and stories are visualized by clownish animations. The backsides of each enamel plaque reveal ethnographic background information – because Carnival is also always a serious matter: “Give me a – give me a – give me a sausage!” has been sung by the Beckumer brotherhood of construction workers apprentices during a certain ritual for 500 years: on Carnival Monday – early in the morning, before the Rose Monday parade – they go from house to house and collect sausages and eggs for one last feast before the beginning of Lent.

A video installation containing a collage of the first film documents up to the 70s shows the Beckum Rose Monday parade over the years. The film about the 1913 Beckum Carnival is one of the oldest Westphalian film documents. Running on three monitors, time lag historical sequences invite you to sway and sing along:

Rumskedi, how beautiful life is,
Rumskedi, could we be even better off?
Let the carnival cry resound:
Well, here we are again! Ahoy-AHEY!

Despite being a cheerful event, even Carnival has a dark side: video footage reveals anti-Semitic invectives at a Rose Monday parade in the mid-1930s.

For more information: Stadtmuseum Beckum

“Carnival”-room in the city museum in Beckum with a confetti-sprinkled floor
Tomcat “Rumskedi”, mascot of the carnival in Beckum
Interactive “Bütt” (speaker’s platform) with a historical chain, the traditional accessory of the carnival prince
Film installation with historical footage of the carnival processions in Beckum