E-Book: We-Traders - Learning from Urban Practice

(c) Rose Epple
(c) Rose Epple
Photo: Rose Epple

We Traders – Swapping Crisis for City is an exhibition project of the Goethe-Institut that gathered 30 activists promoting urban change in Madrid, Lisbon, Turin, Toulouse, Berlin, and Brussels from 2012 until 2015; it was curated by Rose Epple and Angelika Fitz. This e-book combines theory and practice of this current urban culture of collaborative place-making and asks questions about its potential for the future.

Publisher: Goethe-Institut
Co-publisher: Angelika Fitz and dérive - Urban Research

Concept, Editing and Production: Christoph Laimer, Elke Rauth / dérive - Urban Research,

With contributions by:
Julia Albani, Leonie Baumann, Sonja Beeck, Santiago Eraso Beloki, Charlotte Bonduel, Javier Duero, Rose Epple, Angelika Fitz, Julia Förster, Alain Gatti, Stéphane Gruet, Frauke Hehl, Susanne Höhn, Rolf Novy-Huy, Common Josaphat, Elke Krasny, Jessica Kraatz Magri, Christoph Laimer, Andreas Novy, Lisa Parola, Luisa Perlo, Elke Rauth, Marco Revelli, Matteo Robiglio, Stavros Stavrides, and Chloé Viénot

Editor: Sabina Prudic-Hartl
Translations: Karin Khafaji, Joachim Noob, and Leonhard Schmeiser

Design: Rose Epple,
E-Book Programming: Scott Alexander / Ring eBooks, Berlin,

Free e-book download in English:

Apple: iBooks for iOS or Mac (free download in the iTunes or Mac App Store)
Download e-book for iOS (with video) (epub, 193 MB)
Download e-book for iOS (without videos, online version) (epub, 43 MB)
[Download free iBooks Reader App]

Download e-book for Android (with video) (epub, 217 MB)
Download e-book for Android (without videos, online version) (epub, 53 MB)
[Download free Gitden Reader App]

© CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International
This publication is licensed under Creative Commons 4.0 International and may be distributed under the following conditions:
- Attribution: You must give appropriate credit (Goethe-Institut /
- Non-commercial: You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
- No Derivatives: If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material. The distribution may only occur as a whole. The publication of individual parts thereof are dependent upon prior written approval by the publisher Goethe-Institut.

13 April 2016 by Admin

    We-Traders finale and aftermath

    © Goethe-Institut

    Goodbye BOZAR © Goethe-Institut
    Goodbye BOZAR
    Hello Cultureghem © Goethe-Institut
    Hello Cultureghem

    On Sunday 12th of April the last of six We-Traders exhibitions was dismantled for good at BOZAR, but the We-Traders spirit will continue.

    We are very happy to announce that the association Cultureghem in Brussels will upcycle the exhibition elements for their activities such as KOOKMET and COLLECTMET at the Abbatoir Market. Thus the We-Traders exhibition which was originally conceived as a market place will find its way back to the heart of the city!

    The We-Traders experience of the last three years cannot be expressed in numbers. However, we would like to share some of them with you:

    • 30 We-Trades from Madrid, Turin, Berlin, Lisbon, Toulouse and Brussels and even more collaborating initiatives exchanged their projects, experiences and challenges in the We-Traders exhibitions and fora throughout Europe.
    • More than 300 people including We-Traders, curators, team members from the Goethe-Institut and partner institutions were actively involved in the making of We-Traders.
    • 1,100 members joined the We-Traders Open Call online community.
    • 47,000 exhibition visitors in the 6 cities joined us in “Swapping Crisis for City” and are hopefully inspired to spread the seed and make it grow.
    We now published all We-Traders exhibition films from Madrid, Turin, Berlin, Lisbon and Toulouse online. You can find them in six languages in the We-Trades section on our website.

    Currently a We-Traders eBook is being edited in collaboration with the magazine for urban research dérive. In October 2015 you can discover and download this manual for We-Trading as urban practice on this website!

    Thanks a lot to all of you! We are very much looking forward to future encounters.

    For the We-Traders team:
    Susanne Höhn, project director
    Julia Förster, project coordinator
    Angelika Fitz and Rose Epple, curators

    15 April 2015 by Admin

      The We-Traders arrived in Brussels

      © Hanne van Reusel

      The “We-Traders” project considers citizens as central players in the future of cities. It creates bridges between initiatives based in Madrid, Turin, Berlin, Lisbon, Toulouse and Brussels.

      In Brussels, the exhibition We-Traders. Swapping crisis for city! looks at five local projects that propose, each in their field and in their own way, to exchange the crisis against a constructive urban project: CanalPark BXL, Commons Josaphat, Community Landtrust BXL (CLTB), The Brussels Poetry Collective und w-o-l-k-e. The initiatives participating in the exhibition will also organise workshops from March 5 to April 12, 2015 at BOZAR.

      Already during the opening on Wednesday 4 March 2015 at 6:45pm, you will be invited to a screen printing workshop with Rütli-Wear from Berlin, to play the "Mobile Pétanque" with Canalpark BXL and to follow the writing of a poem by the Brussels Poetry Collective.

      For further information you may visit the website of Goethe-Institut Brussels (in German).

      © Hanne van Reusel
      © Hanne van Reusel

      On 25th January 2015 the voting for the open call "What yould you do with a 100 m² in Brussels?" ended, and the online community chose BAZAAR FESTIVAL of Hanne Van Reusel as the winning idea which will be shown at the exhibition from 4 March.

      3 March 2015 by Admin

        Brussels goes We-Traders!

        © Julia Förster

        The journey through Europe is not yet over – after Madrid, Turin, Berlin, Lisbon and Toulouse, you can meet the We-Traders in Brussels on 4 March! At the Center for Fine Arts Brussels (BOZAR), five Belgian initiatives will feature amongst the 25 We-Traders ventures to date and will show how crisis can be swapped for city in the capital of Belgium and Europe.

        © Julia Förster
        We-Traders workshop at the Goethe-Institut in Brussels on 13.1.2015 (photo: Julia Förster)

        Preparations for the extension of the exhibition are in full swing. The We-Traders workshop took place on 13 January at the Goethe-Institut Brüssel. The Brussels activists from CanalPark BXL, Commons Josaphat, Community Landtrust BXL (CLTB), The Brussels Poetry Collective and w-o-l-k-e drew up the content, programme and open call question for the latest exhibition event in cooperation with the curators and teams from the Goethe-Institut and BOZAR and the urban planner Eric Corijn.

        The five initiatives will be presented in all seven languages on the We-Traders website from February. Until then it’s “Ruil crisis voor stad” as the site is already available in Dutch, an official national language in Belgium alongside French and German.

        The Brussels open call on the question of “What would you do with 100 m² in Brussels?” starts on 26.1.2015. You can register on the We-Traders community now in order to upload your idea from 26 January.

        23 January 2015 by Admin


          © Foto:Frédéric Malenfer
          © Foto:Frédéric Malenfer
          © Frédéric Malenfer

          The Toulouse Open Call is closed: the community chose CANALDATA by Urbain, trop Urbain as the best idea. Canal du Midi + Open Data = CANALDATA! is the formula on which the idea is based. Each interested inhabitant of Toulouse takes care of 10 m of the Canal du Midi crossing the city: green spaces, urban furniture, artistic interventions and many more activities are possible. The interventions will be presented and connected through an open data platform. A one-day festival will be the opportunity for testing and celebrating together.

          More information on this idea and a varied program on “Swapping Crisis for City” can be discovered in the We-Traders exhibition in Toulouse! The opening takes place on Thursday 13 November at 18:30 in the premises Centre Méridional de l’Architecture et de la Ville (CMAV).

          More infos and dates can be found on the website of the Goethe-Institut Toulouse and the We-Traders Facebook-Page.

          Download Programme We-Traders Toulouse 

          11 November 2014 by Admin

            Retrospective “We-Traders Lisbon”

            © Foto: Francisco Jorge Nenclares
            © Foto: Francisco Jorge Nenclares

            On November 2nd the exhibition We-Traders Lisbon closed its doors, with the youth orchestra Camerata de Cordas da Orquestra Municipal Geração da Amadora being the highlight of the closing night with a delightful and passionate concert, the young musicians entertained the audience with their interpretation of classical and contemporary pieces.

            From the 3rd of October till the 2nd of November, We-Traders Lisbon offered a wide range of creative events. Hundreds of visitors and the project team came to see the exhibition, and also had the opportunity to actively participate in the many local events.

            With workshops, public debates and presentations We-Traders Lisbon introduced following projects: O Espelho, A Linha, Agulha num Palheiro, BIP/ZIP and the fun community kitchen Cozinha Popular da Mouraria. We Traders from Toulouse and Torino presented the projects AERA / Le potager de Camille and Il Piccolo Cinema, and the audience got to enjoy various other activities and presentations revolving around the topics of urban intervention, community work, recycling and integration/diversity:

            A presentation by Prof. Roque Amaro, ISCTE, about Social and Solidarity Economy; a workshop about Eco Design by "Projecto REMIX", the Banco do Tempo (Time Bank) by GRAAL. The topics Public space and Democracy were addressed during an evening curated by Artéria. Guest speakers Susana Ventura and Patrícia Santos Pedrosa discussed how education, tools and rules have an impact on today´s public space. Also part of the program was the Urban art and architecture project -Integration and transformation presented by Prof. António Lima, FAUL; BIP/ZIP-ing with Miguel Brito and 2 de Maio todos os dias, Casa do Vapor, Projecto Remix, Patio Ambulante: What kind of public Space promotes social cohesion?; Stéphane Gruet, co-curator from Toulouse who joined for a talk on SOUS LA VILLE, LA CRISE! A socially very relevant EU project presented by Hugo Cardoso from the Loures City Council, Communication for Integration "C4I", The theater group Teatro IBISCO followed by a presentation of ABOTA (Neighborhood Actions for Work Opportunity and Autonomy) underlining the rich cultural diversity of Portugal's Capital; "Adventure in the City" a project by Associação ARISCO aiming to improve health and to promote better social integration, the poetry workshop with Poetas sem Rede and the Open Call winners Dream Circus from Berlin and Patio de Dom Fradique from Lisbon presented their Projects.

            The Goethe-Institut in Lisbon (Claudia Hahn-Raabe, director; Adriana Delgado Martins and Karina Müller, local coordination) and the co-curator Julia Albani thank everyone involved but most of all the public and the Facebook community!

            Here a few impressions from the exhibition:

            Photos: Francisco Jorge Nenclares

            11 November 2014 by Admin
            Tags: Lisbon