It is obvious: the ruling order finds itself in a deep crisis. Everyone actually knows full well that it can’t go on this way. The political answer to the problem is the attack on society from above, fully in the sense of capital and profit: everything for the economy, nothing for people.
At least not for those who don’t enjoy the privileges of the ownership class. Social disintegration, wage cuts, precarious conditions at work and unemployment are the consequences that we get to detect.
Simultaneously, the city is sold on the cheap. Big construction projects, the renovation of residential areas and the reshaping of public space go together with an increase in rents, repression, and social control. The urbanism of modern times lets every life suffocate.
To free ourselves from the compulsions of the everyday. . .
Do we need to just take all that? No, on the contrary. There are many possibilities to intervene in this process through our actions and call the status quo into question. And we don’t mean by the walk to the ballot box nor the citizen’s referendum, for the fact that the Senate and its henchmen shit upon our opinion has been sufficiently demonstrated in the past.
We want to take as starting points more of the durable, self-organized structures, the sort that are springing up right now in many districts, so that people who are beset by the same problems can come together. We want to experiment with the possibilities in organizing everyday life differently. Beyond every authority and institution. We want to get to the bottom of what causes the problems in order to tackle them and take our lives in our own hands. In solidarity and self-determined.
We want to make the wretched concrete walls speak with posters, broadsheets and slogans, to invite the word which will otherwise not be heard. We want to take possession of the bleak open spaces and repurpose them as community gardens and places to meet one’s neighbors.
We want to fill the empty houses standing around with life and cross out the accounts of those responsible for repression. We want to rob the glass façades of the consumer world of their false sheen, blind the surveillance cameras and let the steam shovel at the luxury building site go on strike. We want to make the conditions dance.
. . . for the full repossession of our lives
Translated from the German by Charlie Bertsch. Photographed in Berlin by Joel Schalit.