It's this time of the year again: In Hohenroda, in the middle of Germany, the nationwide annual conference of little people took place. The meeting was organized by the Association of Little People and Their Families for the 30th time. Of course, like the last four years as well, the team of AUF AUGENHOEHE had to be there, too. In the following lines we would like to review the past weekend, the experiences and especially the great people. But before we go into details: What is actually a conference for little people and why is that even important? Similar conferences take place regularly around the world alongside other events for little people. For one thing, they provide an opportunity for women and men with dwarfism and their families to learn about new developments, to attend workshops and to exchange ideas. On the other hand, you meet many friends again, laugh, chat and dance together. All this can be felt as soon as you are out of the shuttle bus with one foot – the atmosphere is overwhelmingly positive. This year, the conference was very enriching again and anything but boring. The full program kept the team of AUF AUGENHOEHE working nonstop and every spare minute was used to absorb interpersonal input. Since so much happens in Hohenroda at the conference, Sema Gedik took one of her colleagues Natalia Wisniewski with her this year. the weekend started with a bright, critical and incredibly funny keynote speech by Ninia Binias on the topic of inclusion in our society. Ninia Binias is a writer, blogger, slam poet and also a little person. While everyone listened closely, Ninia spoke of her experiences as a pregnant woman, among other things. Comments from wild strangers like "Will the child also be a dwarf?" – "Well, lucky if not." or special treats like "Does the child even fit through there?" were not uncommon for Ninia. Just sharing such experiences creates a sense of alleyship. Shortly before her keynote speech, the team of AUF AUGENHOEHE met Ninia for a fitting so that they could make a fitting together. The goal is to make a YOU x AUF AUGENHOEHE piece for her to wear for future events. Sema and Natalia also contributed some program points over the weekend. On the first evening there was a pop-up shop installed, where the little women and men could check out selected pieces of the Spring Summer Collection 2019 or the tights for little people. Here the team has also elucidated in detail about the new ready-to-wear sizes, the origin story and the next steps. The rush to our pop-up was overwhelming - from.little and non-little people alike. AUF AUGENHOEHE produces and sells apparel and tights for little women and men. Equally, however, it is particularly important for the team to provide tips and tricks for the practical use of clothing in everyday life. In a sewing workshop, Natalia together with Johanna and Valentina, two members of the BKMF, showed interested attendees how to alter clothes easily. The fun about fashion and ensuring the right fit for little people, no matter the proportions, was the main focus. So trousers were shortened and tightened in the waistband, sleeve shapes were changed or leggings for little children made. At the same time, Sema met with the association's Scientific Advisory Board, which consists of specialized doctors. Sema had the opportunity to present the research work of AUF AUGENHOEHE and to get to know new potential project partners for the future. In between, the team met customers, talked about the current collection and the next steps during meals and took measurements from roundabout 30 little people in order to continue to improve the size of the clothing. This report could go on and on, but let's come to the highlight of the weekend in Hohenroda: The "Bunter Abend"! Here, for example, children's dance groups or the organizers performed small shows. It's about celebrating the conference for little people and all the participants and having fun together. In this context, AUF AUGENHOEHE made a fashion show with pieces from the new collection and a few classics. Everyone was thrilled with the coolness, professionalism and spontaneity of the models, so the fashion show was a complete success. The 500 or so people who watched the fashion show on the live stream on Instagram thought the same. In addition to all the experiences at the conference for little people, which have to do with the day to day work of AUF AUGENHOEHE, Sema and Natalia especially experienced the informal and unplanned get-togethers as particularly inspiring and enriching. Whether in the evening with a shared glass of wine or while eating breakfast: The little people and their families, who support AUF AUGENHOEHE from the beginning or completely new and believe in the vision, give a lot of strength and motivation. The conference for little people in Hohenroda was a highlight of the year and the team is already looking forward to being there again next year.
30. German Annual Conference of Little People 2019