Housing estates and the production of images of themselves

12 July–13 September 2020

Exhibition Series
Event Series

Place Internationale, Carola-Neher-Straße / Corner Maxie-Wander-Straße, 12619 Berlin


Marija Nemčenko, Anna Tüdős


Valeria Fahrenkrog, Caroline Wächter, Natalija Yefimkina

Project group station urbaner kulturen

Jochen Becker, Fabian Bovens, Eva Hertzsch, Margarete Kiss, Constanze Musterer, Adam Page

Exhibition series since May 2018

The visual arts and artistically informed urban research increasingly meet in the field of ›urban cultures‹. One way of exploring, experiencing and narrating urbanity and built space is through art. Large housing estates built between 1960 and 1990 are of particular interest for this field. Their scale is comparable to a small town – yet crucial urban functions such as culture and the arts are almost all located in city centers, not here. For this reason, large housing estates remain oddly foreign to many people in the city.

The exhibition project GOING OUT OF CIRCLES seeks to create new narratives and images capable of questioning the seeming homogeneity of housing estates and tracing their contradictoriness. How are stereotypes of a place formed? How are they attributed from the outside and accepted within the place? And can pictures of the periphery be created which do not impose an ›image‹ from the outside but rather create new circles in society through co-productions between residents and artists?


Berlin-Märkisches Viertel
AG Spielclub

Hungary, Lithuania, Scotland
Marija Nemčenko & Anna Tüdős

In the fourth part of the GOING OUT OF CIRCLES series, the situation of children and adolescents on housing estates are addressed. Young people shape public space on estates more than any other group. Their schools and youth clubs are centrally located amongst the housing. The estates’ outdoor areas are often generously spacious and seek to compensate for their small apartments. But what freedom can young people create for themselves, beyond the control of adults? How do they appropriate spaces on estates?

Since 2016, the station urbaner kulturen team have created an informal recreation ground with children and adolescents on the green space named Place Internationale. This has become a meeting point for young people in the middle of the estate, especially after dusk – and especially this year, when not just the neighbouring refugees’ summer holidays will be spent on the estate, but also most other young people’s.

As part of GOING OUT OF CIRCLES 4 this summer, two artistic positions addressing the theme of »children and adolescents on housing estates« will be exhibited on billboards. The AG Spielclub will show photographs of a playable model city built in 1971 by artists with and for children in public space on the Märkisches Viertel Estate in Berlin. Titled »Fest« (engl. Party), the model city functioned as a playful framework for young people to experiment for ten days outdoors on production, selling, monopolism and revolution.

Marija Nemčenko (artist, Kaunas / Lithuania and Glasgow / Great Britain) and Anna Tüdős (curator, Budapest / Hungary and Glasgow / Great Britain) will develop and build an artwork on the subject of play and movement during a residency on the green space in summer 2020. Two billboards will present their research project »BRUT Boredom. High-rises, emptiness and play« which deals with the utopian moments of so-called ›Brutalism‹ – one of international modernism’s building styles. »We understand boredom as a productive, creative state that is associated with play and experimentation, but also with leisure and emptiness.«


Thursday—Saturday, 9—11 July 2020, each day 14:00-17:00
Workshop »Let’s build this City«

Young people between 0 and 23 years of age will build models about their visions for the future of the green space called „Place Internationale“, using wood and cardboard. The visions will not be based on feasibility, but on creativity and imagination - on dreams, wishes and demands for the neighbourhood. At the end of the workshop at 5 p.m. on 11.7., the young people will present their models.
A workshop by Kinder- & Jugendbeteiligungsbüro Marzahn-Hellersdorf in HVD with the stage designer Caroline Wächter.

Saturday, 11 July 2020, 16:00
Start: Exhibition

  • Presentation of the results of the workshop »Let‘s build this City«
  • Installation on the Place Internationale: The victory column of Folke Köbberling, Valeska Peschke and the project group station urbaner kulturen will be toppled.

Presentation »Collection of material« (de)

Work by students from the Alice Salomon University Berlin will be presented as part of a collaboration with the station urbaner kultur’s research project »The Pampa lives - Hellersdorf as a large housing development yesterday, today and tomorrow«. The students spent ten months getting to know the neighbourhood and developed participatory projects using photography, video and audio. For the supervising professor Dr. Andrea Plöger, this was »exactly the right approach for ASH students to get closer to the borough by talking to residents in and around the station, and to understand more about the city, its history and its present«.

»The Pampa lives« is funded by the ›Socially Minded City‹ programme.

Saturday, 22 August 2020, 18:00
Talk »›Das Fest‹ [engl. Party] on the Berlin housing estate Märkischen Viertel in 1971«
Valeria Fahrenkrog (AG Spielclub, 2019-2020) talks about the ›Fest‹ [engl. Party] on the Berlin housing estate Märkischen Viertel in 1971 and about other activities by AG Spielumwelt (1969-71).

The »AG Spielumwelt« [»Play Environment« project group] existed at the nGbK (formerly NGBK) from 1969 to 1972. Its aim was to develop artistic practices with and for children, in order to raise critical awareness about the effects of capitalism. In contrast to the illusions often promised by the toy industry, children were given the opportunity to build a realistic play environment – a space where they could learn ways of handling the challenges of everyday life. A loft space was rented at Kulmerstr. 20a in Berlin-Schöneberg and artists and children from the neighbourhood met in this so-called »Spielklub« [Play Club] in order to build a model city. They built a bank, a theatre, a hotel, a shop, a kindergarten, a waffle stand, a photography studio, a wallpaper shop and a boxing ring. Money was printed – the ›Kulmer Mark‹. Every child and artist had a role in the so-called »Spielstadt« (Play City). Together they produced photos, TV reports and newspapers which reported on their activities. The artists also produced an educative, open-source manifesto.

In 1971, the »Spielklub« was invited to a theater festival in the high-rise estate Märkisches Viertel in the north of West Berlin. Children from Schöneberg, from Märkisches Viertel and artists built their »play city« on a piece of empty land on the estate. The »game« that was to be played there for ten days was called »The Party« . Again there was a bank, an employment agency, money and the ›Fort Monopoly‹, a kind of castle. The role of the fort’s commander was to become the boss in the whole »city«. At the end of the ten days, the fort was stormed by »the people«!

Saturday, 29 August 2020
»Cricket for women* and girls« (de)

Get Together and beginners course for women* and girls

This event is funded by the ›BENN – Berlin entwickelt Neue Nachbarschaften‹ programm.

»Cricket Festival« - Tournament with Berlin cricket teams (de)

Refugee men from Pakistan and Afghanistan have been playing cricket on the Place Internationale green space since May 2017. In collaboration with the station urbaner kulturen, they have transformed the former fallow land into an informal sports field including a cricket strip. In doing so, a ›Recreation Ground‹ has been created in Hellersdorf, a form of sports park which exists internationally, but is unknown in Germany. Recreation Grounds are large, freely accessible, council-owned recreational and sports parks. They originate from Victorian Great Britain’s commitment to to health and nature in urban areas as a human right. Cricket is played in Recreation Grounds all over the world.

Cricket is currently the fastest growing sport in Germany. Refugees from Afghanistan and Pakistan have driven a large increase in the number of players. The Hellersdorfer sports club ›AC Berlin‹ founded a cricket department in 2017 and now plays in the Regionalliga Ost. There are more than 300 cricket departments throughout Germany.

The tournament is funded by the ›BENN – Berlin entwickelt Neue Nachbarschaften‹ programm.

Talk »BRUT Boredom. High-rises, emptiness and play« with Marija Nemčenko & Anna Tüdős (de/en)

A talk with Marija Nemčenko (artist, Kaunas / Lithaunia und Glasgow / UK) and Anna Tudős (curator, Budapest / Hungary and Glasgow / UK) about their artistic research ›BRUT Boredom. High-rises, emptiness and play‹.

BRUT is a multi-fold project, encompassing artworks, public lectures, workshops and a publication. It investigates social, cultural and political perspectives on the utopian moments of so-called ›Brutalism‹ – one of international modernism’s building styles.
Debates about such topics as stigmatisation, demolition, aestheticisation, personal identities, public amenities and play areas have one thing in common: they are international and affect housing estates all around the world. »We believe that by getting to know each other’s stories, struggles and successes, we can look at our own direct environment with a fresh eye, and with a strong sense of solidarity« (BRUT Collective, 2020).

Saturday, 5 September 2020, 19:30
Film screening »GARAGENVOLK«

Director: Natalija Yefimkina, D, 2020, 95 Min

The director and other guests will be present.
In cooperation with metroZones – Zentrum für städtische Angelegenheiten

In the inhospitable Russian north beyond the Arctic Circle, between snow and concrete, fields of garages stretch to infinity. Here, on the outskirts of a town where a mining company is the only employer, everything can be found in garages except for cars. A few square meters become living alternatives, spaces of self-realization and refuge.

In sometimes bizarre scenes, the documentary GARAGENVOLK by the Berlin director Natalija Yefimkina tells the tragic stories of the lives of mostly Russian men who escape mafia structures and regulation-obsessed politics by turning to individualism, consumption and their own willfullness. The protagonists share their joys and worries and grant us an insight into their exemplary, hidden realities. In their garages they distilled schnapps, run illegal fishmongers, store goods, and retreat with their loved ones. The young, mobile people want to leave for Moscow or further away. The old dig deep or die.

Natalija Yefimkina filmed the documentary in Murmansk, Kirovsk and Apatity on the Kola Peninsula in Russia. She was born in Kiev to Russian-Ukrainian parents and moved to Germany with her family in 1995. After studying history and literature in Berlin, she worked as an assistant director and production assistant in feature film productions. After several short documentary works, GARAGENVOLK is her first long documentary.

The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, received numerous prizes and a personal letter from Werner Herzog. We are screening GARAGENVOLK before its official cinema release and we would like to thank the production, distribution and director for this opportunity.

Every Thursday + Saturday, 15:00-18:00
Coffee and a chat