Common Research & Urban Activism
Artist's position on and in urban struggles in Berlin

Jochen Becker was talking about the position of an artist in a recent struggle concerning the shape of Berlin’s urban policy.

An urban-cultural researcher, author and curator, Becker engages himself in and comments about the activities of numerous urban movements. He supports migrants’ rights and parliamentary interventions of tenants’ movements concentrated around the “Kotti&co.” initiative. Moreover, he is an active member of the informal collective “Haben und Brauchen” (to have and to need), which gathers artists and other culture producers from Berlin in the effort to retain common urban goods, particularly in the cultural sphere. Furthermore, he supports the initiative that led to a referendum, which in turn led to the rejection of the plans to develop an abandoned Tempelhof airport. The aim of the movement was to fight for the space to be devoted to grassroots activities of the residents.

In their manifests "Haben und Brauchen" indicates an ambiguous role of culture producers in the process of economic transformation that is taking place in Berlin right now. On the one hand, artists create the atmosphere of an informal European capital of culture, increasing its attractiveness and positively influencing the land value. On the other hand, they often become victims of these processes, being pushed out of ever more expensive districts. Despite their significant role in urban transformation processes, the needs of culture producers remain neglected by the urban policy.

Starting from such an involved position, Becker argues for the necessity to change Berlin’s urban policy. In his own words: “With the vote for leaving the Tempelhof airfield unbuilt, with the multiple refugee fights, with the parlamentary intervention of the mixed tenants initiative „Kotti & Co“ or the artists driven initiative „Haben und Brauchen“ countering the exploitation of urban cultural commons, there’s a deeply felt need to change politics in Berlin. No more master-planned city, but a need for bringing the diverse actions, needs and projects together, forming an urban commons.

See also:

Other archival events from that cycle:

18:00 Lecture Common Research & Urban ActivismArtist's position on and in urban struggles in Berlin Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Emilia Pavilion
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Meeting Diffusion of the ScenesA meeting as a part of the series: Artist as an urban being: occurence, habits and policy Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Emilia Pavilion
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
12:00 Meeting THEY TEACH ART HERE. THE ATELIER FOUNDATION Foksal Atelier
ul. Foksal 11 (II piętro), Warsaw
20:00 Film screening MinoTAur Cinema „The Blood of a Poet” ("Le Sang d'un poète") directed by Jean Cocteau Workshops at Inżynierska Street
ul. Inżynierska 3, Warsaw
18:00 Meeting Working Artists Fear No Work, Don’t They?Discussion held by „Szum” magazine Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Emilia Pavilion
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
20:00 Film screening Artists Online: Rajkowska, BaumgartA film programme Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Emilia Pavilion
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Lecture The Academy and the Corporate Public. Research, bohemia and self-organization.A meeting as a part of the series: Artist as an urban being: occurence, habits and policy Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Emilia Pavilion
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Meeting The Teeth of the ArchiveA presentation on Political Art Documentation/Distribution or PAD/D (1980-1988), REPOhistory (1989-2000). Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Emilia Pavilion
ul. Emilii Plater 51, Warsaw
18:00 Meeting THE MISSING NAIL Meeting with Katy Bentall Avant-garde Institute
Al. Solidarności 64 m. 118, Warsaw