Dialogue

After two years of discussion with the Berlin Senate Chancellery for Cultural Affairs, Haben und Brauchen (To Have and To Need) organised an internal weekend workshop in February 2014 in order to draw up a blueprint for a long-term, coordinated dialogue with the Senate.

This dialogue procedure is intended to stabilise the creative potential of Berlin and support those who are simultaneously nurtured and endangered by the diversity of living spaces, cultural dynamics and large social fluctuations. We, the Haben und Brauchen activists, are convinced that better understanding will be fostered on both sides through information sharing and a continual process of debate between politics and art.

This would lead to the agreement of a decision-making framework in which concrete problems of art and cultural policy can be addressed more effectively and productively than the way it has until now.

During the weekend workshop, working groups for three main areas of focus where established [AG Kunstbegriff
(Definitions of Art), AG Arbeit (Work) und AG Stadt Raum(City Space)] and the baselines for a working and research process lasting several months was determined during which information was to be gathered, expectations clarified and positions formulated.

After months of work, Haben und Brauchen was able to produce a plan, as in a so-called “charrette” procedure, which lays out how the three themes were to be treated and how not just the cultural administration but also other important departments (such as the urban planning department) would be incorporated step by step.

The plan was presented publicly in September 2014 at Z/KU (Centre for Art and Urbanistics). The culture secretary of Berlin, Tim Renner, was only able to enthuse about Stadt Raum though.

For Haben und Brauchen, however, the three thematic areas are integrally linked together if a discussion is to be had about
reaching another understanding of art in politics. A cherry-picking of just one sub-category was not acceptable if ultimate goal was to be achieved.

The idea of a long term dialogue between art workers and the politicians of Berlin, the establishment of which was the reason the weekend workshop was organised, has failed for the time being.

The present publications therefore only documents the thoughts, questions and resolution methods that were examined during the weekend workshop.