In February 2017, together with a group of fellow commoners from Italy, we visited three different project spaces in Berlin. This research trip was connected to QuerciaLAB and the people we took with us are all working with refugees in Italy. The excursion had the aim of gathering information and inspiration from projects that are similarly oriented towards creating situations and spaces in which people who fled (in German there is the very appropriate term “Geflüchtete”) can develop and pass on skills, while getting in touch via common activities such as gardening or cooking with local inhabitants, thus fostering a process of re-subjectivation and deconstruction of stereotypes.
Die Gärtnerei is a social gardening project initiated by the cahrity Schlesische 27 and the architecture collective raumlaborberlin. It is a community garden on a former graveyard (!) that local inhabitants and 4-5 refugees at a time contribute to with their work.
Allmende Kontor is also a community garden that has been evolving on a portion of the land where there used to be the Tempelhof airport. The huge airport building is now used as a refugee schelter where thousands of asylum seekers are hosted, and some of them participate in the gardening activities.
Über den Tellerrand is a “Kitchen Hub” that started out as a collaboration between an association in Berlin-Schöneberg and the CoCoon designbuild studio of the TU Berlin / faculty of Architecture. The space now hosts a variety of cooking events and has a mixed economy made of public funding and self-funding by selling cookbooks or cooking classes.