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Reclaiming Workshop

public intervention, 2016

Related projects: Dignity / Dignidad and the Obra Social Manual.

The Reclaiming Workshop is an exchange of models and strategies on the relations between places, materials and performative actions that are produced in the context of reclaiming.

Link to event page

The workshop was initially developed for the Neighborhood Academy program of 2016, which focused on forms of collective learning. Located in the Prinzessinnengarten, an urban garden located around Moritzplatz, Kreuzberg, the Neighborhood Academy is a self-organized open platform for urban and rural knowledge sharing, cultural practice and activism. Die Laube, a three-story experimental treehouse is the headquarters for the academy, and which provides a space for self-organized, community-oriented and future-oriented learning. The Reclaiming Workshop took place with the participation of various grassroots initiatives and affinity groups operating with Berlin, connected by the fight for the right to the city, and strategies for reclaiming. We officially launched the event by hanging protest banners used by each of the participating groups on the façade of Die Laube, thereby designating it as a space for collective learning.

During the workshop, we introduced participatory models and methodologies for collective learning developed inside and outside of Berlin (Paris, Madrid) which exercise the collective power to reshape the process of urbanization (Harvey, 2008), by using community toolkits that combine online and physical interactions. The focus was an exchange and discussion of practical case studies, which provided the basis for the production of knowledge and ideological positions for grassroots political and social movements against property speculation and privatization of public space. We elaborated further on the case studies introduced within the workshop by collectively reading through manuals, manifestos, open letters, pamphlets and other materials produced by workshop participants in their ongoing fight for the right to the city, and strategies for reclaiming.

The public act of reading was the act of making public the physical artifacts of current activities, many times the only traces of a constant flow of activity that often goes undocumented. This event proposed that the public reading and exchange of these materials created a bridge for dialogue and collective knowledge, building up a public archive through the circulation of instructions and recipes for living.

Invited groups:

Stadt von Unten
Kotti & Co
Zwangsräumung Verhindern
Stille Straße
Bizim Kiez
100& THF
PAH / Obra Social

The Reclaming Workshop was created within the context of the artist research conglomerate of Synsmaskinenan inquiry into contemporary crises.