Berlin Summer of We-Trading

The Berlin edition of We-Traders. Swapping Crisis for City closed on Sunday 17. August 2014 with a lively finissage, including an open screen-printing session by RÜTLI-WEAR, a live performance of the KRISE workshop and a presentation by SHAREHAUS.
Over the last six weeks, We-Traders from Berlin, Lisbon, Madrid, Turin and Toulouse and more than 6000 visitors turned the exhibition into a busy marketplace of ideas for the transformation of our cities.
The exhibition now travels to Lisbon where the Open Call has already started, but its Berlin legacy remains: participants used the We-Traders platform as a testing ground for new ideas and a place to connect with initiatives from other cities. One exhibition visitor called her D.I.Y. catalogue a “perfect travel guide” to like-minded projects in Southwest Europe. Many told us that they left encouraged and inspired to carry on with their work.

This was the Berlin Summer of We-Traders:

Photos: (1) Sandra Le Damany, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien (2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12) Rose Epple (4) Angelika Fitz (8) Jörg Schirner (9, 11) Julia Förster, Goethe-Institut

19 August 2014 by Admin
Tags: Berlin

We-Traders edition Berlin celebrates half time

Since the opening on 3 July at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien nearly 3.000 visitors came to see the We-Traders exhibition in Berlin and to participate in diverse related activities such as workshops, panels and concerts. Until 17 August, the exhibition opens daily from 12:00 – 19:00 until 17 August, the entry is free. All Berlin dates can be found on the project website.

30 July 2014 by Admin
Tags: Berlin

23 – 25 July in the We-Traders exhibition: The Working Concert

Trading Room + City as Stage
Christopher Dell

© Klaus Meyer
Christopher Dell, Photo: Klaus Meyer

In three days, vibraphonist and architectural theorist Christopher Dell joins with musicians from five European countries to develop The Working Concert: Following public rehearsals as a negotiating process within the ever "working” We-Traders exhibition, the city becomes the stage for improvisation as urban praxis. Christopher Dell (DE) vibraphone, concept, composition, musical director; Pierre Borel (FR) saxophone; Antonio Borghini (IT) double bass; Christian Lillinger (DE) drums; Lucia Martinez (ES) drums; Jonas Westergaard (DK) double bass


Wednesday 23 July + Thursday 24 July, 15:00
Mode 1: Trading Room
In the exhibition at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien
* Free entrance

Friday 25 July, 19:00
Mode 2: City As Stage
At Kunstraum Kreuzberg or on Mariannenplatz (depending on the weather)
* Free entrance

More information about The working concert.

21 July 2014 by Admin
Tags: Berlin

The We-Traders Exhibition in Berlin is Open!

The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive programme of events. Activists from Berlin, Lisbon, Madrid, Turin and Toulouse share their expertise in performances, workshops and concerts. Come on by and become a We-Trader!

14 July 2014 by Admin
Tags: Berlin


© Photo: Eleonora Diana
© Photo: Eleonora Diana
Winning idea Open Call Berlin: Dream Circus by Daniele Catalli © Photo: Eleonora Diana

What do you swap? For what, why and, most of all, how?

Dream Circus
Daniele Catalli

In order to understand what I'd like to do in Berlin, I need to mention that I work with dreams, night-dreams specifically.
Dream Circus is the name of the touring project I've been working on since 2010, year when I started collecting and realizing people's dreams on paper. You tell me your dream, I draw it and somebody else will take it in exchange for their own dream.
I'm swapping dreams for drawings and drawings for other dreams.
I will bring dreams from other cities to Berlin and Berliner's dreams abroad.
The project has thus an exchange value that becomes the intrinsic value of the work itself: my dream is worth as much as another dream and vice versa. This causes a levelling of differences in age, gender and origin, which is the basis from which to learn the art of giving.
The project Dream Circus explores people's unconscious and puts it on stage, pulling out visitors’ innermost feelings.


    We-Traders in Berlin opening on Thursday, 3 July at 7 PM!

    © Photo: Eleonora Diana
    © Photo: Eleonora Diana
    Winning idea Open Call Berlin: Dream Circus by Daniele Catalli © Photo: Eleonora Diana

    It’s almost time. Following triumphs in Madrid and Turin, the travelling exhibition We-Traders: Swapping Crisis for City is now coming to the Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin. The exhibition will present 24 initiatives from five cities, four manifestos, nine expert diagnoses of the crisis and invites visitors to make their own diagnoses with do-it-yourself statistics. Our extensive event programme, which we developed together with the Berlin We-Traders and our guests from Madrid, Lisbon, Turin and Toulouse, will be given a boost by a number of local Berlin initiatives.

    Everyone is cordially invited to celebrate with us on 3 July from 7 pm! Visitors can print their own We-Traders fashion statement at the opening with RÜTLI-WEAR, or to try a taste of Berlin with Stadt macht satt.

    On Saturday, come and get to know the architects from Arteria in Lisbon and the Madrid activists of Campo de Cebada or learn the technique of fast composting with DIE BODEN SCHAFFT in the neighbouring TonSteineGärten.

    At PITCHING SOUTH – a joint event by Goethe-Institut and Instituto Cervantes – on Sunday 6 July, European networks will be expanded with co-curator Javier Duero from Madrid, Instituto Cervantes and many international guests.

    We are thrilled about our new item on the agenda: the Open Call winner for Berlin! In his project Dream Circus, Daniele Catalli swaps dreams for drawings and drawings for dreams. He will present his project in a drawing performance at the We-Traders Coffee Clash on Sunday, 20 July.

    You can find more information and all the dates on the We-Traders website and on the We-Traders Facebook page.

    27 June 2014 by Admin
    Tags: Berlin


      © Goethe-Institit Turin© Rose Epple

      Swapping bureaucracy for self-initiative
      Swapping industrial wastelands for vegetable gardens
      Swapping culture for context
      Swapping investor ruins for experimentation fields
      Swapping discards for re-use
      Swapping on-looking for acting

      We-Traders swap crisis for city.

      What do you swap? For what, why and, most of all, how?
      Join in and become a We-Trader!

      Express your trade in one photograph and one text (max. 1,000 characters in German or English) and upload it to the Community!

      The Community will vote and the idea with the most votes will be presented between 4 July and 17 August 2014 at the We-Traders exhibition at the Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin. The winner will be able to travel to Lisbon this autumn!

      Entry deadline: 20 June 2014 at 23:59 hrs.
      Voting deadline: 24 June 2014 at 12:00 hrs. Winner Open Call Berlin

      29 May 2014 by Admin

        Notes from the four We-Traders Forums in Lisbon, Madrid, Turin and Toulouse

        © Yukai Ebisuno & Raffaella Mantegazza
        © Yukai Ebisuno & Raffaella Mantegazza

        Everybody is talking about the crisis, but how is it actually manifested? Have cities changed? Where do We-Traders come from and what unites them? And how can these and other questions be negotiated by the 2014 travelling exhibition? In October 2013, the We-Traders community worked on this at forums in Lisbon, Madrid, Turin and Toulouse. Here are a few pickings from our notes.

        City and Crisis

        “The problem isn’t a capitalist economy, but a capitalist society,” is the diagnosis of sociologist Claus Leggewie at the We-Traders Forum in Lisbon. Maria João Guardão and Maria Tengarrinha from O Espelho see a political and a media crisis. They launched their wall newspaper “the day that Angela Merkel came to Portugal.”

        In their city, our co-curators in Turin, Lisa Parola and Luisa Perlo, identify not just the financial plight, but an acute identity crisis. Together with the urban geographer Carlo Salone they are warning about a “disneyfication” of culture in the light of the inflationary festival culture that post-industrial Turin is using to try and reinvent itself. At the Madrid We-Traders Forum, Santiago Eraso, one of those responsible for the 2016 San Sebastian capital of culture, calls for “anti-monumental activities.”

        In Madrid, the crisis is directly experienced mainly by young people who cannot find work. Those who create their own jobs cannot find affordable spaces due to real estate speculation. “I can’t afford a proper office in Madrid. If I had more space, I could create new jobs,” reports our co-curator Javier Duero.

        What are We-Trades?

        It is certainly not about interpreting We-Trades one-dimensionally as a reaction to the crisis. “We are tired of the crisis being presented to us as an opportunity; it would be better if there were no crisis,” says Lisbon geographer Jorge da Silva Macaísta Malheiros on behalf of many We-Traders. If at all, it was a missed opportunity says Davide Ziveri from Turin’s Buenavista Social Housing. “I thought now everything will be different with the banks.”

        “Are We-Trades reformist projects or do they want a change in the system?” asks Joël Lecussan from Mix'Art Myrys, while his counterparts in Toulouse from Bois & Cie quite pragmatically trust in their doer qualities. “Notre réaction, c’est l’action!” Frauke Hehl from the Berlin workstation initiative advocates continuing to hold the city responsible so that temporary solutions do not become permanent ones.

        “We want work that we enjoy and that makes us better,” is how the Walkinn Coop describes its motivation to found a We-Trade. Non-hierarchic alliances and fluid identities play pivotal roles – “We don’t ask who we are, but with whom we can enter a relationship” (VIC) – and collective authorship – “The author of Campo de Cebada is Campo de Cebada.” We-Trades put meaning before profits. “AMAP gave me back my pride in being a farmer. Now, we are feeding people, not markets,” says Alain Gatti of Le Potager de Camille.

        A crisis is the saddle point that decides the fate of a city, according to urban planner Sonja Beeck at the We-Traders Forum in Madrid. We are certain that at this point, We-Trades decisively contribute to the success of a city.

        24 October 2013 by Rose Epple and Angelika Fitz

          We-Traders Forum Toulouse

          © Angelika Fitz
          © Angelika Fitz
          Nils Simon of Initiative Möckernkiez and Rolf Novy-Huy of the trias Foundation attending the We-Traders Forum in Toulouse
          Nils Simon of Initiative Möckernkiez and Rolf Novy-Huy of the trias Foundation attending the We-Traders Forum in Toulouse.
          Copyright photo: Angelika Fitz
          17 October 2013 by Admin