Thursday, September 19, 2019, 7 pm
Mythos des Marktes (The Myth of the Market) I

Discussion with Daniela Brahm (artist, ExRotaprint, Berlin), Andrej Holm (sociologist, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Karin Lenhart-Roth (political scientist, Hochschule Hannover), Florine Schüschke (urban researcher, Berlin), Steffen Zillich (politician, Berlin)

How, of all places, was it possible that Berlin, the city of unlimited open spaces, came to experience an increase in rents and a shortage of affordable housing? After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the merging of the eastern and western parts of the city made spatial resources seem inexhaustible, but investor-friendly urban planning, real estate speculation and massive waves of privatization fostered an urban sell-off policy. For the present and the future, the following questions arise: How can the housing question be dealt with? How can the restored awareness of the social responsibility of property, as it is currently being discussed in politics and civil society, manifest itself?

The exhibition
1989–2019: Politics of Space in the New Berlin outlines the urbanistic and architectural development from the point of view of the supposed “end of history”: How did Berlin become what it is today? Projects realized especially for the exhibition exemplify various urbanistic policies and their consequences for today’s Berlin. They depict partly contradictory processes and narratives that to this day are superimposing and intensifying in Berlin as a constructed city. There is not only one Berlin, but many myths and ideas of what Berlin is supposed to be. The exhibition reflects the perspectives and myths of history, of the market and of creativity.

In the framework of an extensive discourse program, selective glimpses into the history, present and future of the city are supposed to sound out what the urban Berlin consists of today. Politicians, architects, urban theorists, artists and activists will be discussing the politics of space in the New Berlin: What to do about historically amnesiac ambitions? What is the current constitution of urban social movements, how can their relationship to party politics be apprehended in terms of emancipation? What kind of associations, planning approaches and architectures are needed to create a Berlin that is open and based on solidarity?


Daniela Brahm is a visual artist and a producer of usable space based in Berlin. From 1988 to 1995 she studied at Berlin University of the Arts (HdK) and has since exhibited her work in Germany and abroad. In 2004, together with the artist Les Schliesser, she initiated the project ExRotaprint on the site of the former Rotaprint factory in Berlin-Wedding. As co-founder and managing partner of ExRotaprint gGmbH, she has been part of its planning team since 2007. Brahm is active in the Stadt Neudenken (Rethink the City) initiative in Berlin and is a member of the Runder Tisch zur Neuausrichtung der Berliner Liegenschaftspolitik (Round Table for the Realignment of Berlin Real Estate Policy). In 2018/2019 she was a visiting professor for spatial strategies at Weissensee Academy of Art in Berlin.

Andrej Holm is a sociologist with a focus on urban and regional sociology and works at Humboldt University in Berlin. In numerous publications, he has addressed urban politics in neoliberalism and associated processes of revaluation and repression, a topic in which urban social movements play an elementary role. In addition to his activist and academic activities, Holm was state secretary of the Berlin Senate’s Department for Urban Development and Housing for a short time in 2016/2017, which he still advises today as a member of the advisory board for the city’s Urban Development Concept on Housing.

Karin Lenhart-Roth is a political scientist and professor at Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts in the Department of Social Work, where, in addition to social and human rights policy, she focuses on municipal and urban policy issues. A particular focus of her work is discrimination and inequality and approaches to political self-empowerment. She received her doctorate in 2000 from the Free University of Berlin (FU) with her dissertation on Berlin’s post-reunification urban development policy.

Florine Schüschke studied architecture at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). Her interest lies in the city and in the social and political conditions that enable non-profit-oriented urban development.

Steffen Zillich has been active in the German Left party (Die Linke) since 1996, and since 1991 (with some interruptions) he has been a member of the Berlin House of Representatives. In addition to the fight for civil rights and against right-wing extremism, his political focus is mainly on budgetary policy issues. Zillich is a member of the Berlin Senate’s main committee, where he continuously deals with the state’s real estate policy. Since 2015 he has also been a member of the supervisory board of the Berlin property fund.


In German
Free admission