BITTE LEBN – Urbane Kunst & Subkultur in Berlin 2003-2021

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In the last two decades the cityscape of Berlin has changed a lot. Many wastelands have been built on and subcultural institutions have been displaced or have disappeared altogether. The impressive book “BITTE LEBN (“Please Live”) – Urbane Kunst & Subkultur in Berlin 2003-2021“ describes in detail what has happened in and around these open spaces over the past 20 years.

The 480-page book by the Reclaim Your City network begins in 2003 in the center of Berlin. New urban planning, unclear ownership and legal gray areas after the fall of the Wall had created a unique situation for the development of art and subcultures. Many took the opportunity to appropriate and use these spaces.

A creative explosion ensued in the streets. Countless works were created on surfaces such as walls, roofs, traffic signs or bulky waste. Scouting empty industrial sites, rooftops, or hard-to-reach places became a leisure activity. Mobile sound systems conquered wastelands and parks with techno parties. Workshops, neighborhood and project stores, and other spaces for non-commercial culture organized events and festivals.

BITTE LEBN uniquely documents this movement from an activist perspective. Many unpublished photos show the emergence of famous Berlin walls and rooftops, document actions, and recall so many of the city’s vanished open spaces. But the work also asks about the limits of artistic forms of action, which are in danger of becoming a brand themselves and a location factor for major cities.

The book blew us away with its scope and richness of details – an absolute recommendation for any bookshelf!

480 pages, 22 x 30,5 cm, softcover with flaps
Language: German
Release date: April 2022
Publisher: Assoziation A

Update: There is now a supplement with English texts available (17 x 24 cm, 96 pages)