Friedrichshain in former East Berlin comprises creative, political, and individualistic people, concerned with social issues like refugees and food waste. (One practice, called “containering,” is the act of collecting the food that supermarkets throw away.) Though gentrification is slowly creeping in, there are still pockets of squatter houses that have existed since the wall came down in 1989 - for instance, in north Friedrichshain on Rigaer Strasse. The squatters occupy the old buildings of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), but are gradually being evicted.
If you visit Friedrichshain, you will also see graffiti on nearly every block. Sabrina Tesch, the pastor of mercy and justice ministries, told us, “People do graffiti to leave their mark and to make a name for themselves.” The amount of graffiti is far too overwhelming for the police to handle, so they don’t. On top of that, the police are treated with suspicion. There is a strong contingent of free-minded residents who don’t want to be told what to do.
Projekt:Kirche is engaging with the people of this neighborhood in several different ways. They want to be a presence in the neighborhood by participating in food sharing, learning how to do justice (one small group recently did a study of Generous Justice), and by taking an interest in social and political issues. Through these efforts they are finding common cause and building friendships with people in the community.
You can partner with Alex and Projekt:Kirche and help them reach their goal of $5,000. 100% of your gift goes to this project.