In einem mit Kreide gezeichneten Kreis sitzen zwei Frauen und blicken auf eine dritte, stehende Frau. Die stehende Frau hält ein Schild hoch, auf dem "misplaced human?" steht. Eine der sitzenden Frauen macht mit dem Handy ein Foto von ihr. Im Hintergrund tanzen zwei überdimensional große Frauen miteinander. Ihre Hände zeigen elegant aufeinander. In der Collage befindet sich die im Kreidekreis stehende Frau genau in der Mitte dieser Hände. Ihr Oberkörper ist etwa so groß wie eine dieser tanzenden Hände.

Expanded Spaces for Encounters

In preparation for the yet-to-be-built lesbian and queer-feminist housing and cultural center of RuT gGmbH, we experimented since 2022 with cultural offerings that “queer” the neighborhood where the center is going to be built, Karl-Marx-Allee near Kino International (for more information on that see footnote 1).

Based on the experiences and impressions gathered in the process, I have conceived this project for a collective research on urban encounters (see footnote 2).

The research questions include:

How honestly and directly do we encounter each other? How do fixed thought structures loosen? How can hardened fronts depolarize? What can we contribute in order to shape an inclusive society together? And last but not least, what answers can be found to these questions in artistic-performative practices?

On Saturday, October 7, 2023, the neighborhood research of the participating artists Alice Chauchat, María Ferrara, Rike Flämig, Kollektiv TILT (Tamara Rettenmund and Türe Zeybek) and Tanja Ostojić will culminate in five artistic and performative “expanded spaces for encounters” between 2 and 8 pm.

From very different perspectives, unusual forms of urban participation are invited, from heart-warming, spine-strengthening exchanges of experience to activating leaps of thought and other pirouettes to a “social dancing” that is as philosophical as it is somatically perceptive.

For more details, see the program —> pdf download here

The first inclusive, intergenerational lesbian housing project and queer feminist cultural center in Germany has been planned for many years by RuT – Rad und Tat Berlin gGmbH.
Now it is finally being built, in cooperation with the municipal housing company WBM
near Alexanderplatz, next to the City Hall Mitte and Kino International at the U-Bhf Schillingstraße.

The house is to become a meeting place for exchange and living community. It is our concern that this lesbian living and cultural center does not land like a UFO in the new neighborhood. So we began a cultural mediation process even before the building was completed. With a series of queer-feminist cultural offerings – workshops, walks, networking meetings – we sounded out local interest and need. In doing so, we sought direct exchange with the neighborhood as well as with women* associated with RuT and the housing project.

This work was made possible in 2022 and 2023 thanks to process funding from the Fonds Soziokultur (the federal fund for socioculture) with funds from the BKM as part of NEUSTART KULTUR, as well as funding for Freiwilliges Engagement In Nachbarschaften (FEIN pilot projects) from the Berlin Senate. In 2022, this work was also supported by the Hannchen Mehrzweck Foundation.

In 2023, thanks to a grant from the Berlin Project Fund Urban Practice and the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion, we were be able to build on this experience with this series of participatory urban performances by queer-feminist artists with the site-research-based, process-oriented project “expanded spaces for encounters”.