City tours for women are interspersed with theatrical interludes to convey the content in an accessible way (image zvg/Agatha Glück).
The tours organized by the Frauenstadtrundgang Basel have been around for a good 33 years and are very popular. Behind the tours is a team of (former) students from the University of Basel, who convey the women’s history of the city to the participants.
Already at the end of 1989, the Frauenstadtrundgang Basel association was formed, and its tours are known and loved by many people today. Marian Cramm, co-coordinator of the association and a member herself for two years, tells me that not only are the public tours very well attended, but numerous private tours are also booked for school classes or team outings.
They are very happy about this, because after all they want to illuminate the history of Basel from the perspective of women’s and gender history and make it accessible to the participants of the tour (historical background is available here here great contribution) and thus carry on the legacy of the founders.
Society and its tours
The association was founded a good 33 years ago by eight historians and history students who organized the first tour on the occasion of the centenary of women’s studies at the University of Basel. The association now has 23 active members who all lead different tours.
However, participation in the association is no longer reserved only for students of history. Students of other disciplines who are interested in gender history can also actively join the association. The association brings together a wide range of expertise, for example from theology, social work or media studies.
Active members form groups of five or six to design new routes. You can find topics for this, for example, at seminars, lectures or seminar papers. The content for the tours is compiled and the texts and dialogues are written separately (how such a tour works is explained in this post read). Each year a new tour replaces the old one and the season opens with the premiere of the new tour. It is now possible to book 17 different themed tours.
This year, the association focuses on the topic of sustainability: on the new tour “Only cabbage and turnips on the periphery?” guides tell about the residents of Villa Merian, herbal medicine and leisure gardens, as well as the history of the Dreispitz area.
The members who lead the tours receive a small honorarium, gain a lot of experience and learn for their future life and professional career. Marian Cramm explains that there are regular coaching sessions and courses in acting skills, for example with theater teachers or with authors such as Anna Rosenwasser. The content of these courses is particularly important to deliver historical content to tour participants in as exciting, engaging and lasting a way as possible.
You can take many things with you into your future professional life. Conceptualizing a new tour is basically similar to working on a project in a company, Marian explains to me. Association members can contribute their own ideas at any time. Some of the tours are created in cooperation with other organizations.
The club is also a great place to socialize. You often meet students of your own study program who are already a few semesters further, so you can exchange ideas for the contents of your studies and support each other. The members of the association are also constantly in contact with the organizers of similar concepts from other cities and can draw new inspiration.
Participation in the club
If you are now interested in actively participating in the association, you can contact Marian Cramm at any time by e-mail or by phone (contact information). This is followed by an informal meeting, where it is determined whether the interested parties are suitable for the association and whether they can realistically imagine the work.
Marian assures me that applicants have almost never been turned down after this interview. If you would like to get involved, the doors of the Frauenstadtrundgang association are open to you.