Upcoming Event: Early Career Event Series, May 16th 2024

We are pleased to announce the next event in our Early Career Event Series: Brachland: Audiowalk about Urban Utopias in Berlin-Weißensee with Katya Romanova, where our audiences can learn about academic collaboration with artists. Please see details of the event and registration below.

11.00 – 11.40 BST 16 May ONLINE

Registration: please visit https://forms.office.com/r/qB0tF8j9qq

Event description:
“The walk changed the way I look at abandoned urban places. It doesn’t always have to be filled with something.” “I will now pay more attention to abandoned places.” “It was such a special way to discover something totally different in Berlin”. “I bet there are such places in my hood as well, now I want to know more!”

In this talk, Katya shares her experience of creating the audiowalk as part of her bachelor project at HTW Berlin and provides insights on artistic cooperation with different stakeholders.

Weißensee, a district in the north of Berlin, undergoing a significant transformation, serves as the canvas for our audio walk project. In this immersive experience, we aim to alter perceptions of abandoned spaces from mere temporary voids to experimental playgrounds. Protagonists from the neighbourhood share their stories, turning abandoned places into experimental playgrounds and offering participants a unique post-reunification art safari, a drink in their favourite pub, a stroll through post-war rubble, and a glimpse of the enchanted island and wild playground of Weißensee. These spaces become arenas of freedom, allowing brief moments to imagine boundless possibilities. The project takes a deep dive into the evolving identity of Weißensee, particularly focusing on the impact of increasing construction on the district’s atmosphere. Residents express frustration and nostalgia as the changes unfold, fearing Weißensee may follow the gentrification path of Prenzlauer Berg.

By engaging with vacant plots, the project contemplates the past, present, and future, providing a vivid depiction of Berlin’s recent transformations – gentrification, construction sites, shrinking public and creative spaces, and densification. This endeavour evolves beyond a simple exploration of urban spaces; it becomes a socio-political reflection on the changing landscape, encouraging residents to actively participate in neighbourhood life, potentially initiating community projects.

Katya Romanova is a designer, project manager, and co-founder of the re:imagine your city collective, independent design lab based in Berlin that serves as a cross-disciplinary platform for urban practices and transformation. Katya is interested in exploring the topics of local & global identities, neighborhood activation, (audio) storytelling, and new approaches to the temporary use of public spaces, which she explores through participatory design and media projects. She has a degree in Teaching Languages and a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications at HTW Berlin. https://www.linkedin.com/in/katromanova/