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House Project community- between art, politics and social activism - Liebig 14

5 days ago Liebig 14 - Berlin's alternative culture House Project was evicted by massive police forces 

 (more info: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/02/berlin-liebig-14-squat-evictio...)

The way that most newspapers chose to report about the subject, - over dramatization and mystification

cause me to bring this short article which describe some of my experiences living in this House Project.


 

House Project communitybetween art, politics and social activism - 20.8.2009

In the following article I will try to share with you a little about the alternative- anarchist social community life in Berlin. To be specific, I will write about the building I have been living in for the past two years in East Berlin - Liebig 14.

I arrived at the building by chance, through a friend; at first I didn’t even know it was a collective. I remember how surprised I was to discover that the residents of the building do not lock the doors of their apartments. Moreover, they use all parts of the building from basement to roof, staircases and hallways, for parties, screening movies, joint art work, exhibitions, lectures, meetings and discussions. Tenants are not fond of the meetings, but we all understand their importance and necessity. Usually we conduct a weekly meeting in which we make fundamental decisions regarding the management of the building, acceptance of new tenants, updates and reports from “action groups” which are in charge of executing decisions or ideas from the meeting. For example, a necessity rose to provide immediate protection against acts of violence by Neo-Nazi groups in the neighborhood. It was decided to arrange an emergency telephone that will be transferred between the buildings and everyday will be the responsibility of one member from the building. The phone has a list of all the numbers of the buildings in the neighborhood and we all have the phone number. In case one of us is attacked, witnesses an attack or needs help of any kind, all they have to do is dial the number and immediately all the listed numbers and representatives form the buildings are updated, the closest will arrive to assist the caller.

As you can assume the community believes in DIY- Do It Yourself. Organization in groups provides networks of individuals that share knowledge from different fields. One of concepts motivating that is the aspiration of independence, individually and as a group. It is a profound issue in groups of women who wish to break the patriarchal structure of society, in which they rely on men to carry out technical labors for them. A more specific example, today we held a free support workshop for users of  Linux operating system (a system developed by users for users with an open code, has accelerating popularity compared to commercial operating systems).

 

House Project - short film by Hilla Lavie.

 

A little about the tenants of the building

3 babies, 27 adults- men and women from different countries (Chile, Sudan, Israel, Germany, Morocco, France, Italy, England, New Zealand, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland) and different socio-economic background.

Generally dividing the community: one third is students (majority social workers), one third social activists and one third from art fields such as photography, editing and video. Mostly, no one is active in one field only, thanks to sharing of information and knowledge people cross over from field to field. The building itself serves as a shelter for immigrants. We all pay rent, usually at a fixed rate although in case of financial problems the rent is decreased, that is unless that privilege is misused…

We hold collective events to cover group expenses (such as legal issues with the land lord who is trying to evacuate the residents from the building, although while buying it he knew we are an active community. A different issue- how wealthy people and speculators shove residents out of their neighborhoods, read “Gentrification” at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentrification).

Last but not least, I will mention another issue (tomorrow I am required, voluntarily of course, to spend a few hours between pots and pans…).

The House and surrounding Area - 2007-2009 (Photos by Ran Ran). 

 

Communal Cooking  (Vokü)

Almost daily you can have a cheap meal at a different building (paying for it is not mandatory). The food will always be natural, it is sometimes made out of donations from the market at the end of the day or from Dumpster Diving (supermarkets throw away food that will soon expire or that doesn’t look good- damaged packaging etc.). Besides the idea of cheap food stands the concept of not throwing away useful things, breaking the cycle of endless flamboyant and harming consuming  (ecologically as well as morally) of western society.

Q: why did you decide to live at Project House?

B. from Sudan: “I found this project to be protective and supporting for immigrants. I am not alone here, I am among friends and I would even say, among family. I share at least a part of the ideologies with the people around me, and also important is the fact that this is a life style that enables existence even without means”.

 

"Opposite an alienated and materialistic society, in which

people operate as separate, isolated units in a rather mechanic

and suppressive manner, a society in which success is

achieved by stepping over and exploiting one another.

 The Collective stands for openness, mutuality

and objection to all forced obedience. 

Freedom that is based on individuals working together, and

not opposing each other, recognizing a social encounter's

importance and their privilege to be taking part in it, as it is

a necessity for every social or creative process"

- From Liebig 14 manifest.


The Eviction day - 2.2.11 and Solidarity Demonstration - 29.1.11 (photos by Ran Ran). 

 

Links: 

http://www.wix.com/liebig14/home

http://liebig14.blogsport.de

http://liebig34.blogsport.de

http://www.rosarose-garten.net

http://www.stressfaktor.squat.net

http://wba.blogsport.de

http://www.schwarzerkanal.squat.net

http://rigaer94.squat.net

http://squat.net/liebig34

http://rigaer78.org

http://tfa.blogsport.de

http://www.36fm.de

 

Liebig 14 leads to arguments in the Bundestag:

http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/liebig14-erreicht-den-bundestag/3...

- Politicians from all political groups in the German parliament arguing about

  the evacuation of Liebig 14.

 


 

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Very impressive material & art work coming from Ran Ran: I'm sad to discover it only now - I mean: with intellectual excitement - after the Eviction coup. 

Important: the links Ran Ran provides give us access to first-rate alternative blogs & web sites (a lot of them with english version). Fascinating stuff.

Thank you very much Henry. soon i hope to bring out more materials,
Can't let mainstream media determine the final image of this community,
as it's obvious most are just playing another patriarchal repressive role.


Weinstein Henry said:

Very impressive material & art work coming from Ran Ran: I'm sad to discover it only now - I mean: with intellectual excitement - after the Eviction coup. 

Important: the links Ran Ran provides give us access to first-rate alternative blogs & web sites (a lot of them with english version). Fascinating stuff.

Liebig 14

 

 

 

 

 

It hurts when you are evicted by Money

It hurts when you see Money means 2500 Polizisten

It hurts to read the News paid by Money

 

'cause it was not a Punk Haus, it was your Home

And you were only 25, and they were 2500

 

 

 

 

> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQV2GeHhKxY&feature=player_embedded

Interesting lifestyle you all had, making the most of what you had..

the right to housing is a basic human right incorporated in the international declaration of human rights signed an ratified by most "western" countries. Yet, unlike e.g. the right to education, food and medication which is up to a more or less reasonable degree seen as the responsibility of the state, housing and living space have become ore like commodities and are not at all seen as basic human rights.

The result of seeing is the view of housing as a commodity (instead of home בית the terminology of "real estate" נדל"ן is used ) as an economic asset. And the result is abominable, both in Germany and in the Middle East.

The right to housing has become a luxury to many.

A luxury they can no longer afford.

 

 

The housing market in China is very "real estate", too: here's a music video on the housing prices called "Sell"...

It has been a huge hit in China, and the video features different people imagining how long it would take them to buy

the same house: answers (and physical reactions to it) range from 5 days for a rich businessman to over 500 years

for a migrant worker...

 

Video with translation of the lyrics (see also in Related links "The Sound Of Rising Prices"...)

> http://chinageeks.org/2010/06/huang-zhengs-sell-music-video/


yuyume said:

the right to housing is a basic human right incorporated in the international declaration of human rights signed an ratified by most "western" countries. Yet, unlike e.g. the right to education, food and medication which is up to a more or less reasonable degree seen as the responsibility of the state, housing and living space have become ore like commodities and are not at all seen as basic human rights.

The result of seeing is the view of housing as a commodity (instead of home בית the terminology of "real estate" נדל"ן is used ) as an economic asset. And the result is abominable, both in Germany and in the Middle East.

The right to housing has become a luxury to many.

A luxury they can no longer afford.

 

 

 

Yes :), although i also felt there's a real need to base our life on positive values, what we did manage sometimes.

but among this community you can also find many which just criticizing the surrounding society without holding

almost any real alternative values/positive ones. 

 

I also don't totally share the terminology of anti-fascistic movements which holds same terms and look

as any army unit (you can find it a lot in Berlin). as much as i know for most of its years Liebig 14

project was like an alternative in the alternative community, otherwise i wouldn't been there...

 

Thank you for your comment. 

 


Aqua said:

Interesting lifestyle you all had, making the most of what you had..

"My Home Is Nowhere Without You", Herman Dune

> http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7adub_herman-dune-my-home-is-nowh...

 

http://www.megalopolismag.com/herman-dune-il-ny-a-pas-beaucoup-de-m...

Ran Ran said:

 

Yes :), although i also felt there's a real need to base our life on positive values, what we did manage sometimes.

but among this community you can also find many which just criticizing the surrounding society without holding

almost any real alternative values/positive ones. 

 

I also don't totally share the terminology of anti-fascistic movements which holds same terms and look

as any army unit (you can find it a lot in Berlin). as much as i know for most of its years Liebig 14

project was like an alternative in the alternative community, otherwise i wouldn't been there...

 

Thank you for your comment. 

 


Aqua said:

Interesting lifestyle you all had, making the most of what you had..

 

Politicians from all political groups in the German Parliament arguing about the evacuation of Liebig 14.

http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/liebig14-erreicht-den-bundestag/3...

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