To have and to need…


Back in Turin we still keep on our conversations with the most interesting organizations involved in Berlin’s urban transformation.

Jochen Becker tells us about Haben und Brauchen, a heterogeneous platform for discussion and political actions and an open collective. The vocation of the group is not exclusively artistic, but more interdisciplinary (artists, curators, historians, critics, organizers and cultural-educational institutions are all active members). In fact, Jochen defines himself as a curator and an activist.

Haben und Brauchen arose on the occasion of a kunsthalle’s foundation, that was meant as a gift to the city before local political elections, but actually no discussion about its programme was started and shared. The main aim of the protest was underlining the unecessity of a new kunsthalle, comparing it with the urgence of structuring a more equal context for the already existent artistic production.

Some words from their manifesto in 2012: « The bustling art scene in Berlin evolved less through the specific support of the city and more through its historical situation. Nevertheless, at the very moment when the conditionsfor people engaged in cultural production are worsening dramatically, the city prides itself on its artists; and the attention is welcome – in principle. The view of how art should be fostered, however, stands in stark contrast to what culture-makers consider necessary. In our opinion, participants in cultural production today need, first and foremost, a safeguarding of their conditions of production and not necessarily a new art museum and other such solutions as have been proposed ».

From the beginning until now, the group has developed a wide network and a programme of debates, lectures and research on the city. Recently, they were very active on the Tempelhof area too (the former airport area reconsigned to the citizens after a referendum promoted by a group of activists Tempelhofer feld). This case was a rare demonstration of a new possibile way to define alternative policies on the common goods. Several “study projects” were started and not yet institutionally definied, but nonetheless they are a first sign of a possible shared city planning in collaboration with the municipality. At the moment Haben und Brauchen can count on the support of 20 people working and 70-80 active followers.


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