The Gecekondu is a wooden hut that was built during an occupation campaign about rent policy in 2012 by Kotti & Co, originating from the neighborhood at the southern Kottbusser Tor, in a collective process. Gecekondu (Turkish) means “built overnight”. The Gecekondu is an informal “semi-legal” building and is tolerated by the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district.
The Gecekondu has served as a meeting point for Kotti & Co and for other social and urban political initiatives since it was founded. There is free multilingual social and tenancy law advice - but it is also available for informal and cultural get-togethers - it is an inclusive and open meeting place where everything from fast-breaking to children’s birthdays is celebrated. Various types of events also take place there.
The Gecekondu is also a spatial object that many people pass by every day - many city tours stop here to convey the history of yesterday and today’s rebellious and migrant Kreuzberg to visitors. In this sense, the Gecekondu is already a kind of medium and “social sculpture”, a place for learning, an open space and, above all, a strong symbol of a neighborhood that stands together in solidarity against repression and racism.
The core of our project is about expanding the Gecekondu as a symbol for urban development from below, for a political, social and creative appropriation of public space - for a living neighbor solidarity. At the Gecekondu as well as in public space, we are creating new exhibition areas that will be used with (participatory) artistic, creative and political content / contributions within the framework of the project - and beyond.
In a first step, the Gecekondu was newly “clad”: a wallpaper made up of several hundred photos from the last 10 years (protest and more) now adorns its facade. All information banners will be revised and redesigned. As a spatial and visual extension, 4 large suspended banner devices have been installed. These new areas are rounded off or flanked with several DIN A1 display that can be freely positioned around the Gecekondu. These newly created areas will be used in the course of 2021 with a wide variety of group and individual artist positions.
3 statements (on current topics) by members of the Kotti & Co tenant organisation in the context of the federal and Berlin elections in 2021
-"Where is the right to vote for us who have lived here for decades?"
- "Who is fighting for the pensioners? Many of us can no longer afford their apartment!"
- "Why don't our children have the same opportunities in school and in training?"
gestus — visual communication & social relationships