• alte torfstich am maxsee: herb and plant identifications tour 14.05.22 09uhr

    'Eisheiligen - Kräuter und Pflanzenerkennungstour'


    09uhr:  breakfast exchange
    10 uhr:  los!  zusammen mit doreen katerbau (czentrifuga)


    canoe fahren!
    jekami musik!
    .... ?

    hally gally!

    bringt etwas / mach mit! x

    in memorium of S.A.T.B. co-initiator Caro Smart a.k.a. Sexy Rubber Soul



    Saturday, May 14, 2022 - 09:00 to Sunday, May 15, 2022 - 21:30
  • 10.12 16uhr: Auktion @ K.V.U. fur das Unterdruck Nachtcafe 2021 / 2022


    (english & links below)

    die jährliche Spende-Deine-Kunst-Aktion der Czentrifuga für Obdachlose Menschen.

    Soliaktion für Soziale Wärme - AUKTION | 10.12.2021 ab 16 Uhr in der KvU. ***2G Event***

    Czentrifuga will Geld für das Nachtcafé von Unterdruck e.V. machen.

    SPENDE deine Kunst!
    ÜBERGIB FEIERLICH an die Auktionäre.
    KOMM zur Auktion in die Kirche von Unten KvU Storkower Str. 119

    •Schick uns dein Werk vorher als JPG an czentrifuga@posteo.de
    •Bring es zur Czentrifuga oder zu Serigrafeur. Wir geben dir die Adressen und Öffnungszeiten per Mail bekannt.
    •Wir stellen einen Katalog online
    •Wir verkaufen die Kunstwerke auf der Auktion
    •Wir sorgen für Unterhaltung
    •Komm vorbei und bring deine Freunde mit!

    mehr infos und direkt link zu unserer "unter-druck better place" spenden portal


    SOLI ACTION FOR SOCIAL WARMING AUCTION | 10.12.2021 from 16hr at KvU. ***2G event***

    Czentrifuga wants to make cash for Unterdruck's Nachtcafé.

    Donate your art.
    Buy art.
    join us at the auction at Kirche von Unten KVU Storkower Str. 119

    HOW TO
    •Send it as JPG to us beforehand to czentrifuga@posteo.de
    •Bring your work to Czentrifuga Ateliers

    or to Serigrafeur

    We will give you the coordinates and opening hours via email.
    •We compile a catalog online
    •We sell the artworks at the auction
    •We do entertainment
    •Come by and bring your friends!






    Kirche Von Unten (K.V.U.) https://kvu-berlin.de/




    Friday, December 10, 2021 -
    16:00 to 22:30
  • Step Across the Border - Video Links


    "la cabane" compagnie peanuts documentary  by mohamed ali ivesse.

    translation by minnie griffith


    "scapegoat"  satb workshops and meeting film by renate rey





    "queer punk health creation week" film by renate rey







    "herb & plant recognition" workshop at farm collective bienenwerder 2017 - "green thursday soup"


    "herb & plant recognition" workshop at farm  collective bienenwerder 2017 - "schafgabe"






    unter druck theater at czentrifuga final satb event . video / translation by sarah cowell




    Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 23:30
  • l'embobineuse & compagnie peanuts present "la cabane" a film by mohamed ali ivesse


    "la cabane"   by mohamed ali ivesse

    featuring compagnie peanuts  &  philippe zunino

    made at l'embobineuse & belle de mai  marseille 2018

    part of the  compagnie peanuts theater project "scapegoat" & the erasmus plus supported, educators initiative "step across the border"

    english subs by minnie griffith & ana servo




    Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 21:00
  • Report: Step Across the Border - Return to Berlin 16 April - 22 April 2019


    This final SATB main meeting served to consolidate the various threads and themes adressed in the project as well as a further opportunity for the exchange of techniques and skills ranging from medicinal herbal and plant recognition to sound movement/meditation, theater and printmaking workshops, whereby staff learners and clients would work together to create a final exposition to present before a public audience, as well as consolidating the SATB network including peer organisations, clients and public with whom SATB has encountered´over the last 2 years.The weeks activities began at Premarts Galerie, situated near Gorlitzer park which is a meeting point for African refugees, many of whom who are prohibited from legal work and therefore remain in a kind of limbo and which has also sparked some controversey.The group visited the park and invited people to the nearby gallery.


    TNH director Caro Ophis Smart spoke about her own personal story of living with and self treatment of breast and lymph cancer over the last 15 years (documented on her blog Cancer Guinea Pig ) and how that has a direct effect on her compassionate grassroots voluntary work. Caro has been a creative and educational force since the late 80s on the London D.I.Y. LGBTQA+ scene(s), is a passionate advocate for the therapeutic use of sound. Caro co-founded the Women’s Autonomous Nuisance café, a London based DIY, vegan, community resource and place of edutainment and conscious raising,organised nomadically in squats and autonomous spaces from 2000 to 2012 and which was featured at the London exhibition "Queer Spaces: London, 1980s –Today" at the Whitechapel gallery. In 2016 she spent some time volunteering for Refugee Community Kitchen (RCK) in Calais and Dunkirk which catalysed an urgency to engage with refugees needs and look for ways by which she and her allies could help. TNH was set up as a formal UK community interest company with the idea to help people „re-find their inner compass through the healing arts“ in order to navigate difficult situations including mental and health diagnoses. John Moulden also gave a summary and presentation about SATB, its activities and achievemnents so far.



    The group travelled 30 km eastwards to Wiesenzirkus Bunterhund in Ruedersdorf and which is a women organised cultural space that seeks to integrate people with special needs and other marginalised groups, including refugees, in a socio cultural, creative context. Many activities are sponsored by Lebenshilfe e.V. and the space includes a discussion area, theater stage and guest wagons. This was the SATB homebase for the next 3 nights and from here, the group where able to visit other local culture projects which combine to make up a regional network. Activities here included an introduction to the project by coordinator Christina followed by a presentation of the new Compagnie Peanuts film followed by discussion and ideas exchange on the theme of using theater as a vehicle to engage with marginalised individuals/groups.The following day the group made a medicinal herb and plant recognition tour with local expert Doreen and Rasheeqa Ahmad (TNH/ Herbalists Without Borders /UK) which was followed by visits to regional socio cultural projects Neuendorf im Sande & Kesselberg.Neuendorf is a small village bought via auktion in 2018 with the support of regional government and the foundations Trias and Edith Maryon. Organisational group Zusane incorporates people with different lifestyles and professions who share a belief in solidarity and social and ecological awareness.The perspective is for the group to expand, be intergenerational as well as to assimilate with the existing village residents.The village was a Jewish learning center for handicrafts before being transformed by the Nazis into a work camp, from where many people,including children and teacher/activisit Clara Grunwald were sent to Auschwitz.In the DDR, the village was farming collective.The group also visited Kesselberg which is an alternative living community near to Erkner on the outskirts of Berlin.The space is organised collectively and includes various handwork atelier spaces as well as having a social-cultural  agenda and being a place for those wishing to live an alterantive off-grid lifestyle as well as  refuge for people with psycho social issues.










    On the Saturday SATB made an organisational meeting at Wiesenzirkus, the group sat together, to reflect on the achievements of the project and also brainstorm about possible future joint activities. The next day the group returned to Berlin to visit Disko Babel culture park which is a new "container village" which is the planned setting for a new Erasmus inspired exchange project and workshop series to create instruments from scrap and found objects. The project will be a partnership between Czentrifuga, local instrument-maker Mohamed Khoudir and the Luxembourg organisation Léieren& Savoir who work together with refugees. Sunday was spent preparing for that evenings public event at Czentrifuga ateliers,comprising of discussion, short films, performances, live printing, theater (Wiesenzirkus Bunterhund and Unter Druck) and live music.This was also a fundraising event for RCK and it ran into the early hours of the next day with only a few hours sleep before meeting together to say farewells and chat informally about future project ideas.






    Many Thanks to Sarah Cowell for video and translation of the

    excerpts from the Unter Druck Theater  performance at Czentrifuga Ateliers











    Saturday, September 28, 2019 -
    10:45 to 20:45
  • 24.08 2019 15:00 Step Across the Border - Theater & Food @ Unter Druck Cafe

    Dear Friends!

    Samstag 24.August 2019
    Unter Druck - Kultur von der Strasse invites you to
    an afternoon of outdoor theater and  food with presentations of our ongoing projects: the  transnational Erasmus Plus project
    "Step Across the Border" and our Aktion Mensch  project "Vagabundenkongress 2020"
    15:00 Food
    16:00  Excerpts from our work-in-progress Vagabond Musical  by the Theater Group Unter Druck
    performed in the garden

    17 :00  Short Films  from "Step Across the Border"  (Unter Druck/ Berlin, l´Embobineuse / Marseille, True North Health / UK)

    Compagnie Peanuts (Marseille)

    Kurzfilme von Renate König (Berlin/Arnhem)

    At the Unter Druck homeless peoples meeting point, Oudenarder Straße 26 in 13347 Berlin-Wedding .

    Compagnie Peanuts (Marseille)




    Saturday, August 24, 2019 -
    15:00 to 20:00
  • Vegan Frühstück @ Unter Druck Cafe Do.22.08 11:00 - 15:00

    liebe UnterDrucker*innen ... es ist soweit:

    Am Donnerstag 22:08 11_15:00 Uhr gibt´s mal ...

    Aber: Dafür gibt´s ...

    saitan-würstchen, tofu-rührei-süsskartoffel-spalten, ofengemüse-leberwurst-tiramisu

    und verscheidenes mehr

    lasst euch überraschen!!



    Thursday, August 22, 2019 -
    11:00 to 15:00
  • S.A.T.B. at Messfest, Berlin 5-7 July 2019

    three days and three nights of multi kulti arts and infotainment in the heart of Berlin!

    Step Across the Border will be displaying posters, flyers and infos from its (almost) two-year long project , alongside

    Refugee Community Kitchen who were the initial inspiration for SATB




    Friday, July 5, 2019 - 15:15 to Sunday, July 7, 2019 - 15:15
  • 16.04 19Uhr Talk with Caro Ophis Smart (True North Health /London) Sound Healer & Dj

    Premarts Galerie

    Oppelner Str. 34 Berlin



    (deutsch version als PDF bitte runter scrollen)


    Caro is a health practitioner, educator, musician, Doula and DJ .

    A creative force beginning in the late 80s on the London D.I.Y. underground queer and music scene(s), Caro is a passionate advocate for the therapeutic use of sound as well as having a focus that is directed towards health and well-being for women and children, Caro was one of the Co-founders and guardians of the Women’s Autonomous Nuisance café (WANC), a London based DIY, vegan, community resource and place of edutainment and conscious raising, running in squatted and autonomous spaces around Hackney from 2000 to 2012. "The Wanc Caf"  is currrently  being featured at the London exhibition "Queer Spaces: London, 1980s – Today" at the Whitechapel gallery.

    In April 2016 she spent some time volunteering at the grassroots project Refugee Community Kitchen (RCK) in Calais and Dunkirk, and was profoundly affected by the heart breaking situations that people find themselves in. This catalysed an urgency to find a way to reach out and see what people need and how she and others could help.

    Thus TNH was set up as a formal UK community interest company with the idea to help people re-find their inner compass through the healing arts in order to navigate difficult situations including health diagnoses. And all this running parallel with Caros own ongoing 15 year self healing journey with diagnosed cancer which is documented on her ongoing blog Cancer Guinea Pig.

    Equally inspired by the work of RCK , the Berlin socio cultural collective Czentrifuga teamed up with TNH, in addition to the l'Embobineuse culture center, Marseille , to create the Erasmus Plus supported, adult learning project "Step Across the Border".

    This evenings informal discussion with Caro, is part of a week long programme of activities in and around Berlin , an exchange of techniques and skills ranging from medicinal herbal and plant recognition, to sound meditation workshops and finally a fund raising event/party for Refugee Community Kitchen on Sunday 31st April at Czentrifuga ateliers, Markgrafendamm 24c Ostkreuz, whereby, amongst a diverse programme of discussion, short film, performances, theater, live music food and refreshments, Caro will be spinning soulfull and dancehall flavoured vinyl drum n bass.











    Tuesday, April 16, 2019 -
    19:00 to 22:00


    PDF icon Gespräch mit Caro Ophis Smart.pdf83.63 KB
  • 21.04 19:00 Step Across the Border-Soli Party for Refugee Community Kitchen


    This is an infotainment event as well as support action (donation on the door)

    for Refugee Community Kitchen

    A diverse programme of discussion, short film, performances,

    theatre, live music, djs, food and refreshments.

    This is the final Step Across the Border event after a week long programme of activities

    in and around Berlin.  Step Across the Border is an Erasmus Plus supported grassroots project 

    which focuses on the  exchange of knowledge and skills between diverse experts and educators

    from True North Health (London), Czentrifuga/Unter Druck (Berlin) and

    l`Embobineuse/Compagnie Peanuts (Marseille) and with vital support from our  respective friends, contacts and networks.




    Compagnie Peanuts (l`Embobineuse/Marseille)


    The SATB project blends together people who use their creative teaching skill sets  to help support people living in existential conditions and on the margins of society . Activities include sound and theater workshops and medicinal herbal and plant recognition.

    Feeding  People Without Judgement - Refugee Community Kitchen exists since 2015 and is the cataylst idea behind Step Across the Border. They have served over 2 million hot, nourishing meals to displaced people in the UK and northern France. Entirely volunteer-run and donation-based, they are committed to serving wholesome food with dignity and respect to people in need. Check their website if you like to volunteer or help in any way.



    Sunday, 21 April 2019 19Uhr
    Area X  - Short Films by Panpirat  (bring your own short films!)
    Opening and Introduction about SATB from Coost (Czentrifuga/Unter Druck)
    Vegan Food by Yt Music by Ignatz B
    Theater Unter Druck - culture initiative working together with homeless people for over 20 years
    S.A.T.B. Short Films from SATB partners Compagnie Peanuts who are a migrant theater company based in the culture center l`Embobineuse in Marseille. Also short SATB clips from True North Health & Czentrifuga/Unter Druck
    Live! Mona Servo (iEmbobineuse/Marseille) - live electronic
    Nigeria in Dub - A research ritual performed by Michael Schmacke
    step across the border jam session - everyone can join in! no experience necessary
    Coronal Mass Ejection (lEmbobineuse/Marseille) - - one man electric violin psych post-rock
    Live! Czentrifuga Fallen Stars - costume performance and mus
    Live! Alice Dee - rap
    Dj Sexy Rubber Soul (UK) vinyl drum n bass
    Dj Ben Asssassin (UK)
    Dj  T.B.C.
    Dj  T.B.C.



    Sunday, April 21, 2019 - 19:00 to Monday, April 22, 2019 - 05:30
  • Exchange of Good Practices - Mínnie Griffith: Return to Mars

    "Trip to Mars" Foto by  Jean Peut-être‎ , Marseille 2019

     to read Minnies Marseille report scroll down the page for the pdf attachment

    Minnie Griffith was born in England but grew up in the south of France, where she passed her baccalaureate in 2015 followed by two years of studies including fine arts & languages. Minnie is now living in Berlin, having recently finished working at the Premarts Galerie, as part of a European Volunteer Scheme in co-op with the Czentrifuga/Unter Druck, Erasmus Plus project "Step Across the Border" In 2018, together with fellow Francophiles, Pauline and her brother Max, the three new Berliners have instigated the Kollage Kollektive 

    Kollage Kollectiv is an art collective and platform focused on bringing creative people together to express social and political messages throughout art. Spreading positive images and ideas around Berlin to clash with the commercial advertising polluting our cities and promoting values we don’t believe in. The collective was born after the need to express ourselves in a city and society that don’t fulfill our creative and social aspirations . The collective organises social and artistic events to give people the opportunity to get involved and inspired in communal projects.
    As a fluent bilingual speaker, Minnies help in translating texts, discussions and conversations has been invaluable in the context of communications within our SATB partnership. In 2018, Minnie visited Marseille as part of the partnership activities hosted by the culture center l'Embobineuse, participating in the activities as well making photo documentation.
    Back in Berlin, Minnie has also been volunteering regularly at both Czentrifuga and Unter Druck activities and events, Here are a few links to Minnies SATB inspired photography:
    EVS Students: Minnie Griffith & Renate Rey (Rijn IJssel Design School/Arnhem) @ Czentrifuga Ateliers 2018
    Under the motto "Each One Teach One" Minnie is in the process of transition from learner to teacher, whereby she has become a regular member and volunteer of the Czentrifuga group, learning the art of screenprinting which she is now teaching to others, as well as helping with translation and office work and generally  taking responsibility and coordinating activities at for the atelier spaces. SATB is now pleased to be able to offer Minnie further teacher/learner experiences in Marseille, whereby she will be participating in the Compagnie Peanuts  theater group activities as well as helping on French to English translation of the La Cabane Mental  film which the SATB group participated in last year. We hope that these activities will enrich Minnies perspective, helping her to further understand and sensitise  her to the issues faced by vulnerable migrant communities. We also look forward to seeing photos and reading Minnies report on her Marseille experience..Bon voyage!






    Wednesday, January 2, 2019 - 08:15


    PDF icon SATB Report 5.pdf6.65 MB
  • Transnational Cooperation Activity (TCA):Contact Seminar on Improving Access, Participation and Quality in Adult Learning 21-23.11 2018 Luxembourg


    21-23.11 2018 Transnational Cooperation Activity (TCA)

    Contact Seminar on Improving Access, Participation and Quality in Adult Learning 21-23.11 2018 Luxembourg


    TCA participants


    The semnar was hosted by the Anefore organisation in co-op with the Serbian and Portuguese Erasmus national agencies. Anefore  exists since 2007 and it is  the national agency responsible for  promoting European programmes on education and training in Luxembourg. The  main goal of this TCA was to engage participants from all over Europe in an open dialogue to discuss and share knowledge, good practices and experiences related to the field of adult education, especially when targeting socially or educationally disadvantaged adults.

    I was fortunate to be awarded a free place at the seminar after entering an online competition set by the Erasmus Plus national agency in Bonn. At short notice, i packed a toothbrush and made the 9 hour train  journey across Germany to the small neighbouring country of Luxembourg.

    I calculated there were approximately 50-60 partcipants, including invited experts and many Luxembourg and EU representatives, involved in a broad spectrum of adult education. The facilitator for the event Paul Guest (UK) possessed a disarming sense of humour, and infused a positive mixture of light showmanship into the proceedings, combined with an acute knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, which allowed him to be able to summarise the essence of the various inputs from guest speakers "planting seeds for collaborations and cooperations“. As guests, we were invited to play "Human Bingo" as a means for us to familiarise ourselves with each other and break the ice before getting down to business.

    The official event report and the info slides that were presented during the seminar, can be seen in their entirety as attached pdf documents at the bottom of this article. Theres is also a link to seminar fotos (below). In this sense, i include only points and observations that were of a personal interest for me.

    Welcoming introductions by Anefore representatives Eric Goeren and Marguerite Krier  included  the following interesting basic points:

    - 70 million adults in EU struggle with basic literacy

    - the emphasis is on „high quality learning“

    - the seminar includes a variety of organisations on different levels

    - the seminar  was aimed  to foster transnational cooperations

    Master of ceremonies Mr Guest presented 3 x international expert speakers which was preceded by a lighthearted group breathing exercise (see foto) as a means for the group to focus and come together. Denise Shannon (IRE), as first invited speaker for the seminar, gave a talk on "Barriers to Adult Learning and Policy Discourse". Ms Shannon is the publisher of a white paper which tracks the changes in the official language used to define education  which is informed by her previous work in the Erasmus plus  funding predecessor Grundtvig Lifelong Learning Programme and she refenced the academics  Paulo Freire and Antonio Gransci  two of most cited figures in the debate on radical education. In her adress to the seminar, Ms Shannon explained that the discourse has changed from „lifelong learning“ to „skills“ which shows a shift from education that benefits society to education that benefits the economy. Lamenting this shift in emphasis, was a recurring point in informal conversations amongst various guests, as this policy shift  seems somewhat at odds with the reality of a decreasing labour market in an increasingly accelerated and automated world of (e.g.) A.I. and also, begs the question: is it not more productive to empower people to to live creative and fulfilling lives without the stigma or "carrot and stick" of out dated work ethics? (see also the argument for universal income).

    Anna Ana Rita Alves Lourenço (POR) representing  the organisation „Proximar“, identfied the differences that seperate child and adult learning

    - Motivation: intrinsic (it is interesting) extrinsic (leads to specific outcomes)

    - Ana identified demotivators for extrinsic learning for low skilled adults

    - How teachers / trainers can motivate low skilled adults to learn

    - Case studies in prisons: motivating prison staff equally important as motivating the inmates

    see the Erasmus Plus project: entresistemas.eu


    Aleksandra Kozyra  from the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA), based in Brussels, with 133 member organisations across Europe, gave a talk on the inclusion of vulnerable groups "Outreach, Empowerment and Diversity" (OED) which makes policy recommendations to educators and which is also a project that comes out of the Grundtvig initiative  (also the stepping stone for Unter Druck / Czentriufuga into the world of adult education funding).  oed-networks.eu


    La Vernada Adult School (Barcelona)´  adopts a peer to peer approach, encouraging learners to become teachers and include them in planning, (what we in Berlin describe as „Each One Teach One“).

    Objectif Ville (BE) whereby former learners are involved in classes.

    The point was raised: How to reach target audiences and make them interesting offers? An example was citied via the  successful project „German Park“, whereby people were approached in the park and offered the chance to learn German. As testimony to the fact that stimulating learning/teaching environments are critical „German in the Hospital“ did not work at all. In another example from Manchester, going into pubs proved to be a good methoid to attract older adults. Allow time for getting to know people, go where they are and give them what they want!

    Later that day the group were given a fascinating city tour with Hungarian born "George". What became  evident  was that Luxembourg is an intercultural  land of foreigners, which is rich both economically (over 150 banks in a city of just 114,00) as well as in history. There are three languages, Luxemburgisch, German and French, and this country of just  576,000 is one of the three official capitals of the European Union as well as being  the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. We recognised there were no guards on either the royal palace or the parliament building which was a curious contradiction to  the large „lego“ style anti- teror concrete blocks (à la Berlin) which were placed  around one of the main christmas markets. Luxembourg has an openly gay Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, who is also an Erasmus veteran. Also interesting to learn, the minmum wage is 2000 euros per month, 3% of which goes to medical insurance which also covers a spouse and children. Rent is expensive and many commute to the city to work, including many who come from neighbouring Belgium, Germany and France. Despite the affluence it was evident during our city walk that there are many homeless people in the inner city.


    seminar warm up

    The second day of the seminar was allocated for expert speakers from Luxembourg, who then helped out as facilitators for smaller group discussions and networking sessions, which  participants could jump in or out of, depending on their particular interests. Although the general emphasis was on formal/unformal adult education, there was a palpable sense that „out of the box“ informal  learning, was also considered as a valid means to an end. During the table discussions, a small group of us presented  a new Erasmus Plus project idea  which was born out of the seminar: Together with informatics teacher Willem de Meyer (BE) and Jaume Gomila Saura who is chairman of Adult Education Schools in Minorca, we agreed to work together on a new Erasmus Plus adult learning partnership application for  March 2019:  „Energy“ (N.R.G.). The key actions of our project will be "working with authentic tasks" within the framework  a KA2 "Exchange of good practices" application with a special attention also to cultural heritage.  We even have a website! http://nrgproject.wordpress.com

    All New! the Energy Team


    I also had the opportunity to talk and exchange possible future exchange ideas with Jimmy Corneille, project coordinator for refugee projects in Luxembourg at Léieren & Savoir  , as well as Rosa Chimenti from Caritas/Luxembourg; Chantal Fendel from the Luxembourg Department  of Education and Alzira Mendes who is  Na-bibb  project officer in Portugal, as well as many other interesting informal chats with seminar participants from across Europe.

    Otherwise, here are a few  points and "notes to self" regarding  terminology that  i picked up over the two days

     - skills forecasting – what will be the necessary skills for the future

    - coach posture - referring to educators acting as a coaches rather than the classic teacher - pupil (hierachic) relationship, which is espescially important for adult learners in order to earn trust and instill confidence .

    - validating competances / recognition of skills and learning  are regarded as  important in formal and unformal learning models e.g. certification, open badges  and competance cards

    - "know thyself"  teacher self evaluation is an important ongoing process of  reflection as well as addressing the metaperspective (what the teacher believes the student thinks about the teacher). Be pro-active, seek new ideas for your servce and understand the art of persuading people that they do not already know as much as they think they do.

    adult learning funding initiatives (see slideshow PDF in attachment below)

    erasmus plus

    upskilling pathways

    fonds soziale european


    european agenda for adult learning


    The closing speech was left to Luxembourg nbibb director Christine Pegel , newly returned from Brussels, with the postive news that the budget for adult learning has been increased (signalising that the EU takes this seriously). For me the experience was very valuable and helped to sharpen my understanding of adult learning terminology and trending concepts. Moreover, talking with various guests at the seminar, was in itself a great educator. My only criticis that the second days attendance was smaller and less focused, due to constraints of people having to  leave early, as well as there being a general preoccupation with catching return flights and trains. This was a pity as this second  day was more focused on networking, partner finding and general exchanges between participants. Lastly, many thanks to the Doris Mulombe for her help and smooth event coordination as well as the entire Luxembourg support team.








    Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 15:15 to Friday, November 23, 2018 - 20:15


  • Cabanodrome - Rencontre, projection, écoute, discussion

    La Compagnie Peanuts et l'Embobineuse présentent

    LA CABANODROME - Rencontre, projection, écoute, discussion autour de La Cabane Métamentale

    Accueil et rencontre-dégustation avec les membres de Libertatia, le 102ème département - centre de création convivialiste, et l'équipe du film

    - Séance d'écoute en immersion - dans le noir total, diffusion d'entretiens réalisés et enregistrés par Philippe Zunino lors de l'expérience-spectacle d'alienothérapie: "La Cabane Métamentale".
    - Projection du film LA CABANE, (2018 / France / 26min), de Mohamed Ali Ivesse (production Cie Peanuts) en présence du réalisateur et de l'équipe du film
    SYNOPSIS - Dans le 3ème arrondissement de Marseille à la Belle de Mai, Libertatia ou le 102ème Département - un groupe de travail pluridisciplinaire regroupant habitantEs du quartier et artistes - se lance, en collaboration avec Philippe Zunino, dans la construction d'un espace de libération et d'écoute de la parole : la Cabane Métamentale. À travers cette performance, les "libertatien(nes)" essaient de poser de façon ludique un diagnostic sensible sur leurs conditions de vie en France.

    21H30 :
    Débat / discussion avec le public

    La Compagnie Peanuts, collectif né il y a plus de 10 ans autour de projets socio-culturels et artistiques, se professionnalise en 2012 avec sa première création «C’est bon alors, j’irai en enfer».
    Implantée à l’Embobineuse dans le quartier de la Belle de Mai à Marseille, elle travaille depuis sa création à l’analyse des mécanismes de violences et d’exclusions au travers de spectacles, de lectures théâtralisées et autres objets culturels hybrides et expérimentaux, explorant les formes et les supports.
    Le théâtre qu’elle défend est un théâtre tout public, accessible et engagé, aussi bien pour l’enfance et la jeunesse que pour les adultes, valorisant les héritages de l’Education Populaire.
    Depuis plus de 10 ans, elle tisse et entretient de précieux liens avec un réseau de professionnelLEs, d’artistes, de camarades, d’espaces de diffusion, de partenaires et de publics – qui participe de la richesse et de la diversité de ses propositions artistiques.

    La cabane métamentale est un studio d’enregistrement audio, mobile, entièrement constituée de bois et de carton, montable et démontable en 15 minutes.
    Le dispositif est pensé comme un cabinet de consultation médicale de fortune, posé dans l’espace public et dans lequel n’importe qui peut demander à entrer pour y être examiné, diagnostiqué, au cours d’un entretien avec unE «spécialiste métamentalE».
    L’ espace accueille donc des consultantEs volontaires qui peuvent alors s’entretenir avec unE des artistes et/ou stagiaire du projet.
    A l’intérieur de la cabane, la parole est à la fois protégée, enregistrée et partagée simultanément ou archivée. Nous y travaillons les langages, leurs échos, les parcours de vie, leur émission/transmission et leur(s) usage(s).
    La Cabane Métamentale est un projet produit par la Compagnie Peanuts et l’Embobineuse, en partenariat avec l’association Mot à Mot et soutenu par le CUCS, le département des Bouches-du-Rhône et la Ville de Marseille.

    Libertatia ou le 102ème département est un groupe de travail et de pratique artistiques et culturelles qui se réunit une fois par semaine, tout au long de l’année, à l’Embobineuse.
    Aux côtés de différentEs artistes et intervenantEs, lors d’ateliers guidés par la Compagnie Peanuts, Libertatia explore les formes créatives, les récits de vie individuels et collectifs, la scène et les supports, comme autant de chemins possibles vers le décloisonnement des pratiques, le partage et la transmission.



    Thursday, November 8, 2018 -
    20:00 to 23:00
  • SATB Report: "Queer Punk Health Creation Week" London 9 -13 October 2018


    True North Health invited the Erasmus Plus / Step Across the Border project partners, and also the general public, to participate in this Queer Punk Health Creation Week which constituted a series of internal workshops and talks, including 2 private and 2 public events over a 5 day period.

    Director for True North Health Caro Smart writes: "As a young one I only saw punk as angry white men, rightly or wrongly,the diversities and nuances absent from my understanding. Recently I saw an inspiring film called Queercore and was  re educated about the diversity and the inclusivity of punk activism as outsider queer subcultures.It nourished and grounded me in my lived history of resistance.

    The strength of punk, the spirit of DIY (just get up and do it even if it is crap) plus the anger at an unfair system, underpinned the energy and spirit, and was a main driver for the part of the London Underground free party rave scene that I was a part of in the 90s. That anger transmuted into sound system cultures and a Do It Together ethos, dancing love peace and unity. Together. And I always felt more at home there than on the "gay and lesbian" scene (as it was called then).
    It is my background with this that informs my lived attitude to health creation and also the creation of True North Health, a not for profit grass roots organisation of which I am a voluntary director. Obviously True North refers to finding your own guiding star to navigate through challenges in life but also to represent a different face of the north, than the  white voracious patriarchal system that colonises us and is imprinted on us  and our understandings.


    True North Health is about health creation that joins up the dots, that is, to use the buzzword of the now, intersectional. It is about wellbeing for all, not wellbeing for some, at the expense of others. It is about looking at systemic diseases like cancer, and the body and its relation to the world for example in a different way. By that I mean an invitation to embrace the concept of radical compassion. To be able to hold with compassion the body when it fails, when our cells and systems don't work as they should, and make positive restorative action from that place. Like wise for our social and collective bodies. Radical compassion is a way of collapsing the binary of  "them and us".

    It is in the spirit of all this that we present the 5 day programme Queer Punk Health Creation, as part of the Erasmus Plus horizontal learning exchange called Step Across The Border with our allies and fellow partners from Berlin and Marseilles, sharing sound, music and the coming together to share a moment in our lives to radically  learn, teach, create support and cohesion and empathy. "

    Inspired by the Scapegoat theme of our Marseiiles SATB project partners l'Embobineuse / Compagnie Peanuts, this activity schedule aimed to look at the body and how and where in our bodies we scapegoat ourselves. This is particularly relevant for activists in the constant battle against "burn out" as well as people existing on the margins of society.

    Each morning was marked by a daily movement and meditation check-in, also involving small discussions about how to create health and well-being and also recording sound before and after the sessions. The purpose of these sessions were  to see how the voice transmits our state of well being – an important indicator both for ourselves, as well as in the work of our respective organisations and especially relevant for picking up hidden cues from people we might be working with.

    As a small and itinerant loose organisation of women and trans people who are low on economic resources, True North Health  come together to create projects and events without a fixed operations base, using outside and inside spaces including New River Studios, Lordship Hub Community Centre and the Curve Garden Dalston who are all not for profit community projects.

    SATB Meeting & Activities Programme

    Tuesday 9th October  Thanks to meticulously prepared directions by True North Health (TNH) coordinator Caro, the SATB participants from Marseille, Berlin and Arnhem, managed to easily navigate the sprawling metropolis, meeting together on schedule at Caros house in the Seven Sisters area of Tottenham in North London.

    Participating in the weeks activities: Magdi Reichi, Elsa Gobert and Ana Servo (lEmbobineuse/Marseille ) John Moulden a.k.a. "Coost", Stine Brinklov and Renate Koening (Unter Druck/Czentrifuga/GER) and Caro Smart, Rasheeqa Ahmad and Marwa Barakat (True North Health/ UK)

    Firstly, a  touch base meeting; whereby the group were given itinery lists and brought up to speed with latest developments concerning the planned activity programme.

    We were fortunate to have warm sunny Autumnal weather which was perfect for the afternoons outdoor medicinal herb identification walk with TNH member Rasheeqa Ahmad who also works for the Herbs Without Border http://herbalistswithoutborders.co.uk/ network . These herb walks have become a recurring and important theme throughout the SATB transnational meetings and Rasheeqas invaluable knowledge on the subject has been both informative and inspiring. By now the sun was setting, which meant we were sadly unable to visit the Olympic Park for a Capoeira session at the invitation of Paulinha Martens and Zoe Marriage. Just to mention that this is a cultural musical/dance tradition from the African diaspora, played equally by people regardless of gender that has traversed time and geographical borders as a way of creative expression and remembrance of cultural roots. These regular free for all sessions feature live musical accompaniment.


    Wednesday 10th October On this beautifull sunny day, the group walked over to nearby Downhills Park, to begin the first of our daily movement meditation sessions led by Caro from True North Health.The workshop focused on voice exercises which help tap into the body and are mostly a mixture of Chinese and Daoist medicinal practices.Caro made voice recordings, the purpose of which, to sonically monitor how the participants, and the group as a whole, progress throughout the week.Magdi, actor and director from theater company Peanuts in Marseille, remarked on the similarities with actor training and „grounding“ techniques.

    Wednesday afternoon the SATB group split according to their wishes with the choice to visit Groundswell in Brixton, which is a peer to peer project for the homeless, and also St Ethelbergers Peace and Reconciliation Centre which prioritizes building community resilience through nurturing diversity and building relationships across division and difference, working to find ways of acceptance and co-operation between different faith based communities and dissolving prejudices and whereby LGBTQI+ people of faith integrate and are empowered.


    Ana & Elsa (l'Embobineuse) , Coost & Renate (Czentrifuga) 2018 Step Across the Border on 199Radio, London

    That evening we visited New River Studios, the location for the following days SATB public event, in order to look at the space as part of the preparation work and later we made a live radio show there on 199Radio, We  bunched together into the tiny room to talk about our project and the respective work of the partner organisations, as well as promote the upcoming SATB events. Caro gave  a great talk about her work, her philosophy and the SATB activities, together with Elsa, project coordinator for lEmbobineuse who also  talked about their in-house migrant theater group Compagnie Peanuts, as well as the actual case of the refugee support ship Aquarius, which, a few days before, had  been stripped of its flag and was lying paralysed in the Marseille harbour. Also recently, there had been been a huge demonstration in Marseille which was aimed at drawing attention to the current illegalisation of helping refugees and demanding that the Aquarius be given a French flag and allowed to continue helping refugees at risk in the Mediterranean. (LINK TO OUR RADIOSHOW)

    Thanks to producers Freddy and Lee for their support! True North Health are now in discussions to continue and make regular radio shows there.


    Thursday 11th October 10:30 - Midday: Continuing our daily collective sound workshop, this time at the Lordship Recreation Ground at the the Hub Community Centre, which is part of a 4 million pounds redevelopment project  which started in 2009 through funding by Big Lottery, the Marathon Trust and Heritage Lottery Fund.

    This South Eastern corner of the park is adjacent to Broadwater Farm, housing estates which, on 6 October 1985, was the flash point for urban riots between black youths and largely white police, sparked after the death of Cynthia Jarrett, an African-Caribbean woman who died the previous day due to heart failure during a police search at her home. At the time, Broadwater Farm was a national symbol of urban neglect and, unlike the adjacent park, the cheap and inadequate buildings were never improved upon. Today, plans are underway to destroy them to make way for new buildings for wealthy people which will effectively push out the local community.

    The Hub is an ecologically designed construction and community space and it was here that we carried out the second sound and meditation workshop focused on sound bathing, whereby participants took turns to lie in the center of the room surrounded by the group who, using their voices, intone the name of the subject for 3 minutes. After the 9 participants had completed the exercise, they shared their experience with the group. This technique is aimed more for people working as teachers and practitioners in psycho/social health care and is not necessarily recommended for people with severe trauma, as it can trigger painfull memories and have contra productive effects. Indeed, not all members of the group found the experience (of lying on the floor in the middle of the group ) pleasant, but for the most it was a remarkable meditative sonic experience.

    Caro (True North Health) Magdi (lEmbobineuse) & Rasheeqa (True North Health)

    Next, the group visited Mel from Herbalists without Borders, who lives on a canal barge „Stormvogel“ which is part of a boat community based at Stonebridge South Moorings at Tottenham Hale. Here, we were priveliged to take part in a 3 hour medicine making workshop, which is part of the effort, along with Refugee Community Kitchen, to help refugees stranded in the Calais area. The group helped prepare a cough medicine using cinnamon, marshmallow root and vegetable glycerine.

    Mel, who makes regular trips to Calais, explained how she worked alongside volunteer doctors who were there treating serious conditions such as TB and she outlined the most common illnesses and afflictions affecting the refugees there. Most of Mels herbal and plant remedies were for coughs, colds and skin conditions but the most common issue was treating people suffering from police beatings and gas attacks which, of course, is also a traumatic and bewildering experience for the carers themselves.

    Another health issue amongst refugees in the Calais region was, gaining trust of women in order to help them with intimate health problems such as cystitus. A further problem was how to effectively label medicine bottles amongst a diaspora who speak many different languages and many of whom cannot read or write. The medicine we prepared was to be sent to Calais that same week and, at the end of the workshop, Mel asked the group about our thoughts and how we could imagine using this knowledge in the sense of our own organisational community outreach. Ana from lEmbobineuse, who  is also a festival and activity organiser, was interested to share and promote this knowledge amongst her network. Coost from Czentrifuga was interested to look at solutions for medicine bottle label designs by issue using pictograms. Thanks also to Mels partner Russel for his valuable assistance and sharing his own insights into herbal medicine.

    "Activisms of Connection" This public event was held at New River Studios and the focus was on collective and individual well-being, celebrating the psychosocial impact of connection through music, herbal medicine, discussion and film. The event included guest speakers, live music, Djs and vegan pizza. The aim of the event was to promote the SATB project, encourage networking, and also help build solidarity and promote the benefits of social psycho immune boosting health.

    Magdi, theater director from SATB partner Compagnie Peanuts (lEmbobineuse, Marseille) together with his Marseille colleagues Ana and Elsa, presented their new film made by Jerome Fi.no which explores the phenomena of scapegoating as portrayed with first hand knowledge by the companies' mostly African (Comorean islands) migrant cast and production team.

    Also represented, the landmark project Rainbow Pilgrims https://www.rainbowpilgrims.com which examines the hidden history of LGBTQ+ migrants to the UK, documenting the interconnection between faith, sexuality, gender and ethnicity through oral history, film and photography. Project founder, Jewish male transactivist Shaan Surat Knan, presented the work of his organisation and participated in the panel discussion together with special guests Monica https://rainbowpilgrims.atavist.com/community#chapter-3414091 and Rakel https://rainbowpilgrims.atavist.com/faith#chapter-3388109 who were both collaborators and contributors to the Rainbow Pligrims project, and who presented testimonies to the descrimination and hardships they have undergone as LGBTQ women, both in Africa, and also through UK Home Office interrogations. (click on the links to read their stories).

    Also joining the discussion were Rasheeqa Ahmad (True North Health / Herbalists Without Borders) http://herbalistswithoutborders.co.uk/ and Victor Paes from the Westminster Herbalists Without Borders Student Society https://www.uwsu.com/society/8918/ HWB is a fast growing network of practitioners growers and students who are actively engaged in the effort to give medicinal aid and support refugees and migrants.

    Nina Alonso from Yellow Days Organisation talked about their grassroots work helping to integrate refugees within local communities in Greece info@yellowprojects.org

    Steve Bedlam, one of the founders of Refugee Community Kitchen https://www.refugeecommunitykitchen.com/ talked about his organisations work, not only in the Calais and Dunkirk area, but also about new initiatives to help in Bosnia and also in London, where the RCK organisation are helping to feed the cities homeless. Meanwhile, the Calais operation has served over a million nutritious meals and is still cooking and distributing 2000 meals daily.

    Steve pointed out that although „The Jungle“ refugee camp has been evicted, the problem has not gone away and, in fact, is on the increase with refugees now coming from more countries than ever before. Steve also maintained that it was the grassroots organisations and networks in Europe that were effectively „holding down“ emergency relief for refugees and used the example of a recent trip to Bosnia whereby the large NGOs working there were offering people a single bowl of rice in comparison to RCKs principle of serving quality food , with diverse menus that reflect on the culinary cultural differences of the refugees. The point here was that people were offered the „dignity of choice“ after having suffered so much. Also, these meals were being produced at a quarter of the cost of the aforementioned NGOs plain rice. Steve went on to say that RCK had the logistical capacity to feed up to 10,00 people daily, indicating his organisations readiness and resolve to deal with the refugees and migrant phenomena and „feed people without judgement“.

    The evening continued with live music on the highest level by an incredible solo djembe drum & voice performance from Khadijatou Doyneh who is a Guyanese raised and London based singer-songwriter, author, spoken word poet, musician, and dancer. https://soundcloud.com/juju-rock/bawling

    Continuing with the high level music programme, we were honoured to have Dj Ritu  http://www.djritu.com This pioneering global grooves guru, turntablist & BBC broadcaster has been active on the British and international club scene for 31 years. „The ultimate musical chameleon“ who also co-founded the internationally acclaimed Outcaste Records. Last but not least the Samba Sisters Collective a multi-cultural group comprised of  women of all ages and backgrounds who come together to give sonic support at demonstrations and fund raising events.

    There were approximately 150 people in attendance and it was encouraging to see the panelists, musicians and guests, many of whom were unknown to each other, exchanging contacts and pledging mutual support. The event was live streamed thanks to TNH member and Cambridge University researcher Lucy van de Viel and proceeds from the event went to support Refugee Community Kitchen and African Rainbow Family.

    Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/2199464943662849/

    Friday 12th October After the daily voice workshop, participants moved to the Islington area where they were invited to sit in on the "Diversity Building Solidarity Symposium" This was an important LGBTQ+ awareness event that highlighted the many sides of London’s diverse LGBTQ+ community and, for the SATB group, it was an important resource for our undertstanding of current issues as well as an opportunity to look for shared goals, solidarity building and to be a part of raising the voices of the most excluded within the rainbow community.

    The event was co-produced by Intersex UK, Rainbow Pilgrims, Regard DDPO, Twilight People and other user-led projects. Event Link https://hearequality.org.uk

    The HEAR Equality and Human Rights Network „connects and supports equalities specialists across all equality characteristics and across London to get their voices heard and to influence policy and the environment within which people work for human rights“ The event was open to charities, campaigners, policy makers, funders and service providers and we were very honoured to be invited, thanks to Shaan for that!

    Other organisations and contributors in attendance were, Surat-Shaan Knan (Jewish Liberal Movement), Ash Kotak (#AIDSMemoryUK), Regard (LGBTQ+ who self identify as Disabled), Gendered Intelligence ( Transgender Awareness), Bi Pride UK (support group for Bi-Sexual,and any others who experience attraction beyond gender), Intersex UK (organisation by and for Intersex people) and also UK Black Pride (LGBTQ+ People of Colour) This was an information packed symposium and transcripts from the speakers can be found at the HEAR website.

    Here are a selected few points from amongst many interesting informations we gathered this day.

    Ash Kotak Ash Kotak curator, playwright, filmaker and executive producer of films, The Joneses and Punched by a Homosexualist, gave an upbeat talk on his various roles as social cultural activist, including #AIDSMemoryUK; #Aesthesiaarts collective; #YouthAfterGrenfell (referring to the tragic fire at Grenfell tower in West London last year) as well as outreach work with Palestinian artists via@ArtsPalestine. Talking about AIDS, Ash dispelled the commonly held myth that the disease was on the decline and that AIDS is not over, it kills women and POC,  and 50% of 35 million people living with HIV worldwide cannot access life saving medications. Under the motto "fighting for unity and commonality“ Ash called on the attendees for solidarity with the  U.K. wide #EndAIDS2030Festival (26th November to 3rd December)  marking the 30th  year of World AIDS Day which includes events at the Royal Society of Arts, the BFI, Brixton Jamm, and at Club Kali with DJ Ritu as well as a  simultaneous AIDS vigil around the U.K. to remember, to celebrate and to raise the concern that we must fight on. Access to HIV medication is very much about privilege; people on HIV meds cannot pass on HIV and we could stop AIDS now.

    Also incredibly active and „wearing many hats“ was speaker Surat-Shaan Knan who (also) works for the Liberal Jewish Movement. Shaan outlined the work of the Rainbow Pilgrims project which he had already presented at the previous nights SATB event ,which is  included as a PDF file at the bottom of this article. Shaan is also a member of the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group and mentioned the invaluable support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. There was also a spokesperson from the fund present at the event offering advice and consultation.

    REGARD is a national organisation for LGBTQ+ people who self identify as being disabled and was represented by Dr Ju Gosling who gave a remarkable and enlightening speech which covered issues such as the double exclusion of LGBTQ+ disabled people amongst both LGBTQ+ and the rest of society, not disimiliar to to the plight of LGBTQ+ refugees in fact.

    There was a lot of insightfull information to absorb with contentious issues such as „genetic descrimination“, whereby unborn babies diagnosed with (e.g.) Down Syndrome are sometimes aborted, although we know that DS people can be perfectly capable of living autonomously. The point raised was that medical professionals are often advising on abortion rather than offering neutral information to parents.

    Ju also talked about hate crime (the following week was National Hate Crime Awareness Week) and also „befrienders“ - unscrupulous people who take advantage of disabled people, going in their homes and taking over their resources. Like most of the spokespeople and organisations we came into contact with in London, REGARD is a grassroots organisation, which often means, that the work is done by people who themselves belong to or identify with the client group. In this sense Ju pointed out the difference between „organisations for“ and „organisations with“ and that larger, state subsidised, „organisations for“,  have vested interests in supporting the status quo in order to maintain funding. Another point raised was how society is conditioned to view family life and sex between disabled people in a negative light. Amongst other services REGARD offer „inclusion confidence training“ , altogether a highly compelling speech and a lot of food for thought.

    Perhaps the most burning issue that was raised and picked upon by several of the speakers was the „Gender Recognition Act“ (https://www.stonewall.org.uk/gender-recognition-act) which is a very contentious and often divisive issue amongst LGBTQ+ communities. In this final week of this Governmental  preliminary survey, there were united calls to ask LGBTQ+ and their allies to fill in the online questionares, which are part of the process in order to amend and make new legislation.

    Abigail Kay talked about Bi Pride UK , outling the misconceptions and misnomers associated with the term of Bi sexuality and referred to a remarkable survey by the Stonewall organisation that states that 49% of 18-24 year olds identify as being neither straight or gay. Abigail also referred to a film to watch out for on the subject of being non binary “Move Away“.

    The phenomena of  people undergoing traumatic experiences by having to prove that they are transgender, can have an adverse effect of people being reluctant to come out. Another contentious point was raised about how surgical genital modifications are carried out so that people „fit in“ with projected norms  of society. Also, differences were underlined concerning terminology such as bi-romantic in contrast to bi-sexual. There are circa 20 bi supportative groups in the UK.

    UK Black Pride is Europes largest celebration of African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and Caribbean heritage. It aims to foster, present, and celebrate Black LGBT culture through education, the arts, cultural events and advocacy. Representing was Josh Rivers who is also a spokesperson for TUC (UK trade union movement) who raised several interesting points, which often  intersected with statements by speakers from other organisations. Here are a few points of interest from that presentation.

    - "Rainbow Racism" - citing  an example of how some gay men clubs refused entry to brown skinned people in the wake of London terrorist attacks.

    -  Dealing with micro aggressions and conflicts arising due to clashes of identity politics within the LGBTQ+ community.

    - The phenomena of LGBTQ+ people being over objectified and oversexualised within society at large.

    - A call out for equality , solidarity and unity!

    Intersex UK This organisation is by and for intersex people (those born with difference of sex development or variations of sex anatomy: (Biologically diverse and non binary), working to protect the bodily autonomy and civil rights of intersex children and adolescents, and their families through government lobbying and educational outreach. The IUK mission is to end unnecessary surgeries and the normalisation of hormonal regimes on intersex infants and adolescents, promoting bodily autonomy and recognition/validation regarding  Variation of Sex Characteristics (V.S.C) as well as lobbying for increased public education and access to to identifiication documents with preferred gender markers.

    Co-founder Holly Greenberry who also adresssed the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2014 on the subject of intersexuality, spoke to us via Skype about human rights abuses and civil inequality facing healthy intersex children and young adults, citing the example of their lack of rights to civil partnerships and marriage due to not being able to change gender classification on birth certificates. Some other interesting infos and points:

    - Gender defintions are not just about genitals but also „hormone receptor responses“

    - Another reference to the ongoing government work on the „ Gender Recognition Act“ which is causing infighting within LGBTQ+ communities, pitting fights between e.g. trans and feminist women, whereby transgender women are sometimes not accepted for their gender and often, fear based, assumptions that transwomen will usurp womens spaces and funding streams.

    - Doctors and medical staff are often uninformed on this subject and hormonal regimes and gential surgery is often performed on people before they are of an age to make informed, self-choice and „the right to self declare“. These people are pathologised and can be subjected to traumatic horrific processes. Decisions are taken: this person is female and therefore, biologically needs the capacity to be penetrated, therefore surgery is carried out on the clitoris/vagina and , conversely: this person is male and requires the capacity to be able to penetrate and so operation is made on the penis.

    - Intersex argues that gender assignation comes in later years and is something that does not overly concern a 6 year old. Existential decisions are therefore imposed by elders, doctors, society etc.

    The seminar  demonstrated perfectly the meaning of intersectionality and the SATB group stayed late in order to chat and join workshops together with the smaller remaining group. Many thanks to all the speakers and organisers!

    Saturday 13th October We visited the Curve Garden in the Dalston area and were given a small tour by TNH representative Rasheeqa. The garden is a grassroots initiative which provides a green oasis for local people to relax in this particularly dense and busy area. There are many socio cultural initiatives coming together here, including a pizza- making initiative involved in local outreach work.

    Saturday 13th October 14:00 - 17:00 public event: "Transformative Sounds for Health and Well Being" Shacklewell Lane Mosque

    This remarkable building was formerly a synagogue and The SATB  participants were honoured to see at first-hand how the guardians of this space (Egg and Mel) navigate cross cultural dialogues in order to create a radical community asset.


    Transformative Sounds for Health and Well Being  This TNH / SATB organised event was a LGBTQ+ and POC led, 3 hour immersion of transformative sound, a psycho social exercise in aspects of health creation which foster connection, spirituality, empowerment and transformation using sound as a tool. The co creators of the space were: Caro Ophis (TNH/ Interval Oracle) - toning and voice work to help centre and connect; interactive music and art for empowerment from Angelus Squid Marr as well as the Qraft Bistro collective  and also gong bathing for immune boosting relaxation by Tafrina Dubois. This was a pay event with discounts for unwaged and free places for people from migrant and refugee communities. https://www.facebook.com/events/2140694809515655/

    The event ran longer than expected and, sadly the SATB group were unable to attend that evenings  "Woven Gold Choir " event at Café Karamel which is a grassroots socio cultural, vegan venue in the Wood Green area. This event was the musical highlight of the Spotlight on Asylum Festival season . The choir is made up of refugees and asylum seekers from many of our world’s most desperate and divided countries. Its members have fled from treacherous and threatening circumstances in Iran, Algeria, Myanamar, Chechnya, Pakistan, Congo and Uganda all with the common desire to find sanctuary. Over the past ten years, they have formed a family through their love of music and their yearning for peace, safety and solidarity. https://www.facebook.com/events/253770835349958/?active_tab=about

    Many thanks to Caro and her team for organising  such a dynamic and  productive 5 days in London. This was a week whereby we were priveliged to be able to learn some sublime and  specialist techniques aimed at re-charging, detoxing and calming, overactive and overfilled minds. The practices we learned go a long way in helping volunteers engaged in psycho social care with traumatised people, to reclaim their own equilibrium and are an effective antidote for one of the most common issues amongst care workers: burn out. Parallel to these exercises, we were fortunate to be able to dive deep into the diverse universe of Londons pro active  LGBTQ+ community, as well as others involved with support work for refugees, migrants, the homeless and others who are socially marginalised. Only a city with the multicultural dimension of London can claim such an intense concentration of highly skilled and dedicated volunteers and True North Healths efforts to help bring together these intersecting forces is exemplary and very necessary in these troubling and divisive times.

    For the  next meeting we return to Berlin whereby we hope to bring many of the topics and threads together in oder to  present a cohesive overview of project results.



    Thursday, November 1, 2018 -
    10:15 to 22:15


  • SPACESHIP - SA. 03.11 2018 18:30 - 23:00 @ MENSCH MEIER


    Czentrifiga *Jekami @  Mensch Meier

    *jeder kann mitmachen!

    18:00 - Dj Mischa (lebenshilfe massive)

    20:00 - Marko Krojac - Beats & Open mic.

    21:00 - Live "Rabatt"
    + Siebdruck, Deco & Kostume - Pimp your Style!

    voll program hier


    Wer Spaceship noch nicht kennt: Wir sind ein intergalaktischer, barrierefreier Reiseanbieter den ihr in eurem Vergleichsportal nicht finden werdet. Das inklusiv - subversive happening im Mensch Meier möchte mit euch die Grenzen ins All schießen und mit euch feiern – ob mit oder mit ohne Handicap.

    Spaceship ist eine inklusive Partyreihe der Lebenshilfe im Mensch Meier Club; Berlin. Hier rocken Stars der Szene und Künstler*innen mit Behinderung die Bühnen.

    Wie immer haben wir ein kostenloses Shuttle vom SBahnhof-Landsberger-Allee zum Club.

    Anmeldungen zum Shuttle bitte an 030/ 60 00 00 23

    Abflug dieses Mal um 16Uhr bis mitternacht !

    Eintritt: 2€ yesno Bitte einsteigen...





    Saturday, November 3, 2018 -
    18:30 to 23:30
  • 26 Oktober 2018: Soli Concert and Party for Refugee Community Kitchen at Yaam Club Berlin

    the "Jungle" is gone  but Refugee Community Kitchen  is still providing 2000 meals a day "without judgement" in the Calais area: delicious, healthy and nutritous meals which reflect on the wide range of migrants/refugees cultural heritage and showing the people some small amount of respect (as human beings) and dignity.

    Its a reflection on this organisations grassroots work that has helped to create and inspire our transnational EU supported project Step Across the Border.

    The line up for this solidarity and support event in Berlin at the Yaam club is fat! including the awesome Channel One Sound System from UK and other floors of music to groove and headbang to ...

    Step Across the Border / Unter Druck Kultur von der Strasse e.V. will be representing at the event  with live screenprinting and t shirts for sale!


    please share the internet posts, come if you can, donate or volunteer ! x


    facebook event link


    RCK Video Link




    Meanwhile, heres a foto of some RCK volunteers peeling garlic at the Calais Depot




    Friday, October 26, 2018 - 23:00 to Saturday, October 27, 2018 - 05:00
  • feantsa conference 2018 berlin - zusammen arbeiten um die wohnunglosigkeit in europa zu beenden

    Feantsa ist die Europäische Föderation der Nationalen Organisationen, die seit 1989 mit über 100 gemeinnützigen Mitgliedsorganisationen mit Obdachlosen arbeitet. Über 350 Teilnehmer aus 29 Ländern in Europa und den USA kamen zu ihrer 30.jährligen zweitägigen Forschungskonferenz in Berlin zusammen, um “Obdachlosengeschichte zu schreiben”. Ausgehend von einer kleinen, freiwilligen Basisgruppe, die 1989 in Paris ratifiziert wurde, befindet sich nun ihr Standpunkt in Brüssel mit 15 Mitarbeitern, die (auch) Lobbyarbeit in den verschiedenen EU - Abteilungen und politische und wirtschaftliche Entscheidungsträger zum Thema Obdachlosigkeit leisten.


    Tag 1: Für Besucher in Berlin wurde ein stadtweit koordiniertes Programm von Besuchen, Austausch und Untertreffenmit den verschiedenen Obdachloseninitiativen der Stadt organisiert, darunter eine Exkursion zum Unter Drucktreffpunkt in Wedding. Vereinsgründer Jan Markowsky und Coost (ich!) Empfingen die 30 Konferenzteilnehmer aus Kroatien, den Niederlanden, Ungarn, Italien, Österreich, Frankreich, Spanien, Deutschland, Dänemark und England: Den Besucher*innen wurde der Wohnungslosentreffpunkt gezeigt und wir beantworteten verschiedene Fragen bezüglich der Verbandsstruktur und ihrer Aktivitäten.

    Tag 2: Die Konferenz begann mit einer Grundsatzrede von Professor Eoin O’Sullivan von der Schule für Arbeit und Sozialpolitik, Trinity College, Dublin “Auf dem Weg nach 2030“, was sich auf die “2030 Agenda für nachhaltige Entwicklung” der EU (Interview von FENTSA hier und ein allgemeineres EU-Dokument hier) bezog. Er zitierte auch die amerikanischen Akademiker   Stephan Metraux und Dennis Culhaine die Pionierarbeit mit obdachlosen Kriegsveteranen betreiben. Im Anschluss fand eine Podiumsdiskussion statt, auf der namhafte Persönlichkeiten der Bekämpfung von Obdachlosigkeit wie Patrick Develeter vom Europäischen Zentrum für politische Strategie, UN-Sonderberichterstatter für Wohnungsbau Leilani Farha, Vizebürgermeisterin Laia Ortiz in Barcelona und Dirk Hauer von der Diakonie Hamburg vertreten waren.

    Die Diskussion konzentrierte sich weitgehend auf die Agenda 2030, einschließlich der Frage, ob die Diskussionsteilnehmer dies für ein realistisches Ziel hielten oder nicht. Einschließlich einer unangefochtenen Aussage von UN-Sprecherin Leilani Farha, die den Neo-Liberalismus als eine Ursache der Obdachlosen-Problematik und auch als ein nicht praktikables System in sich erklärte, Optimismus und Kritik recht ausgewogen. Es exsitiert ein aktuelles UN-Promo-Video über ihr Programm zur nachhaltigen Entwicklung. Des öfteren wurde das neue ungarische Gesetz erwähnt, das Obdachlosigkeit zum Verbrechen macht.

    Der für FEANTSA relevanteste Teil des Agenda-2030-Pakets war die EU-Städteagenda, “ein intergrativer und coordinierter Versuch, sich mit stätdischen Dimensionen der EU, nationaler Politik und der Legislativen auseinanderzusetzten. Durch die Konzentration auf konkrete vorrangige Themen im Rahmen spezieller Partnerschaften will Agenda die Lebensqualität in städtischen Gebieten verbessern. In diesem Zusammenhang fördert FEANTSA eine eigene 5-Punkte-Initiative “Be Fair Europe”

    Feantsa Konference -  Expert Panel & Key Note speaker Professor Eoin O’Sullivan

    “Seien Sie gerecht, Europa - setzen Sie sich für obdachlose Menschen ein -Die Obdachlosigkeitin Europa nimmt zu. Millionen von Bürgern werden durch unzureichende politische Maßnahmen mit Nachwirkungen auf den sozialen Zusammenhalt und das Wirtschaftswachstum zurückgelassen. Die EU muss eine entscheidende Rolle spielen, um Lösungen zu finden. “

    Dirk Hauer von der großen Hamburger Organisation Diakonie erklärte, dass alle größeren Organisationen, die, wie seine eigene, in diesem Bereich arbeiten, mehr Grassrootsbewegungnen und Willkommenskultur für Geflüchtete unterstützen, sowie aktiver bei Demonstrationen sein sollten.

    Die stellvertretende Bürgermeisterin von Barcelona, Laia Ortiz, beschrieb eine neue transnationale Manifest-Initiative, die auf der Grundlage des Artikels 19, der auf Artikel 19 der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte Bezug nimmt: Jeder hat das Recht auf Meinungsfreiheit und freie Meinungsäußerung; dieses Recht schließt die Freiheit ein, Meinungen ungehindert anzuhängen sowie über Medien jeder Art und ohne Rücksicht auf Grenzen Informationen und Gedankengut zu suchen, zu empfangen und zu verbreiten” . Dieser Artikel bezieht sich auch auf seine 1987 gegründete britische Menschenrechtsorganisation, (www.article19.org) deren spezifischer Auftrag es ist sich auf die Verteidigung und Förderung der Meinungs- und Informationsfreiheit zu konzentrieren. Generell schien es einen Konsens darüber zu geben, dass die Ziele der Agenda positiv waren, obwohl die moralische Verantwortung und Rechenschaftspflicht der Unternehmen und Oligarchen, die die Politik beeinflussen wenig oder gar nicht erwähnt wurden.

    Nach der Podiumsdiskussion verteileten sich die Zuhörer dann in das breit gefächerte Programm von 15 Diskussionsworkshops zu Themen wie “Housing First”, Gesundheit, Migration, Beschäftigung, die Kriminalisierung von Obdachlosen, sowie das Obdachlosenphänomen bei Frauen, LGBTQ und Jugendlichen. Kurz zuvor gelang es mir, eine Ecke der Workshop-Infotafel zu konfiszieren, um eine kleine Propaganda-Ecke zu gestalten, die das von Unter Drucks zuletzt gesponserte Aktion Mensch-Projekt präsentierte. (VAGA 2020)

    Der Obdachlosenverband Unter Druck Kultur von der Straße e.V. (Under-Pressure-Culture from the Streets) fordert die Realisierung eines Vagabunden-Kongresses 2020 in Berlin. Obdachlose Menschen haben keine Lobby. Ihre Menschenrechte werden oft ignoriert: Wir organisieren uns jetzt! Wir haben etwas zu sagen! Wir haben etwas zu zeigen! Wir haben unsere Träume!


        Da auch ich in einem sogenannten “Tiny Home” lebe, war der Workshop dazu meine erste Wahl am frühen Morgen. Die Gastredner waren Emmy Klooster von der holländischen Organisation Die Binnen Nest  und Barbara Poppe, die für den US-Rat für Obdachlosigkeit unter Obama arbeitete.

    Emmy gab an, dass die Obdachlosigkeit in den Niederlanden um 70% zugenommen hat, was für sich allein schon Grund genug ist, für eine Art von Schutzprogramm zu werben . Sie präsentierte verschiedene Beispiele für die verschiedenen Formen von kleinen Unterkünften in Holland, von temporär bis permanent, erzählte von den Herausforderungen mit umliegenden Stadtvierteln und wies darauf hin, dass verschiedene Menschen auch unterschiedliche Bedürfnisse haben. Zum Beispiel Menschen mit psychosozialen Problemen, die mehr Privatsphäre brauchen und sich vielleicht auch nicht gut integrieren. Ich fragte nach Hausbesetzungen oder nach der so genannten Antibesetzungsbewegung in Holland (Menschen nehmen das Gebäude in Gewahrsam und leben dort billig, um Vandalismus abzuhalten), aber Emmy sagte, dass es keine Rückmeldung zu ihren Fragen dazu gegeben habe.

    Es war auch klar, daß das Wort “Besetzen” die Menschen triggerd oder erschreckt, obwohl es eine lange Tradition hat und die Lebensgrundlage von Millionen von Menschen auf der ganzen Welt ist. Als aktuelles Beispiel dazu besetzten die Menschen in Polen Schlösser und renovieren sie bevor diese an den Punkt kommen, an dem diese unwiederbringlich zerbröckeln. Die lokale Regierung erkennt die Vorteile und ermöglicht den "Hausbesetzern", weiterzumachen, da sie eine Nische füllen, die die Regierung vernachlässigt. Natürlich ist ein Schloss kein “Tiny Home”, die Idee in größeren, vielleicht baufälligen Gebäuden kleine lebenswerte Räume zu schaffen, jedoch schon.

    Ist es besser, in einem Hochhaus im 20. Stock zu wohnen, als etwa in einer kleinen Wohnwagen umgeben von der Natur. Wagenburgleben“ wird, wie besetzen, dämonisiert und kriminalisiert: Wenn nur die Massen wüssten, wie bequem, sozial und billig es sein kann, würde der Immobilienmarkt zusammenbrechen :-)

    Barbara Poppe stellte einige Beispiele kleiner Hausinitiativen vor und darauf wies darauf hin, daß mindestens 4 Fernsehsendungen in den USA zu diesem Thema ausgestrahlt werden. Diese werden jedoch aus der Perspektive von gut situierten Menschen gezeigt, die auf der Suche nach einem minimalen Lebensstil sind und nichts mit Obdachlosigkeit zu tun haben. Interessante Beispiele für reale Obdachlosigkeit waren "Dignity Village" in Portland, “Community First!” in Austin und das "Block Project" in Seattle. Angesichts der wachsenden zahl der Obdachosen und des Bevölkerungswachstums wird dieses Thema weiter an Bedeutung gewinnen. Wenn man sich Stadtlandschaften in ganz Europa und die riesige Menge leer stehender verfallender Immobilienspekulationsobjekten ansieht, sollte eine Neubewertung erfolgen, die die positiven Aspekte von Hausbesetzungen als eine legitime Form des Wohnens akzeptiert.

    Der zweite Workshop thematisierte LGBTQ + Obdachlosigkeit, was für mich besonders interessant war, da dies ein wichtiger Punkt des laufenden Unterdruck / Erasmus Plus Projekt "Step Across the Border" ist. Dieses Thema wurde das erste Mal in der Geschichte von FEANTSA ernsthaft angesprochen, was hauptsächlich darauf zurückzuführen ist, dass es bisher an glaubwürdigen Daten dazu mangelte .... bis jetzt. Pioniere auf diesem Gebiet sind die US-Organisation True Colors Fund, die in New York gegründet wurde und nun in Washington DC ansässig ist. Aktives Gründungsmitglied war die Sängerin Cyndi Lauper. Stellvertretend für True Colours waren Executive Director und C.O. Gregory Lewis und Chief Strategy Officer Jama Shelton PhD. Darüber hinaus vertrat der Chief Executive des Unternehmens, Tim Sigsworth MBE, den Albert Kennedy Trust (UK).



    Sowohl True Colours als auch Albert Kennedy Trust operieren auf einer hochprofessionellen Ebene. Ihr Schwerpunkt ist Datensammlung und deren Analyse, die die jeweilig örtlichen Bemühungen, eine Lobby zu etablieren unterstützen. Ebenso identifizieren beide Organisationen Obdachlosigkeit unter LGBTQ + Jugend / jungen Erwachsenen als existenzielles Problem. In den USA wurden 40% der registrierten 1, 6 Millionen jungen obdachlosen Menschen als LGBTQ + identifiziert. Der Hauptgrund dafür ist “identitätsbasierte Familienabweisung”. Diese verletzlichen Menschen befinden sich auf der Straße und sind Zwangsprostitution, Drogen, Vergewaltigung und Posttraumatischem Syndrom ausgesetzt. Die am schlimmsten betroffenen Untergruppe sind POC LGBTQ +. Die Bedürfnisse von jungen LGBTQ Obdachlosen sind, akzeptiert zu werden, ein Ort zum Leben und, im Fall von Transgender, besondere Unterstützung für ihre Umwandlung. Organisationen in den USA und United Kingdom haben ähnliche Probleme und sehen die Notwendigkeit einer wirksamen Analyse, um überzeugende Argumente / Beweise vor den politischen Entscheidungsträgern zu präsentieren.

    Diese Daten basierte Forschung hat sich als Wendepunkt erwiesen. True Colors nennt auch Voices of Youth Count “Verknüpfung von Beweisen und Maßnahmen zur Beendigung Jugendobdachlosigkeit” als glaubwürdige Organisation für die Datenerhebung. Als Neuling im Feantsa Netzwerk habe ich ein paar Fachbegriffe gelernt und zum Beispiel festgestellt, daß sich der Begriff “service providers” nicht direkt auf das Internet bezieht :-), sondern auf die Einblicke von Einzelpersonen oder Organisationen die mit Obdachlosen arbeiten. Die Informationen sind für diesen wichtigen Datensammlungsvorgang wesentlich. Die True Colours-Website enthält free download Aufkleber und Poster, sowie Apps, um Abteilungsbeamten, Sozialarbeitern, Ärzten usw. zu helfen, die Faktoren zu verstehen, die beim Umgang mit der Themengruppe eine Rolle spielen.


    Weitere interessante Punkte die aus dieser Diskussion hervorgingen, waren:

    • Im Umgang mit LGBTQ + Obdachlosen ist es respektvoll zu fragen, mit welcher Anrede eine Person angesprochen werden möchte und zeigt eine  grundlegende Ebene des Verständnisses . Dies ist viel einfühlsamer als eine Person zu bitten ihr “Pathologisiertes” Geschlecht anzugeben, was diese meist dazu bringt nicht darüber zu reden.
    • “Digital Services” wie Instagram und You Tube sind derzeit die effektivsten Plattformen für Analysen in diesem Bereich.
    • Wie erreiche ich diese verletzlichen Menschen im Alltag eines Drop-in-Centers wie z.B. Unter Druck ? Aufkleber, Regenbogenflaggen, jegliche Zeichen oder Symbole signalisieren einem Neuankömmling sofort, daß der Raum für sie sicher ist.
    • Intersektionalität - Wenn sich die Gemeinschaft als Ganzes nicht engagiert, driften Menschen, trotz mitunter starker Meinungsverschiedenheiten, in glaubensbasierte Organisationen ab.
    • Frauen und Obdachlosigkeit sind ein eigenständiges Thema, das sich aber in vielen Bereichenmit LGBTQ Problemenüberschneidet und wurde so auch in die Diskussion einbezogen. Frauen die in missbräuchlichen Beziehungen gefangen sind, ohne einen Ausweg zu sehen dem Missbrauch lebenslang ausgestzt. Tun sie das nicht sind sie oft Obdachlosigkeit ausgesetzt.
    • Auch wirtschaftliche Themen werden angeführt. Beispielsweise die Belegung der Debatte , daß die Kosten für die Unterstützung der Obdachlosen potenziell steigt, je länger diese obdachlos bleiben. Dies gibt Regierungen einen Anstoß mit der Jugendobdachlosigkeit in ihren frühen Stadien umzugehen.
    • In ihren persönlichen Erfahrungen sind die Betroffenen selbst die besten Experten. Das Sammeln von Informationen über Fragebögen ist oft zu unpersönlich. Manchmal werden nicht die richtigen Fragen gestellt (siehe True Colors kostenlose download-fähige Help-Kits). Den Menschen werden die richtigen Fragen gestellt, aber im falschen Kontext, manchmal zu früh, wenn sie verängstigt sind.
    • In Gesprächen haben gefragte Menschen kein Vertrauen in diejenigen, die die Fragen stellen.
    • Empathie ist alles!
    • Letztendlich sind all das Menschenrechtsfragen!
    • Zu guter letzt: Das Ziel ist es, eine gerechte Behandlung für alle zu erreichen, und durch Beachtung von LGBTQ + Obdachlosigkeitsproblemen (die mit am meisten gefährdeten Menschen in unserer Gesellschaft) hilft, die Tür für alle zu öffnen.


    Die Podiumsdiskussion war eine sehr artikulierte, evidenzbasierte und empathische Einschätzung der LGBTQ + Obdachlosigkeit und es gab einige wichtige Informationen und Ratschläge sowohl auf den US-amerikanischen, als auch auf den britischen Webseiten.

    Also, wie versprochen und abschließend der Ausruf von Unter Druck Kultur von der Straße eV in Berlin: Im Czentrifuga Siebdruckstudio und beim Volksbühne Festival der Linken - No Room for Hate..... Ah Yeah!

    Sehen Sie sich die neue Initiative von Albert Kennedy Trust an! ”Unsere No-Room-for-Hate-Kampagne ist eine wichtige Erinnerung, daß, während die Sonne scheint und wir die Pride-Saison feiern, junge Menschen immer noch Obdachlosigkeit und Missbrauch ausgesetzt sind, nur weil sie mutig genug sind, sich in ihren Familien zu offenbaren . Bitte unterstützen Sie uns und helfen Sie, lebenslange Obdachlosigkeit zu verhindern, indem Sie diesen Sommer für unsere Kampagne spenden und diese publik machen."

    Natürlich habe ich auch an der Abschlusskonferenz teilgenommen. Die Atmosphäre war besonders an diesem Abend, als die Präsidenten, Pioniere und Gründer von Feantsa auf die Bühne traten, um Zeugnisse von 30 Jahren der Arbeit mit Obdachlosen zu geben. Es war auch eine Art Übergabezeremonie, da einige der Gruppenmitglieder in den Ruhestand treten und “junges Blut” die Verwaltung übernimmt. Thomas Specht, ebenfalls von der BAG Wohnungslosenhilfe, Deutschland und Pionier der Feantsa 1989, hielt eine amüsante Rede über die astrologische Bedeutung des genauen Zeitpunkts der Manifestation von Feantsa im Jahr 1989 und über die Anfänge der Organisation, bei dem ein Treffen mit dem legendären Kämpfern Obdachlosigkeit Abbé Pierre stattfand. Er erläuterte auch die Bedeutung des Standortes Kubis, der eine Pionierinitiative darstellte, die täglich bis zu 1000 Obdachlosen kostenlose Übernachtungsmöglichkeiten, Verpflegung und Entlausung ermöglichte. Ian Tilling gab eine enthusiastische und optimistische Rede, in der er die Bedeutung der “wissenschaftlichen Analyse der Obdachlosigkeit” unterstrich und die Metapher eines Hebels, eines Drehpunkts benutzte an dem genug Menschen ziehen, um eine effektive Veränderung zu bewirken.

    Alles in allem eine beeindruckende Erfahrung mit guten Leuten und interessanten Aktivitäten. Dank Paul und Robbie für die Unterkunft - undercover und ohne Eintrittspass :-)



    Thomas Specht, Rina Beers, Mike Allen, Ian Tilling und Konferenzteilnehmer bei der Abschlusskonferenz in Kubus, Schachaus Neue Teupe






    Feantsa is the European Federation  of National Organisations Working with the Homeles,s with over 100 non profit member organisations since 1989 . Over 350 participants from 29 countries across Europe and USA met in  Berlin for their 30th annual, two day research conference, "working to make homelessness history". From a small voluntary grassroots interest group, ratified  in Paris in 1989,  their base is now in  Brussels with a staff of 15 people who are (also) busy lobbying the various EU departments there, engaging  with political and economic policy makers on the theme of homelessness.

    Day 1:  There was a coordinated city-wide programme of visits, exchanges and sub meetings organised for the Berlin visitors, together with  the various city homeless initiatives, including a field trip to the Unter Druck meeting point in Wedding.  Association founder, Jan Markowsky and myself  received  30 conference delegates from Croatia, Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Austria, France, Spain, Germany, Denmark and England.The  guests  were given a tour of the place  and we answered various questions regarding the association structure  and  its  activities.

    Day 2: The conference began with a keynote speech from Proffessor Eoin O'Sullivan from the School of Work and Social Policy, Trinity College, Dublin "On the Road to 2030"; which refers to the EU  "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" (FENTSA interview about that here  and a more  general EU document here) He also citied the  American academics  Stephan Metraux and  Dennis Culhaine who make pionering research  with homeless war veterans.  This was followed with a panel discussion featuring major names in fighting homelessness including Patrick Develtere of the European Political Strategy Centre, UN Special Rapporteur for Housing Leilani Farha, Deputy Mayor of Barcelona Laia Ortiz, and Dirk Hauer from Diaconie Hamburg.

    The discussion centered largely around the EiU 2030 Agenda, including the question as to if the panelists thought it a realistic goal or not. There was a healthy balance of optimism and criticism, including an unchallenged statement from  UN spokeswoman Leilani Farha declaring Neo Liberalism as a root cause of homelessness and also, as an unworkable system within itself. Otherwise heres  an aktuelle  UN promo video about their  Sustainable Development programme . There was also some special mentions about the new Hungarian law which makes homelessness a crime.  The part of the 2030 Agenda package, most relevant to FEANTSA, is the EU Urban Agenda "an integrated and coordinated approach to deal with the urban dimension of EU and national policies and legislation. By focusing on concrete priority themes within dedicated Partnerships, the Urban Agenda seeks to improve the quality of life in urban areas."  In this context, FEANTSA is promoting its own 5 point initiative Be Fair Europe

    Conference Attendees, Expert Panel & Key Note speaker Professor Eoin O’Sullivan

    "Be Fair, Europe - Stand Up for Homeless People - Homelessness is on the increase in Europe. Millions of citizens are being left behind by inadequate policy responses, with knock-on effects on social cohesion and economic growth.The EU has a crucial role to play in finding solutions."

    Dirk Hauer from Hamburg organisation Diakonie, stated that  larger organisations like his own, working  in this field,  should support more grassroots activities as well as supporting the refugees welcome movement and also to be more pro active  at demonstrations.

    Deputy Mayor of Barcelona, Laia Ortiz outlined a new  transnational Municipal Manifesto initiative based on the tenants of Article 19, which refers  to  Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers." and also referring to  its  namesake British human rights organization (www.article19.org)  founded in 1987, whose specific mandate is the focus on the defense and promotion of freedom of expression  and freedom of information. Generally, there seemed to be a consensus that the aims of the EU agenda were positive, although there was little or no mention of engagement with policy influencing corporations and oligarchs and the moral responsibilities and accountability which they must also share.

    After the panel discussion, the audience then seperated into groups according to their choices, from a wide ranging programme of 15 Workshop/Discussions on topics such as  "Housing First", health, migration, employment, the  criminalisation of homelesss people and homelessness amongst women, LGBTQ and youth.

    Shortly before that,  I managed to confiscate a  a corner of the workshop info board  to make a small propaganda corner presenting Unter Drucks latest Aktion Mensch sponsored project  Vaga 2020 

    The homeless peoples association Unter Druck Kultur von der Strasse e.V.  (Under-Pressure- Culture from the Streets) calls for the realisation of a Vagabond Congress in 2020 in Berlin. Homless People have no lobby. Their human rights are often ignored: we organise ourselves now!  we have something to say! we have something to show! we have our dreams!

      As i also live in a so-called Tiny Home , this was my first choice for the early morning workshop .  The guest speakers  were  Emmy Klooster from Die Binnen Nest Organisation in Holland and Barbara Poppe who worked for  the US Interagency Council on Homelessness under the Obama administration.

    Emmy stated there was a massive 70% increase in homelessness in Holland, which is enough reason in itself to petition for any kind of shelter programme. She presented various examples of the different forms of small shelters across Holland, both  temporary and  permanent,  and explained about challenges such as conflicts  with local neighbourhoods,  as well as pointing out that different people have  different needs  e.g some people with psycho social issues who need  more privacy and may not integrate well. I asked about squatting or the so -called anti squatting movement in Holland (people take on custody of buildings and live there cheaply in order to deter  vandalism)  but Emmy said there had been no feedback to her questions about this.

    It was  clear that the word squatting  triggers or  frightens people , although there is a long tradition behind this and it has saved the livelihoods of millions of people throughout the world. As a current example, in Poland, people are squatting castles and restoring  them before the point that they crumble beyond repair. local government recognises that the work is beneficial and allow the "squatters" to continue, as they fulfill a role that the government cannot. Of course a castle is no tiny home, but it is possible to create  small liveable spaces within larger buildings.

    Is it more preferable to live in a high rise block on the 20th floor than a small "wohnwagen" which is surrounded by  nature ? "Wagonburg" life, like squatting, is demonised and criminalised: if only the masses knew how comfortable, social and cheap it can be , the real estate market would collapse :-)

    Barbara Poppe  also offered up several examples of tiny house initiatives, pointing out that there are at least 4 tv shows in the US that also explore this theme , however, they are shown from the perspective of well to do people who are in the search of a more minimal lifestyle  and, in fact, have nothing at all to do with helping the homeless. Interesting examples for genuine homeless people were  Dignity Village in Portland, Community First! in Austin and Block Project in Seattle . With the rise in homelessness and the rise in population, this issue will continue to become more relevant  and, when one looks at urban landscapes  across Europe and the massive amount of empty properties left to rot by property speculators, there should be a  re-evaluation  of   the positive aspects of squatting as a viable form of shelter for people.

    LGBTQ+ & Homelessness. The second workshop i attended was on the theme of  homelessness amongst LGBTQ+ (lesbian,gay, bisexuelle, transgender, queer and other gender identities ) which was especially interesting for me, as it is also a mainpoint in the ongoing Unter Druck / Erasmus Plus  transnational project Step Across the Border. This was the first time in the FEANTSA history that this theme was seriously addressed which is largely because there has been a lack of  credible data on this theme.... until now. Pioneers in the field are the US organisation True Colours Fund  founded in New York and now based in Washington DC. and co-founded by the singer Cyndi Lauper. Representing True Colours were Executive Director and C.O. Gregory Lewis and Chief Strategy Officer Jama Shelton PhD.  Additionally, representing the Albert Kennedy Trust (UK)  was the organisations chief executive Tim Sigsworth MBE.


    Both True Colours and Albert Kennedy Trust operate on a highly  professional level, with special emphasis on data collection and  analysis which helps to support  lobbying efforts in their respective home countries. Likewise, both organisations, identify homelessness amongst  LGBTQ+ youth / young adults as an existential issue. In the US, 40% of  a recorded 1, 6 million young homeless people are LGBTQ+ identified .The  main reason for this is gender-identity based family rejection. These vulnerable people find themselves on the streets and at the mercy of forced prostitution, drugs, rape, post traumatic stress, and  the worst hit sub group within this catchment  are P.O.C. (people of colour) LGBTQ+ The needs of young LGBTQ+  homeless are; to be accepted for who they are, a place to live and, in the case of transgender people, special support for their transition. Both of these US and the UK organisations identify many of the same issues and the need to make effective analysis in order to present convincing arguments/evidence  before policy makers.

    This data based  research has proved to be a game changer, True Colours also cites Voices of Youth Count  "linking evidence and action to end youth Homelessness"  as a credible organisation for data collection. As a newbie to the Feantsa network, i learnt a few new technical terms, realising that the term "service providers", doesnt directly relate to the internet :-)  but rather, individuals or organisations  who are involved in the field of working with the homelsss, and it is the information that they  provide, that is essential to the all important  data collection process. The True Colours website includes free to download stickers and posters as well as  Apps  to help departmental officials, social workers and doctors etc. understand the factors at play when dealing with the subject group.

    Further points of interest that came out of this discussion were:

    - When dealing with LGBTQ+ homeless people -  asking which  pronoun with which a  person would like be adressed is respectfull and shows a base level of understanding  and is much more important/relevant  than  asking a person to state their gender, which has become "pathologised",  often implied negatively, making a person reluctant to talk about it all.

    - How to reach out to these vulnerable people in everyday running of a drop in center such as our Unter Druck Cafe?.  Stickers, rainbow flags, any sign or symbol that immediately signalises  to a newcomer that the space is safe for them.

    - Intersectionality - if the community at large is not engaged then one becomes sidelined - working with faith based organisations, sometimes despite strong differences of opinion

    - Women and homlessness is another theme in itself but obviously it intersects  and was also brought into the discussion , namely the point whereby women are  trapped in abusive relationships and, seeing no way out, put up with lifetimes of abuse.

    - "Digital Services"  Instagram and You Tube are currently the most effective indicators  for analysts working in this field.

    - Economic arguments are also citied  to strengthen arguments such as, the cost of helping the  homeless rises exponentially  the longer they stay  homeless, which gives governments an economic incentive to tackle  youth homlessness in its early stages.

    - Ultimately; the goal is to gain equitable treatment for everybody, and by centering LGBTQ+ homelessness issues (= centering some of the most vulnerable  people in our society) helps to open the door for everyone.

    - People themselves are the best experts  of their own experiences but the process of collecting information from people via  questionaires is not straight forward. Sometimes they are not asked the right questions (see the  free to download True Colours help kits) or, people are asked the right questions but in the wrong context  e.g. too early in the process when they may feel suspicious or scared, as well as the problematic that people may not trust  those asking  the questions. 

    - Empathy is everything!

    - Ultimately all these issues are human rights issues!

    - The panel discussion  was a very articulate, evidence and empathy based asessment of LGBTQ+ homelessness  and there are some essential infos and advice  on both the US and UK websites.

    So, as promised, hashtags and  shout outs from the Berlin homeless peoples initiative Unter Druck Kultur von der Strasse, because theres No Room for Hate  in our  Czentrifuga screenprint studio and also at Volksbuhne/Festival der Linke  ..... Ah Yeah!


    Check out the Albert Kennedy Trust new initiative! #no room for hate  “Our No Room For Hate campaign is an important reminder that whilst the sun is shining and we are celebrating Pride season, young people still face the risk of homelessness and abuse just for being brave enough to come out to their families. Please support us and help prevent lifetimes of homelessness by donating and sharing our campaign this Summer.”

    I attended the final conference event at Kubis in Neu Köln. There was a special atmosphere this evening as the presidents, pioneers and founders of  Feantsa took to the stage to give testimonies of 30 years of working on  homeless issues. This was also a kind of handing over ceremony, as some of the group members approach retirement  and the "young blood"  takes over the administration.  Thomas Specht , also from BAG Wohnungslosenhilfe, Germany and 1989 Feantsa pioneer, made an amusing speech citing  the astrological significance of the exact date of the Feantsa manifest signing in 1989  and also the early days of the organisation, which included a meeting with legendary fighter against homelessness  Abbé Pierre  He also explained the significance of the Kubis location  which was a pioneering initiative  that provided free overnight accomodation, food and  delousing for up to 1000 homeless people daily. Ian Tilling gave an enthusiastic and optimistic speech , underlining the importance of "the scientific analysis of homelessness" and using the metaphor of a lever , a fulcrum (hinge) and having enough people to pull the lever , in order to make effective change.

    All in all, an interesting experience with good people and engaging activities.Thanks to Paul and Robbie for accomodating me -  undercover and without an entry pass :-)

    Thomas Specht, Rina Beers,  Mike Allen, Ian Tilling  and conference attendees at the final conference event at Kubus / das Schachaus neue Teupe



















    Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 14:00
    Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 17:30
    Friday, June 15, 2018 -
    09:30 to 22:30
  • All things Erasmus - Burgermeister Steps Over the Border

    (Originalartikel in Deutsch HIER)    

    As part of ongoing Unter Druck / Czentrifugas  Step Across the Border  project  activities , we teamed up with Rijn Ijssel school from  Arnhem,  who adopted  and adapted the SATB idea in order to sensitise their students to the issues of homelessnes and social exclusion, encouraging the students to put their creative skills  to a positive socio cultural use. Heres a rough translation from an article wriiten on the local town hall  news site.

    Heres also a  fotolink  showing the workshop results.


    How do people feel  having  to build a shelter for a homeless person from scrap and found things?

    This issue was  addressed  by 50 visiting Erasmus students from the  Rijn Ijssel school in Arnhem, Netherlands in Lichtenberg. For two days, the 18-to 22-year-olds constructed 8 temporary shelters at B.L.O. Ateliers in Kaskelkiez, Lichtenberg  which was visited  from the district Mayor Michael Gruner.

    In fact, this  international exchange should have take place in Kreuzberg, but the  new creative hub and hackspace  "Beton Insel"  featuring  an automated  robot band made from scrap metal and pneumatics, amongst many other D.I Y. projects,   was unexpectedly terminated by the  private landlord . "I am delighted that the Lichtenberger studios have simply stepped in to enable the project," said the district mayor.

    Yt from Czentrifuga  explains: "It is important for us to show that you can make something usefull out of rubbish too". Stine from Czentrifuga added "In fact none of this should  be happening at all if the issue of homelessness was treated more seriously and socially excluded people were given a fairer deal" 

    The Czentrifuga workspaces at  Ostkreuz on the Lichtenberg / Friedrichshain border,  is an initiative set up by  Unter Druck Kultur von der Strasse e.V. which is a small independent association for helping  homeless and socially marginalised people. The association also runs a  second location Unter Druck  in the Berlin Wedding district , which is a meeting place offering  free food and drink as well as legal advice and creative activities.

    Czentrifuga offers workshops in  screen printing, upcyling plastic trash for costimes and deco, a music studio and also  2D and  clay animation, under the motto "Jekami": (everyone can participate). For the Erasmus Workshop, Czentrifuga organised  old signs, wooden beams, carpet residues and other material for the construction of shelters. In addition,Verena, a former homeless person working as volunteer at the Unter Druck  cafe, as well as Syrian refugee Wael,  talked to the young Dutch students about their hard life experiences . "They told us their sad story and we realized that everyone could meet," said the 18-year-old Britney.

    Berlin Lichtenberg District Mayor  Michel Grunst & SATB Project Coordinator John Moulden a.k.a. "Coost"

    "Most of our students in the fields of art, design, interior design, and room design come from very sheltered conditions. For them it is hardly imaginable that people have to live on the street, "says Ineke Sadée. She is a lecturer for internationals in the creative Industry Department of Rijnijssel University. "Through projects like these, our students learn what it means to engage in civil society," says Sadée.







    Monday, June 11, 2018 - 15:00
  • Inclusion, Skills Exchange and Creativity

    (POLISH TEXT BELOW) Discussion organised by Andrzej Raszyk  from the International Alumni Center (IAC Berlin) which  is a competence center for impact-oriented alumni work. It advises foundations and other non-profit organizations and helps with practical solutions in the design of effective networks.
    How to transfer skill sets, awaken creativity and offer a safe work environment? How can the ability to produce beautiful and useful objects connect with social inclusion and lead not only to existential security but also to self-consciousness, empowerment and responsibility? How to hack popular organization structures and implement functional models supporting socially engaged projects?

    These and more questions will be discussed with specialists in the field who lead organizations for people in exile and people having an episode of homelessness in their lives.

    Conversation with John Moulden a.k.a. "Coost"  (Unter Druck – Kultur von der Straße e.V.) activist at Czentri Fuga screen printing workshop in Friedrichshain, coordinator of Erasmus Plus transnational adult educational exchange  project "Step Across the Border"  and co-worker  at  Unter Druck -  self organized cafe location for homeless in Berlin, together with Unter Druck  cafe volunteer and Polish translator/facilitator , Konrad Donaiski, Natalia Jerzak/ Yerzak – pattern designer, artist and project initiator of ScreenPrint Gardeners (SitoOgrodnicy)- a pop-up, DIY screen printing workshop placed in MiserArt - strefa kreatywna w labiryncie wykluczenia - a place for creativity and upcycled design (eg.Eco Bauhaus plant tables) run with the participation of people coming out of homelessness crisis, Benjamin Siepmann – social worker and a project manager of Rambler Studios Street Fashion Label with designs by homeless youngsters. Moderation by Andrzej Raszyk.

    30 of May 2018 (Wednesday)
    Doors open at 7pm
    End 9pm

    iac Berlin,
    Linienstr. 65a
    (backyard, left door, 1st floor)
    10119 Berlin

    Activists, Hackers, Artists, Designers, Policymakers, Project managers, Social workers and all people, who are interested in sustainable and socially engaged 'good practices' are very welcome to join the conversation.

    The residency of Natalia Jerzak in Berlin is a result of cooperation between by Culture Zone Wrocław (Strefa Kultury Wrocław) and Berlin Sessions Residency within the framework of AIR Wro programme.

    Photo: Marcin Jędrzejczak Fotografia



    Jak przekazywać umiejętności, obudzić kreatywność i stworzyć bezpieczne środowisko pracy? Jak połączyć umiejętność wytwarzania pięknych i użytecznych przedmiotów z integracją społeczną, doprowadzając nie tylko do zabezpieczenia potrzeb bytowych, ale też do wzrostu samoświadomości, sprawczości i odpowiedzialności? Jak hackować powszechne struktury organizacyjne i wprowadzić funkcjonalne modele, wspierające działania zaangażowane społecznie?

    Te i inne zagadnienia zostaną poddane dyskusji ze specjalistami z dziedziny, zarządzającymi organizacjami na rzecz osób na uchodźstwie i osób z doświadczeniem bezdomności.

    W rozmowie udział weźmie Natalia Jerzak / Yerzak – projektantka tkanin, artystka i inicjatorka projektu SitoOgrodnicy – warsztatu sitodrukowego DIY, którego siedzibą jest MiserArt - strefa kreatywna w labiryncie wykluczenia – miejsce dla kreatywności i projektowania upcyklingowego (np. stoły-ogrody Eco Bauhaus), prowadzone z udziałem osób wychodzących z kryzysu związanego z bezdomnością; Coost – aktywista związany z Czentri Fuga – berlińskim warsztatem sitodruku i kawiarnią dla bezdomnych, prowadzoną na zasadzie samoorganizacji (Unter Druck – Kultur von der Straße e.V.); Benjamin Siepmann – pracownik socjalny i project manager w Rambler Studios, street fashion z projektami młodych bezdomnych osób. Moderator: Andrzej Raszyk.

    30.05.2018 od 19:00 do 21:00

    iac Berlin,
    Linienstr. 65a
    (podwórze, pierwsze piętro)
    10119 Berlin

    Wydarzenie skierowane jest do aktywistów, hakerów, artystów, projektantów, urzędników, managerów projektów i nie tylko.

    Rezydencja Natalii Jerzak jest wynikiem współpracy Strefa Kultury Wrocław i Berlin Sessions Residency w ramach programu AIR Wro.

    Wednesday  19:00 · iac Berlin, Linienstr. 65a, 10119 Berlin



    Friday, May 25, 2018 - 11:00
  • Report: Step Across the Border: "Scapegoat" Marseille March 20-25.05.2018




    For this transnational Step Across the Border meeting and skill sharing exchange, the setting was in the Belle de Mai  area of Marseille centered around the culture center lEmbobineuse. The visiting project participants: Caro Smart, Rasheeqa Ahmad, Raggi Kotek and Lucy Van de Wiel  from the organisation True North Health in London and Yt Winterthaler, Stine Brinklov, Tanja Ehmann , Renate Rey, Angelika Wenzel, Minnie Griffith, John Moulden a.k.a."Coost" and Beat Gipp , representing the Berlin associaton  Unter Druck - Kultur von der Strasse e.V.

    Elsa Gobert, project coordinator at lEmbobineuse, organised  a comprehensive and dynamic  programme of educative and creative activiities and exchanges,which included discussions, demonstrations, workshops, communal cooking, radio cinema, live music and theater . The daily activities were mainly at locations in the local area, which is a  traditionally poorer part of the city, with a majority of African French citizens and migrants. A large social issue here, is  the  push of gentrification  at the expense and exclusion of the existing vibrant and diverse culture and community. As we found out, there are many  innovative  socio cultural initiatives in Marseille and, thanks to our wonderfull hosts, we were very priveliged and gratefull  to have the chance to look, listen and learn by submerging  into this unique community allbeit for five  short days......


    20.05 2018

    Arrival, checking in, meeting, eating and greeting at lEmbobineuse with an early evening  visit to  Radio Galère  in the culture complex Frische de la Belle Mai, for a live broadcast on  Dataplex radio   hosted by long standing  Marseille cultural operator Damien Morel, whereby  we  talked on air about the Marseille SATB mission and the various planned activities.

    meeting and greeting at lembobineuse ----------- yt from czentrifuga checks the artwork at le dernier cri ------------- propaganda --------------  stine and yt at the compagnie peanuts film premiere              


    locker system  at la baggagerie ------  Jardin du Couvent Levas -------- life on mars

    21.05 2018

    Morning visit to Le Derner Cri cult, art print factory at  Frische de la Belle Mai  with  introduction by Dernier Cri master printer,  local  social-cultural  activist and lEmbobineuse sponsor, Pakito Bolino. At midday we met and ate together  with representatives from Compagnie Peanuts at lEmbobineuse. This theater company of circa 30 people are residents from the neighbourhood, now in their third year of  working and co-producing together with Magdi Rejichi,  Philippe Zunino, Jérôme Fino and Mohammed Ali. The majority of the ensemble have migrated to Marseille from the Comoros islands on the east African coast , north of Madagascar. The age range is from 25  to 70 and approximately  two thirds are women. As an ex French colony , Comoreans are allowed to come to France, however, there are imposed  limitations to this, which means its important for the organisers to try and help company members integrate into society and find work in order to improve their chances of remaining . In this sense, the theater group  is a means by which its possible to help people with fundamental migration issues as well as the more obvious social and creative benefits.

    Representing Compagnie Peanuts


    La Cabane Métamentale

    That  same afternoon the SATB group took part in the Company Peanuts workshop, which centered around La Cabane Métamentale "a heterotopic space where time is suspended". Within this enlosed, dark space and, through the use of psycho social and emancipatory interviews, single participants are invited into this safe yet mysterious isolation chamber, allowing them to connect with their subconsciousness which can help participants to release intimate, often hidden, words and sounds that "need to come out". The purpose is to tap into the positivity within people by being welcoming and respondent.

    For the puposes of the SATB workshop, the cabin was installed on the lEmbobineuse stage. People in the room were invited to sit or lie  around the cabin and listen in on headphones to the conversations within. Meanwhile, there were 4 other stations, spread around the venue, and  participants  were escorted from one station to the next  by theater members dressed as medical staff.  These "doctors and nurses"  dressed in surgical gowns and masks, talk in Comorian, Arabic, French, English (often all mixed together). The "Patients" (participants) are first received  at the bar  area, where they are  are given their "Meta Mental" documents, before being escorted from one station/scenario to the next. Each  scenario  has a different twist on classical  doctor - patient interview situations: lying down, sitting, or being observed remotely through a glass window (in this case, the actors improvise using  the venues  cloakroom window) . Participants are asked  how they feel? , what do they like? or are simply lulled into a relaxed state through via  the use of abstract  words and sounds. 

    One scenario requires that the  participant squeeze between two actresses into the backseat of a very small car  (theres an actual car in the venue); whereupon these two "doctors" whisper and sing trance-like  into the participants ears. These actions are designed to  gently encourage the  participants to relax and step out of their normal mind set, to  open their  minds and prepare them for the final ultimate cabin experience. The hut  experiment is also part of an ongoing project, which is to record excerpts from the exchanges within  and also in the immediate area around the hut. The recordings are supervised and edited by invited S.A.T.B. guest Philippe Zumino. In this video teaser  "La Cabane", we see how the Company are very much pro active in promoting themselves within the neighbourhood . We also  see how La Cabane Métamentale is  constructed,  as well as showing Philippe Zumino making interviews inside  the Cabin.

    La cabane - teaser from lembobineuse on Vimeo.


    Cartographie Meta Mentale (examples from SATB participants  Minnie and Rasheeqa)


    Compagnie Peanuts / S.A.T.B. -  La Cabane Métamentale Radio Spot here


    Following on from the successfull medicinal plant and flower identification workshop at the first S.A.T.B. meeting at the Bienenwerder farm on the outskirts of Berlin, we visited  Jardin du Couvent Levas, together with herb and plant expert and  True North Health representative, Rasheeqa Ahmad. This ex-convent for nuns in the Belle de Mai are, is now a space for artists in residence surrounded by a community gardening project. Here we were given a tour of the flora and fauna of the garden by Alice who also volunteers at Cantine du Midi  which we  were to  visit the next day. This was a good opportunity for our London and local experts to trade  infos and anecdotes and a great opportunity for the team and guests to learn and reflect more on urban gardening and plant and herb identification.

    This full packed day was not yet over, with perhaps the most interesting and intense  experience of the Marseille visit lying before us. Members of the visiting S.A.T.B. organisations  were distributed and hosted amongst the respective homes of Zalahata, Khadja, Kader, Aziza, Mr Mfya and Afakra from Company Peanuts. This was a sublime continuation of the workshop at lEmbobineuse, whereby we were given a rare and priveliged opportunity to share the homes , eat, sleep and make exchange with some  incredibly generous and warm hearted people, most of whom are  from Islamic cultural backgrounds.



    Early the next morning, we assembled at Cantine du Midi on rue Bernard in the Belle de Mai area and began preparing food , some of which (herbs, stinging nettles and  other edible plants and flowers) we had collected from the previous days visit to le Couvant. The Cantine is organised by the En Chantier association  whose aim is to create local solidarity and collective responsibility  based on empowerment values "we pay attention to involving people  using food to reach this goal" As well as the daily low priced, healthy food cantine, the  organisation runs a food shop next door, as well as a mobile kitchen which is used to educate and sensitise children, teenagers and families about healthy food.

    That evening the group visited "La Bagagerie" which is an initiative working together with homeless people in the centre of Marseille and, here  we  were given a tour of the space by volunteer Marie. Utilising an empty storefront   property, the space has been fitted out with around 40  lockers, whereby homeless people can leave there belongings and valuables,  which allows them the freedom to walk freely in the city without the fear of losing their possessions as well allowing them anonimity of being unrecognisable as being homeless. This is a model project which deals simply and concretely with an existential homeless issue, which  other countries could  learn from. Many  thanks to the coordintion help from Sonja who was involved in the La Bagagerie set-up and who works for the Emmäus Homeless peoples organisation.



    The SATB team met at lEmbobineuse, whereby  Blandine and Cecile from the La Felure Theater Company, who had made a memorable peformance workshop at the Unter Druck Cafe in Berlin some few months before, gave an informal talk in English, which outlined the  basic feminist perspective. There was around 25 people in attendance, including the technicians, musicians and operators from the venue, and the talk  was aimed as much for the benefit of the assembled  men in the room, as part of a  sensitisation process. The notes from the talk are included as a PDF document within this article (below)

    Squatting is very common in Marseille as there is a large amount of long standing empty houses and flats, which  was previously the case in cities like London (now made largely  illegal) and Berlin (where it has never been actually legal but was tolerated until  recent  hyper urban renewal.  This means that socially engaged artisans, activists and the homeless have a greater chance to live in a safe space which encourages social cohesion  and community spirit. In the evening we visited le Guepier, a community squat which was being evicted in the coming week. The programme for this particular evening  was organised by  LGBTQA+  artists , although the audience was mixed ,which made for a positive and familiar environment for the SATB team.



    The day was spent preparing for the evenings public event at lEmbobineuse, the SATB team helped with cooking and cleaning as well as costume design using plastic trash found in the local neighbourhood. Before the event there was a film screening  premiere from Company Peanuts "The Scapegoat Workshops"  at the nearby  le Gyptis cinema.


    The scapegoat workshops from lembobineuse on Vimeo.

    After the screening, the cinema audience walked the short distance to lEmbobineuse for  food and drink , followed by a programmed evening of entertainmant. in an improvised initiative, Czentrifuga offered the chance to all S.A.T.B: participants to join in with an improvised costume performance. Fotos by Czentrifuga / Erasmus Plus exchange student Minnie Griffith can be seen  here .

    More images from this  altogther remarkable Marseille visit  can be seen here.

    Finally , not to forget to mention Agnes, who has a small studio space at lEmbobineuse, and kindly invited us to visit her urban garden at "Jaudin de Gibraltar" , also in the local area. This garden contrasts the Covenant as it is built on  waste ground and takes into consideration the polluted earth and how it is possible le to slowly clean the soil in order to grow edible vegetables and, of course merci beaucoup to  our hosts and guides for their enthusiasm and kindness and an alltogther enlightening learning experience.



    the author John Moulden a.k.a "Coost" Marselle 2018



    Saturday, May 5, 2018 -
    22:30 to 23:00


  • Czentrifuga @ Charivari "Comfort Zone" Villa Kuriosum Berlin 2018

    Its true! Charivari Circus is landing  once again in the Villa Kuriosum "Comfort Zone"  from  18.05 till 01.09.2018

    And thats not all! Throughout the summer and into the fall, Czentrifuga and a cast of thousands will be installed, performing, producing , partnering-up and propagandizing in thee most beautifull Villa Kuriosum garden, as well as presenting regular co creations of  chaos and krach in the Villas deep dark and dirty Noize Keller.

    Check your Horoscope or this site or http://villakuriosum.net/   for  lekker updates!



    "Tales from North Borneo " Beads - Tatu - Carving 31st May until  2 June

    Th. 31 May 17Uhr:  Opening Exhibition

    Fr.1 & Sa.2 June 17Uhr: Beads & Symbolism Workshop by Eleanor Goroh  Beads are part of Borneos  costume heritage and act as repositories of knowledge. They were items of trade, a form of currency and status symbol within a society. Beads are tangible items that carry stories, memories and identities. Beads from  stone, wood, seeds, shells, bone, glass & metal will be provided and participants can choose their ownbeads to complete their own strings.

    Fr.1 & Sa.2 June 17Uhr: Woodcut & Printmaking Workshop by Rico Leong  Woodcut method is one of the earliest way of printmaking before the invention  of machines. It is the most cost effective way to spread messages to the masses. Today, it has returned as a D.I.Y. method to realise ones own designs manually instead of using the common printer  machines. Carving tools and wood blocks will be provided . Participants will be thought the inverted way of drawing and manually print the block on paper.

    Fr.1 & Sa.2 June 17Uhr: Handtap Tatu Workshop/Demonstration by Cliph Nevilleson One of the few practitioners of the traditional hand tap tatu, Cliph carves his own tapping sticks out of salvaged Ironwood picked up from the rainforests of Borneo. His exhibit will showcase the exploration of motifs and patterns with ink and wood carvings.this traditional  style of tatooing with  tap sticks – the pricker and the beater - is mostly carved out of Ironwood, preferred for its weight and availability. Tap sticks, tattoo supplies will be provided for participants to try tap ink on canvas.

    Eleanor, Rico and Cliph are members of Tamparuli Living Arts Centre (TaLAC)which i s a newly founded  independent artist-run residency in Sabah, North Borneo. 

    (see attached pdf documents at the bottom of this article for more infos )

    Suggested Voluntary Donation for those with Money : between 8€ and 12€. (everyone is welcome with or without €)



    "Feministicker"  Workshop @ Villa Kuriosum  Ongoing thru May / June

    Czentrifuga has  self organised a small army of creative types who will be holding down a leafy corner in the Villa Kuriosum garden. We will be presenting screenprint products & artworks, including posters, books, t shirts and accessoires . You can buy, browse, inform yourselves over our socio cultural activities or join in e.g. with our new ongoing Feministicker project: this is part of our  Step Across the Border transnational education project and is (also) a  response  to the  #me too phenomena..

    Our garden kiosk will feature a postbox for your creative ideas on the theme of all things “Feministik" : bring your sticker designs or make one on-site  The (two color) stickers will be printed sometime around  end of June or possibly earlier  if we receive enough designs  together.

    Dont forget to leave your name and contact together with your design if you want to be sure to get some stickers!



    18.05.2018 18:00


    NOIZE KELLER:  Live! Tehno Muda (Serbia) Vs. Barbaric Symphony -  experimental noisy shit + Bad Beans from Banat (Vojvodina/Serbia) flatland noise fusion



    19.05.2018 17:00




    20.05 14:00






    25.05 17:00





    26.05 17:00





    27.05  17:00






    31.05 17:00


    Stories From North Borneo. Exhibition / Workshops & Music with members from the the Borneo Collective Pangrok Sulap and the Tamparuli Living Arts Center..   scroll back to the top of this article for details or scroll to the bottom of this article to see full pdf documentation.

    NOIZE KELLER: Multiversal Presents:

    Dr. Nexus (voice)
    Marcello Busato (drums) bungbung bangbang
    Kalash x Tavil
    Dirar Kalash - electronics 
    Utku Tavil - drums







    01.06 17:00  Stories From North Borneo. Exhibition / Workshops & Music with members from the Tamparuli Living Arts Center.. scroll back to the top of this article for details or scroll to the bottom of this article to see full pdf documentation.


    02.06 17:00  Stories From North Borneo. Exhibition / Workshops & Music with members from the Tamparuli Living Arts Center.. scroll back to the top of this article for details or scroll to the bottom of this article to see full pdf documentation.



    Pangrok Sulap




    Friday, May 18, 2018 - 18:00 to Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 04:15
    Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 17:00 to Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 04:00
    Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 14:00 to Monday, May 21, 2018 - 04:00
    Friday, May 25, 2018 - 17:00 to Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 04:00
    Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 17:00 to Sunday, May 27, 2018 - 04:00
    Sunday, May 27, 2018 - 17:00 to Monday, May 28, 2018 - 04:00
    Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 17:00 to Friday, June 1, 2018 - 04:00
    Friday, June 1, 2018 - 17:00 to Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 04:00
    Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 17:00 to Sunday, June 3, 2018 - 04:00


  • May / June 2018 Step Across the Border: Berlin/Arnhem Exchange

     “Step across the Border” (Edition Berlin-Arnhem)

    This is an educational exchange initiative between  Rijn IJssel school (Arnhem) and Unter Druck Kultur von der Strasse e.V. (Berlin), which reflects upon the ongoing transnational  teacher exchange project of the same name "Step Across the Border" (S.A.T.B.): "an international  grassroots initiative, since 2017, aimed at  using and developing basic creative education techniques with socially marginalised people." (stepacrosstheborder.eu). This Arnhem-Berlin initiative is coordinated by  Marciana Timmermans, teacher  at Rijn IJssel Creative Industry and the  aim is to encourage  the  Arnhem  students to  reflect on S.A.T.B. themes  (link) 

    The Rijn IJssel project seeks to generate more understanding for people who live in difficult situations. The students will develop a personal opinion about this and  explore possibilities about how they could contribute with their creative and personal skills in terms of generating more publicity for these problems and generate solutions.

    Participants: 42 students: Art&Design(13), Spatial Design (10), Interior Design (19) and 5 teachers, together with staff from the  Berlin homeless peoples initiative Unter Druck Kultur von der Strasse e.V. and its  creative atelier space ,Czentrifuga.  The  respective  periods for  activities are 5th - 19th of May 2018 in Berlin and 2nd - 10th of June 2018 in Arnhem. In both instances, activities will be spread amongst different locations.

    Period 1: Plan for S.A.T.B. Activities in May 2018 in Berlin


    Monday 7 May 20:00: Discussion at Aquarium In September 2017, the EU supported Step Across the Border project, hosted its “kick off” event in at the aquarium on Kottbusser Tor, Kreuzberg. Now we return to this sympathetic location with a follow up event instigated by the Rijn IJssel school SATB initiative.This relatively new space, specialises in political and socio-cultural events including  discussions, lectures and film screenings and  self help activities run by local residents, such a the social councelling group “Hartzer Roller”. Aquarium is a partner project of the long established Südblock which is a cafe and events space located next door and (also) a safe space for use bv various socially marginalised groups to make their own meetings and activities . Instigating the discussion will be guests, the Syrian born Waael Fares and also Verena Antensterne (Austria) who will join a discussion panel and share their respective experiences of refugee life and living rough on the streets.

    Monday 7 May 18.00   "Jekami" (jeder kann mitmachen) music session at Czentrifuga/Zuckerzauber with special guests from the Rijn IJssel music faculty  10 music students deep in the mix together with the Allstars from Czentrifuga and Zuckerzauber (thats the beach bar culture location  right in front of the Czentrifuga ateliers)


    10 and 11 May 10:00 - 20:00: Workshop for Design & Construction of  Compact Shelters for the Homeless at B.L.O. Ateliers B.L.O. Ateliers is situated in the former railway depot Berlin-Lichtenberg-Ost, Berlin and is homebase for over 100 artists, artisans and handworkers who make up Lockunst e.V. , an  association that  produces regular cultural activities and open workshops, including  this new international cooperation  together with Rijn IJssel and Unter Druck - Kultur von der Strasse e.V. 

    Here, 8 groups of  students will design and create small shelters for possible future use by homeless people, using recycled and found materials. Activities will be organised over two days  in co-op with visitors from the Unter Druck homeless peoples meeting point. Food will be provided by the UK /Berlin waste food recycling project Real Junk Food Project.


    Period 2: Plan for S.A.T.B. Activities June 2018 in Arnhem

    Unter Druck & Czentrifuga staff will visit Arnhem in June (Saturday the 2 of June until Sunday the 10 of June) 2018 to make print and design workshops, exhibition and performance together with Rijn IJssel school students and staff, and interested artists/citizens in Arnhem.

    - Exhibition about CZ and Unter Druck in the first weekend and the first days of the week (Sunday 3 June 15.00 hrs, vernissage with drinks, music and performance). And art work Rijn IJssel students made during their stay in Berlin.

    - During the week: workshops with CZ, students Rijn IJssel, interested residents of Arnhem and artists/musicians at  a large warehouse space in the centre of Arnhem.

    - Last weekend: exhibition and performances which are the result of the workshops and
    other cooperations. (Saturday 9 June 15.00 hrs, finissage with drinks, music and


    Rijn IJssel Participants

    Students from Art&Design, Spatial Design, Interior Design, Human Technology, Musician, Make up, Hair Design,

    Performing Arts, Event Marketing and Graphic Design faculties together with  Rijn IJssel teaching staff.


    Unter Druck/Czentrifuga Participants

    Stine Lawine, Yt Winterthaler, David Braithwaite, Werner Kernebeck and Marko Krojac















    Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 10:00 to Saturday, May 12, 2018 - 21:00
    Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 10:45 to Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 22:45
  • Mars First Landing

    I arrived on a Sunday at L'Embobineuse https://www.lembobineuse.biz/  on Boulevard Boues in the Belle de Mai area of Marseille to find circa 20 experimental music and performance artists mainly from Toulouse and Brussels and Marseille, relaxing after a long weekend of activities to celebrate the life of departed friend. Amongst them was Marseille based Tomagnetik, photographer and video artist who we had met 5 years previously in Mars as part of a Grundtvig adult learning project.


    Saturday: Marseille still resists gentrification and there are many poor and marginalised people living in the centre of the city, giving it a unique and vibrant atmosphere. We were lucky to catch the legendary French punk band La Fraktion with charismatic frontwoman Magali at the venue La Machine A coudre, which exists since 30 years, in the lively and unpretentious downtown area La Plaine, with lots of street art and small, inexpensive cafes, bars and culture initiatives.


    Sunday: Meeting with Blandine and Elsa to talk about organisational issues concerning the upcoming SATB plan of activities coming up in March. Then I returned to the La Chasse area and the Chez Gildas Cafe, 13 Rue des Trois Mages where I again met the visiting artists from Saturdays L'Embobineuse event ...networking non stop and everyone wants to know (pick my brain) about the culture ship Stubnitz in Hamburg.


    Monday: I met with the German experimental photographer Alfonz Alt and print master Pakito Bolino (le Dernier Cri) both based at the art complex Frische la Belle de Mai and both of whom are participants in a muliti media exhibition there in the context of “Vendetta” - an annual graphic, music and performance festival, which is also in coop with the L'Embobineuse location. The exhibition is a multi media spectacle  “Viva Revolucion Grafica” http://www.lafriche.org/fr/agenda/viva-revolucion-grafica-957  and includes Mexican,Belgian and French artists, some of whom with special needs. The exhibition crosses many borders between naivety, trash, mex-mystik, beauty, horror and humour. Its very dense with a lot to excite the senses, drawing a lot on iconic Mexican culture such as masked wrestlers, super heroes, and Day of the Dead. The mixed media presentation includes short films,paintings, drawings, a wide range of  printing formats such as linoleum/wood cuts, screen prints etc, as well as  large format colour photographic prints by Alfonz Alt which document the artist exchange process between the 3 participating countries.


    Later, i went with  Elsa, to the harbour to visit the Mucem complex (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisation)charting historical and cultural cross-fertilisation in the Mediterranean basin, it takes an interdisciplinary approach to society through the ages up to modern times.” (Wikipedia). The centre piece is the impressive J4 building, clad in a striking fibre-reinforced black concrete web, designed by architects Rudy Ricciotti and Roland Carta for the 2013 European Culture Capital programme.




    By chance we met Marlène , soon to be studying sound engineering in Hamburg, she suggested we meet up with social worker Sonja who works for Marseille community social housing network Emmaus: an international solidarity movement founded in Paris in 1949 by the Catholic priest and Franciscan friar Abbè Pierreto to combat poverty and homelessness (Wikipedia).http://emmaus-france.org/

    The four of us sat for a coffee at Place Reforme (a.k.a. Place Stalingrad) where every morning at 8.30 , a truck arrives fitted with showers as well as a free food distribution truck for the cities homeless. Sonja pointed this out and had many other observations and insights into various Marseille social initiatives including La Bagagerie http://www.go-met.com/associations-bagagerie-soulager-fardeau-abris/ on Boulevard de la Libération, which is run by volunteers and is a place where homeless people can safely leave their belongings, blankets etc  during the day, allowing them more autonomomy and the chance to be able to socialise and integrate freely. The La Bagagerie initiative addresses a universal problem for homeless people, who have to carry their worldly possessions around with them, which often makes them vulnerable (standing out from the crowd) and sometimes targets for abuse in the streets. Video here: https://youtu.be/fY6ptnDQ9TE

    The Emmaus organisation offers accomodation on both temporary and long term basis. Organisation is  non hierarchical and is managed horizontally, incorporating the idea of people cooking and eating collectively whereby, people with a myriad of existential and psycho social issues can come together, socialise, empathise and help each other without necessarily having to resort to institutional intervention (e.g. social workers) These factors also resonate with the Unter Druck principle of “Helping People to Help Themselves”.

    Unlike Germany or the UK, France has a universal emergency hotline telephone number which promises to find a homeless person a place to sleep for the night. This goes part way to dealing directly with the homeless issue, however, as one person pointed, these emergency sleeping places are not always easy environments in themselves and some prefer to sleep in the outdoors and also , as we know from the situations in Calais and Paris, this offer does not necessarily extend to refugees.


    Tuesday: visit to la Cantine du Midi "Popular Canteen"  https://cantinedumidi.wordpress.com together with the lEmbobineuse booking and coordination team: a three course organic menu for 8 euros! VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQvTaI_odVY  The cantine, which also has a bio-regional food shop next door, serves as meeting point for socio cultural exchange including initiatives such as Mot à Mot http://www.associationmotamot.org/ which is a literacy organization helping migrants learn French in a familiar and informal environments such as co-working in the canteen.

    We arranged that the SATB staff will run the kitchen there for one day during our meeting in March, which will allow us the opportunity to talk with the organisers as well as meet people from other socio cultural organisations who eat there.

    Afterwards, we met back at L'Embobineuse together with Julius, to discuss websites, social media, press, flyers and translation in the context of promoting the SATB event, as well as promotion of the project in general. In the evening i visited La Frische de Belle Mai and the Radio GALERE  studio, whereby i participated in a live, analogue radio show, together with Jens from L'Embobineuse. radio host Damien and experimental musicians from Marseille and Spain. https://ateliers.radiogalere.org/


    Wednesday: Compagnie Peanuts http://www.compagnie-peanuts.com/la-compagnie/les-gens/   runs a weekly workshop at L'Embobineuse with Magdi, Felix and Ana, together with a mixture of circa.10 men  and women people from the neighborhood, mostly from Comores island, an ex French colony near Madagascar . The French constitution grants people from its colonial past, citizen rights, however, in the case of the Comorand islanders, the law was changed whereby those that who did not sign up before a certain date are excluded from normal citizen rights  and given a restricted entry into France. Health insurance and lack of employment are existential issues and helping these people in this context is a perhaps a universal European priority. One member of the theater group is able to help at lEmbobineuse as security guard which helps to favour his chances with permission to remain in France.

    This was my first meeing with L'Embobineuse co-founder Felix who, together with Magdi, (who I had already met at the first SATB meeting in Berlin) is the “other leg” of theater group Compagnie Peanuts. Together they both navigated the 3 hour workshop, which at first seems disarmingly playfull, however the structure is quite specific, using a journalistic technique of posing direct questions on various social topics. Questions or statements are offered up to the group as proposals which can be discussed, perhaps modified or even rejected by the group. Participants have the chance to tap into their conscious and subconscious, to freely associate in a theatrical way “imagine an audience looking”. The ongoing theme for the workshops is “Scapegoat” which relates to issues facing migrants in France.

    I felt very privileged to be accepted to participate inside this intimate, three-years-in-the-making, group process and, despite language barriers and my European citizen entitlements, there was a powerfull social and creative connection. After the workshop we talked within the group about when the SATB participants come in March and the possibility for some of (us)  to share their homes for a night as part of a cultural exchange. LINK: Comoro Islands

    I also had the chance to talk with Magdi and Elsa about them  re-visiting Berlin in the near future; Blandine plans to set up a new theater group partnership in Berlin together with the Villa Kuriosum cultural location, where the SATB team visited at the first partnership meeting. Magdi has the idea to make a project together with African migrants who, without permission to work, congregate and socialise in the Görlitzer park which is situated close to SATB project workspace Premarts, in the Kreuzberg “Bizim Kiez” quarter. Recently i visited a remarkable and ground breaking exhibition "Anderer Heimaten" http://otherhomelands.website/ at the Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg Museum: "Origins and Migration Routes of Berlin Park Drug Sellers"  which has totally re-ignited the passions of the German tabloid press .The exhibition includes a press archive spanning  over fifteen years which clearly shows, how this complexed issue is instrumentalised and over simplified by media and politicians to present all African migrants in a constantly negative light. The exhibition, as well as other information events surrounding the exhibition, shows by way of  serious research, that press use the issue as a populist tool   to rally and focus societal anger and disdain: Scapegoating. "Drug dealers count among the most hated people in our society. No other group garners such uniform condemnation across all party lines. Scarcely anyone else has to live so demonized by racist and criminal stereotypes.”



    All in all, lots of new inputs, nice people and the plan is in motion ... Marseille here we come !





    Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 11:15 to Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 11:15
  • Step Across The Border - First Transnational Partnership "Kick Off" Meeting Berlin 20-25 September 2017





    First "Kick Off" meeting with  particpants, staff and invited guests from Germany, France and UK . The group become aquainted, decide on an effective format for holding efficient and  horizontally structured meetings/discussions, as well as discussing SATB methodology; options for self evaluation and the upcoming 5 day itinerary.

    Berlin Organisation

    Czentrifuga and the Unter Druck Cafe are separate locations in Berlin, both of which are  organised by parent socio-cultural association Unter Druck – Kultur von der Strasse e.V. (since 1992)

    Czentrifuga, in the Friedrichshain area, specialises in workshops for screenprinting, music and animation as well as homebase for performance group Gogo Trash who recycle found materials to create costumes, transforming environments for public spectacles.

    Unter Druck Cafe in the Wedding area, is open six days a week , providing free food and drinks for the homeless, and other socially marginalised people, as well as offering professional pedagogic help for guests. The Cafe also serves as a space for creative activities including workshops for theater, graphic, music and discussion.


    As well as being the first opportunity for all the partner organisations to all meet and greet, this SATB “kick off” meeting, was planned to include visits and exchanges with socio cultural institutions, organisations and workshops that relate to the partner organisations' ongoing work with marginalised groups, as well as special attention to the needs of women and LGBTQ+ migrants and refugees. The partnership seeks to integrate with a wider network of individuals and organisations by highlighting and promoting its work at public events, with guest speakers, public discussion, music, exhibition and performance.


    Wednesday 20.09 19Uhr:  Step Across the Border @ aquarium

    Infotainment Evening with Introduction to the Project, Discussion, Music & Performance

    Originally planned for 21.09, we were fortunate to be able to switch the date to the previous day, after the original date had been booked by another organisation during the waiting period  for application approval. The aquarium, together with its neighbour and sister location Südblock, are situated directly in the colourfull and culturally diverse Kottbusser Tor area. These locations run many socio cultural activities together with local communities and are also meeting points for various LGBTQ+ and refugee supporting organisations, making it the perfect environment in which to make this event.


    Step Across....

    The evening began with a ceremonial opening performance by Gogo Trash and members from the partner organisations, whereby, we installed a wall made from cardboard and covered in gold (found coffee wrapping material) which blocked the entrance to the venue. The wall itself was printed with unfriendly looking cartoon border security guards  which were only revealed as we tore away the gold paper, whereupon we gently pushed the wall flat to the ground, clearing the way for the waiting guests to go inside. This action was a reflection  on Donald Trumps wall plans in Mexico, as well as a symbolic reference to the name of our project. Special thanks to Vasja and Louis for live musical accompaniament!


    Podium Discussion

    The discussion began with a mission statement and representatives from the three project partners explained something about the work of their respective organisations. The subject of sensitization to working with traumatised and descriminated people was a main topic amongst podium and audience, as was the theme of “burn out” and the importance of “caring for the carers” in recognition of the psychological stress and fatigue that often comes with this kind of work. Other topics we touched on were the necessity and implementation of safe spaces for women/LGBTQ+ in the the context of migrants and refugees. and also the sensitive, conflicting issues and problematic of how these groups intersect.

    We  made it clear  that this was an open for all project and that we were actively looking for new allies, collecting names and addresses from the guests, amongst them doctors, therapists and artists.

    A positive surprise of the five day Berlin programme was our unplanned cooperation with the Marseille based performance group La Fêlure. (http://lafelure.eklablog.com/) We were already expecting the attendance of group member Blandine Voineau as she is a key member of both SATB and l`Embobineuse, but did not recognise, until shortly before the event, that La Fêlure would be also be in Berlin on a parallel EU funded course "Mobility kit learning from vocational education and training LINK . La Fêlure were highly motivated to join in the aquarium event and Czentrifuga reciprocated by helping them produce screenprinted buisness cards and flyers for their upcoming event  at Villa Kuriosum which was curiously and coincidently,  a location SATB had also planned into its schedule of activities.

    The thirty minute performance "Prosexus" questions sexuality and freedom through a feminine prism. Between poetry and performance, the group attempt to destabilise preconceptions and social conditioning, creating a space for change and improvistion. The performance was warmly received by the audience, striking a sympathetic note with the evenings programme.

    Dj Lyon (Reboot FM) played vinyl records in between the activities and we are now working on creating a talk radioshow for Reboot in advance of the next main meeting in Marseille.

    Approximately 200 people attended the free event which was perfect for the size of the location. We also made a big collective effort in preparing a delicious free buffet using organic food from the OLIB farm collective, next to Berlin. The same place where we would be making our next public event on the coming weekend. (http://www.suedblock.org/wp/)


    Thursday 21.09 11:00 “15 Years Raw-Culture Manufacture”

    SATB Partner Meeting at Czentrifuga, Ostkreuz

    In my role as project coordinator and Czentrifuga/ Unter Druck public relations worker, I talked with the French and British partner organisations about our organisational set up. We tried to be as open and non dogmatic as possible during this first kick off meeting, in an effort to encourage new inputs and ideas and, with this in mind, we accepted Raggi Koteks (TNH) offer to facilitate a “Process Work” session which she is currently studying in London.

    My aim was to run a session based on the facilitation technique of Process Work. This is a technique aimed at facilitating issues between people and following the natural process that occurs.

    We looked at some of the issues that were concerning us as a group. And started by examining some of the different experiences impacting migrants and refugees and those around them. The session was intense and stirred up feelings of racism, injustice and lack of recognition of those that do provide support.

    The group shifted focus to personal sharing between the members and a deep conversation took place where experiences of marginalisation and privilege were apparent and members were able to get more of a sense of what the group was bringing - individually and collectively. Overall, it felt like we reached  somewhere . We lifted the lid of some of the difficult issues we are dealing with on a macro level and highlighted how those issues were also reflected within us personally. A good start.

    Unknowingly, this intense and emotional two hour meeting was to be the first test of the groups resilience. A lot of issues were raised  both on personal and professional levels. Indeed, the mood was sometimes angry, as many of us felt quite exposed within the process . This  unplanned "in at the deep end" first partnership  meeting was generally helpfull in the difficult  process of sensitisation to the the SATB thematic. Now we need to create  a structure and  methodology for future meetings in an effort to safeguard personal boundaries, and ensure an  efficient and friendly group dynamic.

    Somewhat exhausted, and full of food for thought, we left the Czentrifuga to visit cultural location Villa Kuriosum  - a free, self-organised cultural space combining visual and performing arts linking local with international cultures. The location name refers to a dedicated museum room known as a Curiosity Cabinet or “Wunderkammer” encyclopedic collections of objects whose categorical boundaries were, inRenaissance< Europe, yet to be defined. Modern terminology would categorize the objects included as belonging to natural history (sometimes faked), geology,ethnography, archaeology, religious or historical relics, works of art (including cabinet paintings), and antiques. "The Kunstkammer was regarded as a microcosm  or theater of the world, and a memory theater. (Wikipedia)

    Perhaps the greatest attraction of the Villa is its impressive orchard and a garden filled with a bewildering assortment of flora and fauna through which run discreet public walkways and hidden sitting areas. We particularly wanted to show this urban garden to True North Health and their plant and herb specialist Rasheeqa, and, coincidently, La Felure would be performing here on the following Friday.  Here, we were able to take in the sunset ,reflect chat and relax. This location is a must for anyone interested in Berlin subculture, there's a video clip showing the garden here http://villakuriosum.net/index.php/about-us/garten


    Friday 08.09 11:00 Visit to Unter Druck Cafe Wedding, Berlin.

    Women from the SATB group visited the weekly “Frauen Cafe” at our cafe for homeless (and those in danger of becoming homeless) in the Wedding district, whereby they met main organiser Ulla Benz , district council prize winner 2017 for recognition of her long standing voluntary work. The intended activity plan had to be modified due to two cases of sickness amongst the group, however, once again, La Fêlure were eager to participate and contribute, which was a huge success with the cafe guests. More infos/fotos here: http://stepacrosstheborder.eu/article/friday-2209-2017-unter-druck-cafe-frauentag-special

    Magdi, theater producer from Compagnie Peanuts and representing SATB partner, l`Embobineuse, attended the Unter Druck evening theater probe which is run by our association founder Jan Markowsky.


    Its important to mention the support from Czentrifugs two new "praktikantin" Renate Rey and Minnie Griffiths. Renate studies at  Academy of Art in Arnhem (NL) and is making a practicum at the Czentrifuga and Unter Druck locations as part of her studies. (https://www.artez.nl).  Renate has proved to be resourcefull, dynamic , occupied with photography, video filming / editing , printing, organisation, website and PR. SATB benefits greatly from her enthusiasm and inputs, in much the same way as the work of Minnie Griffiths, another new student amongst us, this time coming from Marseille. Minnie is sponsored by the European Voluntary Service or EVS and works under the guidance of Unter Druck team member Margita Weiler who has a long standing experience with this programme aimed at youth and young adult training.

    Minnie and Renate took it upon themselves to share the Berlin SATB audio, video and foto documentation,  LINKS TO FOTO ARCHIVES There's also a PDF document created by Minnie which is attached at the end of this article, that details her SATB experience. Meanwhile video clips and audio bytes from the 5 days of activities, are currently being edited for online presentation...


    O.L.I.B. Hoffest 23-25.09 2017   LINK TO MINIES PHOTOS     LINK TO RENATES PHOTOS   Organischer Landbau in Bienenwerder e.V. (O.L.I.B.) is an organic arm in Bienenwerder in the Brandenburg Oderland near Müncheberg, 50 kilometers east of Berlin. The farm manages 50 hectares of land and is operated collectively by approximately 15 people, including individuals, families, apprentices and trainees who live and work together there. For over 10 years they have been producing organic vegetables, as well as dairy goats, horses, cows, ducks, chickens and bees. The farm products supply collectively operated health food stores in Berlin including Bio Kraft Keller which is coordinated  by people from the farm. OLIB also delivers to Berlin food sharing initiatives as well as supporting actions for socio cultural activities including migrant and refugee support.

    Sa.23.09 10Uhr "Cake, Bake n' Talk" Bring your special ingredients and favourite cake recipes!

    Paula Gioia is a member of the OLIB collective as well as activist with the German organisation A.b.l. (Association of Rural Agriculture: http://www.abl-ev.de/start/) and also spokesperson for the international peasant farmers movement, La Via Campesina (https://viacampesina.org/en/).  Variety is the spice of life and, together with SATB members and festival guests, Paula organised a collective early morning cake baking action during which she informally discussed one aspect of her work which promoting gender diversity and tolerance in rural areas.

    Kräuter und Planzen Identifikationstour mit Rasheeqa Ahmad (True North Health)

    Rasheeqa made the countryside  tour together with support from Gabba (O.L.I.B. /Czentrifuga). As the video (coming soon!) will show, the two women established a good rapport  and  it was an educational  and entertaining mixture of insights from both academic and  folkloric perspectives, together with  helpfull translations back and forth between English and  German and of course Latin!  Approximately 35 people took part in the tour.

    Movement Medicine: Introduction with Caroline Smart and Movement Medicine Course with Raggi Kotek (2 x True North Health)

    We create a space in which everyone is welcome. We teach a procedure called "Movement Medicine". It's a fun way to dance and follow instructions if you wish. For many, life is just a big challenge. Our goal is to create a place where you can take some time off from yourself, shake off a few things that pull you down, re-connect to  yourself and  give you strength.We ask you to be there from the beginning. We will close the doors after 15 minutes warm up. It is allowed to enter and leave the room if you wish, we only want to lock the doors for newcomers who may interrupt the flow. Wear clothes where you can move easily, layers are good. We dance barefoot, unless you want to wear slippers. Raggi x

    The  one and a half hour workshop demonstration included approximately 25 people, including SATB members and refugees from nearby Garzau/ Garcin camp,

    Film Presentation from Oliver Speiser about the  North Borneo Kollektiv – "Pangrok Sulap in Berlin"

    Exhibition of large format wood cut prints and Woodcut Workshop. http://youtube.com/watch?v=Jf2C8t0CPjk&feature=youtu.be

    Czentrifuga met Oliver earlier in the year in Berlin,  helping him to promote an upcoming visit from the Borneo collective.  We were all "flashed" how sympathetic these people  were and, together we worked on woodcut designs , some which  refllected Pangroks Sulaps homeland, its incredible  nature (famous for Orangutangs amongst others) as well as the danger  posed to the environment  by pharmaceutical and agrocultural corporations. As part of a solidarity action, which also included a a music and info event, we also worked on creating designs for "Turkeys first LGBTQ+  football team" Sportif Lezbon. Our thoughts are with them , as we learn that Turkey has since  forbidden public actions with LGBTQ+ .http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/sportif-lezbon-turkey-s-first-lgbt-football-team-687044868

    Olivers film about this Berlin experience  was shown to a packed  room and the subsequent  woodcut workshop attracted  approximately  30 people.  Approximately 300 people attended the farm festival. Special thanks to the  live bands Racket Alert, Lottaleben, Dirty Feetz and Option Weg as well as Dj Team Acid Burrito for there part in producing  this festival!

    Sunday 24.09 informal meeting.

    On a cold morning, sitting around a warm campfire, the SATB group talked informally about their recent experiences,brainstorming new inputs for the next main meeting in Marseille, as well as solving  logistical and financial issues before the return to Berlin, and eventually flights, cars and buses back to UK and France for our SATB guests.


    We recognised that organising our kick off event so soon after  receiving the official go ahead was perhaps too soon.. There was little time  and there was a lot of pressure to  mobilise, make efficient promotion and establish rapport and win trust from related peer organisations and initiatives as well as women and LGBTQ+ from migrant and refugee diasporas. We did not achieve to bring all of the  sympathetic organisations to the Aquarium kick off meeting that we wished for, as some were already booked or could not come at short notice. Howvere, SATB advisors and specialists Dr Tanja Ehmann and Jakob Kirchheimer helped to lend a professional tone and discipline to what turned out to be a worthwhile and sensitive first major discussion, which has helped place us on the map.

    Unlike the TNH and lÈmbobineuse staff who  have long and ongoing experiences with working with migrant women and migrant LGBTQ+ migrants, this is a relatively new  field of inquiry for Unter Druck/Czentrifuga which is necessitated by  the  recent  phenomena of ca. 1.5 million recent refugees in Germany, not to forget the rising migrational flow from East Europe. We were fortunate to team up with Julia Kapelle who is developing learning software Trickmisch in order to help refugees and migrants, and, in the run up to our SATB  first  meeting, invited Czentrifuga  to a women refugees  printing  workshop  https://hausderstatistik.org/unser-modellprojekt-die-zusammenkunft-in-der-stresemannstr-95   Also thanks to Aquarium director Claud, for her thoughtfull insights into our new project and help with orientation amongst the various migrant/refugee support groups in Berlin as well as  the  good day out promoting SATB at the  Berlin anti descrimination rally in September ! 


    Next Steps

    Focus on next meeting in Marseille.

    Consolidate Berlin contacts - Initiate new activities.















    Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 11:45


  • Report: SATB Partnership Preparation Meeting London September 2017


    Report: Mission to London - SATB Partnership Preparation Meeting September 2017  The first  border crossing mission in this new transnational partnership was for project cooordinator (me) Coost (a.k.a. John Moulden) to travel to London and meet with new Step Across the Border partners True North Health, in order to touch base and discuss about our upcoming programme of activities, as well as the general continuation and promotion of  SATB and the chance to seek out potential new friends,partners  and allies.

    I found True North Health organiser, Caroline, occupied with graphic design for the latest in a series of 6 Interval Oracle workshops, a project  involving  up to nine people and  part of an ongoing programme of activities under the title "Pleasure is Medicine" a new initiative  / component of the True North Health organisation. I was introduced for the first time to "Prezi" prezi.com, an effective and simple to navigate multi media presentation software .The basic version is free but to enable sound and video components requires payment.

    In these turbulent times where Trumps' America signalizes to  significantly roll back of decades of hard won civil rights, our conversation covered such themes as human rights activist Angela Davis (see the film Black Power Mixtape) as well as the questionable facts and figures relating to 17th century "witch hunts" whereby, it is now contended, that the amount of innocent women killed, enormously exceeds official state and church figures. Suggested reading: Caliban & the Witch by Sylvia Federici and Witches & Pagans by Max Dashu. We also touched on the phenomena of de-colonisation of music https://nmbx.newmusicusa.org/decolonizing-our-music/

    London is perhaps the most culturally diverse city in Europe with some of the most radically colourfull and progressive organisations therein. Due to UK Governmental “austerity“ measures, (supposedly, money saving measures to aid financial recovery after the banking collapse of 2007) there has been a systematic reduction of funding for the National Health Service (once described as "the envy of Europe") and other social services, such as disability payments. Food banks are the new norm and it is voluntary or privately funded organisations as well as religious organisations that are left to deal with the fallout from these various developments and cut backs. Thanks to the indispensible facilitation from Tad, an old friend and Hackney social networker, i was able to visit a local mosque, a church, and a Salvation Army Cafe all of which have interesting and sometimes ground breaking socio-cultural agendas.

    Egg @ Shacklewell lane Mosque   /   Tad: Culture Activist

    I learnt about socio cultural initiative, the Duckie club who work with the homeless The Slaughterhouse Club and  events for the aged Posh Club"Duckie create good nights out and culture clubs that bring communities together"

    "ground-breaking arts group who describe themselves as Purveyors of Progressive Working Class Entertainment. This avant-garde club of tea, cake and cabaret (Posh Club), is for the glamorous golden girls, swanky senior citizens and elegant elders of the parish. With the church used for worship, the hall is quickly turned over to create a drop-in centre for the North London Action on Homeless, while in the meeting room there is the Open Doors Experience Project, working with vulnerable women from the local community." full article here: https://www.london.anglican.org/articles/a-day-in-the-life-of-st-pauls-west-hackney/

    Posh Club: putting on the style for Hackneys old folks, run by volunteers from Londons Duckie Club

    Upon my return to the EU mainland, i made contact and we talked about them coming to Berlin to demonstrate  their work. Two very interesting videos demonstrating some of  their work here:

    Posh Club: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPDjpE6pgNA

    The Slaughterhouse Club: https://youtu.be/JSxTKSgz3p8


    I recognised that many of the flyers and pamphlets in social centres centered on support and psychological councelling for the volunteers and carers themselves. Less state support means an increase in their workload which can lead to "burn out".

    I visited the Turkish Islamic Trust & Mosque on Shacklewell lane and  talked with its organiser Egg and also briefly met his sister and co-organiser Mel. I found Eggs enthusiasm and openness very inspiring and we talked about the Mosque activities which, as well as  funeral services, includes music and arts events, a community flea market and cafe. The mosque was converted from a Rothschild-built synagogue in 1977 and before being a location for funerals and social  activities and was a prolific recording studio for ethnic music recordings for London’s Turkish communities  : http://www.travbuddy.com/The-UK-Turkish-Islamic-Trust-and-Mosque-v834175

    Next I visited Hackney community organiser Alicia, at her homebase Reel Rebel Radio “your local global community radio station offering diversity in music, documentaries and radio plays”  http://reelrebelsradio.com/ We had a lively conversation on diverse topics including the story of migrant passenger ship The Windrush.

    HMT Empire Windrush  originally MV Monte Rosa, was a German passenger liner and cruise ship  acquired from Germany after WWII by the United Kingdom as a prize of war and renamed Empire Windrush and is best remembered for bringing one of the first large groups of post-war  West Indian immigrants to the United Kingdom, carrying 492 passengers and one stowaway on a voyage from Jamaica to London in 1948. British Caribean people who came to the United Kingdom in the period after World War II are sometimes referred to as the Windrush Generation. (Wikipedia edit)

    We also touched on the subject of Jamaican Pride and talked about the bravery of the organisers in the face of  prolific homophobia on the island. (article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/10/jamaica-first-gay-pride-celebration-symbol-change Alicia is a big fan of flamenco music and she produces a regular radio show “Flamenco Fix” the UKs only dedicated programme for this music genre. We also recognised we shared an aquaintance with  the Syrian rapper Mohammed Abu Hajar.

    I travelled with Caroline to Brixton to meet with TNH member Raggi Kotek who works as an immigration lawyer and who, through her work, has first hand experience with many traumatised  people. Raggi has recently started up a series of movement  medicine classes “Bindi Beats” https://www.facebook.com/BindiBeats/ which she will demonstrate at the first Berlin meeting. Together,  the three of us discussed logistics and brainstormed about the TNH upcoming visit to Berlin.  My five days in London were full of many  interesting encounters, giving  me a great deal of food for thought and ideas about the possibility to somehow collaborate with these great people and organisations, something that makes sense in the context of our new partnership , to explore possibilities and create activities that could perhaps help support them and by doing so learn new practices and encourage networking.

    Coost Foto Impressions  (HERE)

    Next step:  October 2017: first UK-FRA-GER SATB partnership meeting  in Berlin.

    Next official scheduled London mission is in October 2018 (HERE) otherwise we are up for exploring all possibilities and opportunities!





    Saturday, September 23, 2017 - 13:00
    Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 23:15
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