“Niemand redet von der Revolution…

… in Berlin redet man von seinem ‘Projekt'”. No one talks about revolution in Berlin, they talk about their ‘projects'”.

Walking through Kreuzberg with a friend last night I loudly murmured once again how there seems to be so many youngish people, whom I lazily designated “middle-class leftie-alternative types”, apparently sitting around all day on these elegant streets, drinking coffee, producing nothing and talking about revolution. My friend answered as above.

We had just seen two projects. Both were on the Spree and both were cooperatives. The first, “Spreefeld”, is a complex of three new privately-owned blocks of flats built on communally purchased land. The whole complex is designed collaboratively with the architects (who also have a flat there), and each member designs the layout of their own flats as befits their purposes. The flats are modernist in style and built with energy-efficient materials. The blocks include office space (including the architects’ offices) and a large communal room with a kitchen. Frequently the members of the cooperative choose to eat or coffeedrink there instead of in their flats, allowing for a natural continued conviviality.

Right next to this plot is “Teepee Land”. Several Teepees and tents are pitched along the side of the Spree. There is a communal bar/kitchen and open air cinema. These Indians are camped openly but illegally on unused land, and they borrow electricity from the “Spreefelders”. They wash in the Spree and bury their “organic waste”.

Seen politically: Cul-de-sacs? Ghettoes? Both sustainable, these projects are perfectly harmless.

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