Booklaunch “Spielclub. Kinder. Stadt. Geld.”

6 February 2024


nGbK, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 11/13, 10178 Berlin


Vivian Chan, Valeria Fahrenkrog, Joerg Franzbecker, Katharina von Hagenow, Claudia Hummel, Heather Purcell

Book presentation with Claudia Hummel, Valeria Fahrenkrog, Katharina von Hagenow, Joerg Franzbecker, Vivian Chan and Heather Purcell

From 1969 to 1972, the Spielumwelt working group existed in the nGbK. It wanted to develop a form of artistic practice critical of capitalism for and with working class children. Over the course of several months, artists worked together with young residents of the Kulmer Kiez in Berlin-Schöneberg to create an alternative to the promises of the toy industry. In the so-called Spielklub, a play city was created in which the mechanisms of capitalist business were to be experienced and thus made transparent.

In winter 2019/20, the principle was reactivated under the name Spielclub Oranienstraße 25 at the nGbK. Berlin school classes now played around the city in a replica of Oranienstraße in Kreuzberg. The focus was on current urban development issues, such as rent policy or participation in social change. The power of money always played a role.

This issue of the Berlin Journals—On the History and Present State of the City locates the historical play club both in the history of ideas of self-managed children’s republics and in the context of artistic-activist projects of the 1970s. The events at Spielclub Oranienstraße 25 are presented and reflected on in retrospect by the play leaders involved.

An evening with contributions by the editors Claudia Hummel, Valeria Fahrenkrog and Katharina von Hagenow, the authors and play leaders Vivian Chan and Heather Purcell as well as Joerg Franzbecker of the Berlin Journals.