Berlin bleibt! #3

Werkstatt Mehringplatz

9.–27.6.2021 / Schaufenster Friedrichstraße 4

The struggle in Berlin continues: for affordable housing, for urban democratic coexistence, for a politics based on the common good. With the festival “Berlin bleibt!” in 2019, HAU brought the housing issue to the fore as one of the most important social concerns of our time, discussing visions for remunicipalisation with urban policy initiatives in the “Werkstatt zur Enteignung und Vergesellschaftung des Wohnens” (“Workshop on the Expropriation and Socialisation of Housing”). The momentum continued in April 2020 with “#KeinHausweniger: Werkstatt für die Selbstverwaltung von Berliner Haus- und Kulturprojekten” (“Workshop for the Self-Management of Berliner Housing and Culture Projects”) online at HAU3000, where various players drew to the importance of solidarity and autonomy in regards to affordable living and working spaces, accessible culture, protection against discrimination and strengthening neighbourly networks. In 2021, the focus will be on Mehringplatz in the immediate vicinity of the theatre. Part of the plaza could be transferred back into municipal ownership, yet it has remained a huge construction site (for ten years!) while its future is a big question mark and an urgent call to Berlin's urban policy.

With “Berlin bleibt! #3 – Werkstatt Mehringplatz”, HAU is further exploring how it can connect with its direct neighbourhood; how it can become more permeable, inclusive and process-oriented as a neighbour and a part of the city. So far, the “Werkstatt Mehringplatz”, in which artists work together with residents of different ages in workshops, have been able to take place online and on walks. The results of these first encounters and processes of art and neighbourhood will be on display from 9 to 27 June in the windows of a large vacant shop on Friedrichstraße at Mehringplatz – a visualisation of many invisible and immaterial connections, a gesture of engagement, an invitation for further collaborations and the official starting signal for a workshop set to become a festival in June 2022. Berlin is here to stay, and so is Mehringplatz, as more than just another spot in the city.

Supported within the framework of the Alliance of International Production Houses by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. 

Photo: Mehmet Can Kocak