Gipsy Conquest

We would like to thanks all the people who came, helped and enjoyed our work at the Japan Syndrome festival, a special thanks to the HAU staff, Annemie, Jana and Benny, to our friends who have come and help us with the cooking, Kanta, Sasha and Sandy. Thursday was the last evening and we were very happy to have so much people around us, I cooked lentil soup, two big pots and it was everything eaten ūüôā it was very nice having our neighbors from FreeCuvry as well.

Changing topic….

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The gipsy street nowadays

I would to like to write today about a component of FreeCuvry a little bit problematic: the gipsies.

I say problematic for one main reason, because they are a really close community and since they have been in Cuvry a real and clear dialog has been almost impossible, also because they speak just bulgarian or romenian and a little part of them spanish. Anyway, the language would be not a insuperable problem if a person wanted really communicate.

They arrived in Cuvry the first time this winter, they were just a little family and they build two little houses. But during the winter they had bid discussion with the Poles, mainly for some thefts inside the camps, so during the winter there was the “gipsy war”, and their houses were destroyed more times.

In spring they came back, this time more numerous and stronger, and more conscientious and prudent, they spoke with the habitants and said they would have not stolen inside the camp and behaved good. So they started to build their house, at first one, then two, then five, then in just two weeks they built 15 houses. They completely destroyed the Pagoda, the construction for common uses near the beach, to steal all the material for building their houses. It’s very difficult to speak with them and explain that FreeCuvry is not a gipsy camp, there must be a balance and they can not build everywhere without speaking with the neighbors. They are very fast to build, and they always use the excuse of the children for their need of more and more space, more and more houses. Now a day in FreeCuvry there are about 50 houses (I say “about” because almost everyday there is a new construction) and 20 of them are gipsies’ houses.

We made a reunion to speak all together about this topic, we invited the gipsies to partecipate…there was nobody of them.

I asked to the Bulgarians to not build a house in the Pagoda place, because we wanted to build it again…the day after there was already a construction.

I don’t know how will be, continuing in this way FreeCuvry will be really a gipsy camp. We can not stop them, they are very cohesive and they live in this way since generations. But maybe we can create a canal to communicate with them and working together.

Maybe.

Little by little.

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The Pagoda ruins in March

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The Pagoda ruins in March

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The gipsies started to build in March

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A view of the gipsy street behind the big teepee

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Oh Berlino piovosa! Oh rainy Berlin!

It’s a really weird weather for May, or maybe it’s a really weird May’s weather for a Sicilian like me.

Because of the rain¬†yesterday and today we couldn’t do any activities at the Discuvry space in front of HAU2, neither cooking or printing with woodcut. We are very sorry, but being an open-air space the Berlin summer rain it is a problem. Yesterday we tried to set up the blue sheet to cover the space from the rain like the last time, but this time there was a storm, the wind and rain were too strong. So we had to close everything again. But it’s ok, this is Berlin.

Tomorrow we would like to celebrate the last day of the Japan Syndrome festival, hoping it will be a sunny day ūüôā

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Open House_Dis-Cuvry ‚Äď Confronting Comfort #1

Thanks to all the people who visited us for the Open House event in our house in FreeCuvry.

It was such a special atmosphere of sociality and positive energy.

We hope to have 100, 1000 other moments like that.

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Discuvry is taking part to the festival Japan Syndrome, organized by Hebbel Am Ufer from the 20th to the 29th May.

Yuki and me have created an installation in front the HAU2. The idea is a open-air living room/kitchen where the people can meet and speak, about Fukushima, eat together, creating a connection with Cuvry. Everything is realized with the same concept of Discuvry project, with all material recovered all around the city and without using electricity.

We will be in front of the HAU2 every day until the 29th, cooking, continuing to build little things, furniture or something like that. You can visit us and build something, make woodcut on the tables or cook as well.

In particular tomorrow, 24th May, there will be the Open House party at our home in FreeCuvry from 15.00.

Here there is the links of website and the facebook of the event:

Japan Sindrome

DISCUVRY – confronting confort

You are welcome to visit us every day, it will be a great pleasure.

hau B

hau A

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hau A-3

hau c

 

 

THE KENNEDY BUNKER_DISCUVRY exhibition

Yesterday there was the opening of the collective exhibition “The Kennedy Bunker” at¬†REH-trasformer gallery in Berlin.

Yuki realized a installation, with material recovered from the garden of the gallery, for the projection of¬†the DisCuvry stop-motion video that he is realizing since last here, from the beginning of the house’s building till today.

We will be happy if you come to see the exhibition, you could see all the building process of our house and the FreeCuvry area in the beginning, when it was still totally empty.

 

The Kennedy Bunker_May 17-June14 2014

REH-trasformer, Kopenhagenerstr. 17, 10437 Berlin, S&U Shönhauser Allee

Sooooooo…..after some days without internet finally I can thanks all the people who visited us in FreeCuvry for the anniversary of our house.

It was a very nice party, many people have come from out and lot of our neighbors have joined us to celebrate, thanks to everybody! It was a nice community moment as well, Yuki cooked a super delicious japanese curry soup with rise for everybody and we had the possibility to know better each other, especially with the newcomers because, as I wrote before, with the beautiful season a lot of new people is coming in FreeCuvry. But this spring there are new positive energies and the people seem to care more about the place and the people around them.

I’m sure it will go better and better.

4 maggio 1

4 maggio 2

4 maggio

4 maggio 0

Cuvry Spring Frenzy

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And finally it’s spring also in Cuvry!

All around our house everything is already green, we wake up with the voices of the birds and the big wild plants grow amazingly fast and hide us from the view of the people who pass through the camp in the weekend, going to sit in front of the Spree and spend a nice sunny afternoon.

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This is the Cuvry spring frenzy: everybody has started to order and clean the camp and the garden-fever is really contagious all around FreeCuvry. Behind our house there were the rests of the garden cared by the italian guys last year, and now one girl cares about it every days with a lot of love, planting different vegetables. She gave us some carrots sprouts too!

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Yuki is caring about the garden around the house, planting some carrots, cucumbers, radishes and sunflowers in front of the kitchen and other¬†flowers near the entrance. We really hope our seeds will grow, but it’s not easy, especially because in Cuvry all the dogs are free to jump into your flowerbed and destroy everything…but this is Cuvry ūüôā

I love this energy.
I love the spring in Cuvry!

cuvry spring

DISCUVRY 1 year later: Open House Party

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One year has already gone, lot of things have happened and lots are still happening.
Come to celebrate with us the anniversary of our house project and the coming of spring in the free field of Cuvry Straße.

You can grill, play music, eat, drink, imagine, sleep, dream, love, swim in the Spree………………………………………..……………………..

but no water, no electricity, toilette in the nature ūüôā

 

Sunday 04.05.2014 from 15.00

Cuvry Strße 50-51, 10997 Berlin

Are you afraid to open your eyes?

 

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It’s long time I have not¬†written news. Lot of things happened and lot are still happening. The camp is changing day by day, ¬†but in a way it is always the same.

During these day there is a lot of attention about the free field in Cuvry Straße, in the last weeks some important Berlin newspaper made big articles about the situation of the camp, and it was not good advertisement, not at all.  The main  topic and argumentation was describing FreeCuvry as the new slum of Kreuzberg, the sign of a dangerous beginning for Berlin, the beginning of a out-of-controll urbanization.

Or maybe it’s just started the marketing process that will bring till the building of these 250 luxury apartments for just hip rich people. And which better way than create such a bad image of Cuvry using medias and newspapers, maybe passing some bag of money just under the desk of some journalists.

“Die Slum von Kreuzberg: Das ist nicht Bombay, das ist Berlin”

So they wrote.

And what can we answer? It is true. FreeCuvry has the aspect of a slum, maybe it is, but of course¬†it’s very easy to write that it’s just a mountain of garbage lived by people who spend their day just¬†¬†drinking and taking drug. It’s very easy to spend just half an hour to take some pictures and pretend to now how the life in Cuvry is going.

What is not easy is to open the eyes and realize that the world is changing and what happens in city like Bombay, or Nairobi, or other cities in Africa, Asia or South America is regarding not just a limited area around there but all the world, included Europe and Berlin.

I don’t pretend to know how the world is going, and I don’t want to say if¬†urban events like FreeCuvry are more or less right, neither justifying¬†them.

What I want to do is write my point of view, and I’m sure it has much more value than what someone who¬†only spent either one hour or one day in Cuvry may have to say.

This is because my eyes are watching from inside for over a year.

So please just give me the possibility to bring you a little bit closer to the reality in FreeCuvry.

 

It’s clear to everybody that the main reason of the origin¬†of¬†places like FreeCuvry¬†is that the majority of the people can not anymore pay a rent for a house, and the price of the rent is madly increasing in Berlin¬†for the gentrification.

It’s also true that the majority of the people who live in FreeCuvry have ¬†no job and live just collecting bottles, playing or asking for money in the street. But when I watch them and I go to work every morning, doing my fucking internship¬†for 3‚ā¨ a hour, I ask myself where this idea of happiness, beside an image of a nice apartment, a fix shitty job that give you an illusion of economic stability, comes from. I mean, are you sure this is the way to be happy? And are you sure this is your way to be happy or the society put it inside your brain to convince you it’s the best one?

There is a lot of ways to live, I just think people need to take a look around before give hasty judgments.

spazza1

Another topic.

The garbage in Cuvry…

The first time when Yuki and me came to FreeCuvry there was a mountain of garbage near the entrance of Schlesisches¬†Stra√üe, it was so much that we couldn’t explain how the habitants managed to create such a big mess. When the spring arrived and the snow was definitely gone ( last winter was really long, snowing until half april!) the habitants of Cuvry started to cleaning the camp and around their houses, putting all the garbage over the mountain, that grew and grew till get huge. I saw also lot of people from outside throwing stuff on the mountain. I remember, I had an argument with one polish guy for that, I couldn’t understand how they made so much garbage, and every kind of different stuff, from furnitures to clothes.

 

Now, after one year, I know it.

The garbage in FreeCuvry is not just the garbage of its habitants because you can be sure the people in Cuvry make much less garbage in their house than all the other people who live in normal apartments. This garbage comes mainly from the summer camping, cause in summer people come in Cuvry, put their tents and stay for the beautiful season, and after¬†they go away, leaving all their shitty stuff there, and every summer it’s the same story.

Let’s take Tommaso as an example: he collected a huge quantity of stuff for all the summer, around our house and in the place where he should have built his house (thing that he’s never done), then when the winter arrived he just moved, without saying or bringing with him anything. So Lukas and other people from Cuvry had to clean Tommaso mess. It needed more than two weeks of work and two trucks to bring aways all that stuff.

spazza

So people come, make shit and go away. And the shit stays in FreeCuvry.

This why the garbage.

And this is just a little gaze on the real FreeCuvry.

I continue to say, if you want and if you can just come to take a closer look.

I saw so many journalists¬†coming, moving in the camp like it was a war camp and in a moment somebody could attempt on their life…funny image of wimp¬†and stupid people who have no idea what FreeCuvry is. There is nothing¬†to be afraid.

The only thing you need to be safe here is respect, if you respect the people, the place and yourself you are always welcome in FreeCuvry.

 

 

 

Welcome Winter!

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In FreeCuvry the winter is finally arrived.

With about -10 degrees and totally covered by snow, Cuvry appears white and silent, everything seems going slower, the camp is going to lethargy. The majority of the people who built the houses between this summer and this autumn haven’t yet every kind of stove inside, and the walls are still not enough isolated, full of gaps that allow the wind and the cold come in easy. So they make every day a big fire in the common kitchen, near the Schlesisches Stra√üe entry, beside the library, and spend time there together. Some of them sleep there in the night, beside the big fire drum, cause in their house is too cold.

We remember that cold, when we started to build our home we slept since the beginning in Cuvry, our walls were just plastic sheets. We had no stove, and no space inside to be warm and relax, the only thing we could do that time to not feel the cold was working every day hard until we would have built four walls and a roof. But now a day we can feel the warm of our home.

We are always happy to receive visits, and although our home is not so big, we always try to make place for everybody.

Two weeks ago for example we where inside 8 people, very close each other ūüėČ Yuki cooked miso soup and rice for everybody, it was nice, we never thought we could be so many inside!

One friend who comes often to visit us is Sasha. Two days ago he brought some food for dinner and we invited also Lukas and Manu, who were that evening in the common kitchen around the fire. Yuki cooked also this time – actually he cooks always because he cooks much better than me:) – he made miso soup with his super special meat-balls, and rice of course, as a good Japanese.

Sasha is very nice person, he has always such many interesting stories to tell, he lived so many different and weird situation, he know a lot of funny things and he did a lot of strange jobs. So when he starts to speak, you know he will tell you something special, and you can just listen to him.

In any how we enjoy to be together our friends in our home, and we hope to receive always several visits.

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