Faith, Custom, Home
The origin of the marksmen´s clubs goes back to militias for civil defense in the Middle Ages. Their motto "For Faith, Custom and Home" is still written on their flags today. Every year they hold the "Schützenfest", an annual festival which lasts three days and consists of a church procession, marches through the village as well as honors and dances. The highlight of every festival is the shooting competition on a wooden bird to elect the annual King. Besides a few exceptions, most of these clubs and brotherhoods have strict rules, do not allow women as members and represent conservative Christian values. Growing up in one of these small villages and visiting the local marksmen’s festivals from childhood on has led me to reflect on my personal experiences with this tradition. From 2015 on, I visited 31 Festivals to question the contemporary exercise of this tradition.