Culture in the Mauerpark – a bonus or a bane?

von Mauerpark Redaktion am 3. October 2018

The hot summer months in Mauerpark are over for this year and so things should start to quieten down naturally: the crowds, the music and the protests.

So it is time to take stock and the attempt to do that has led to intensive discussions among all stakeholders: local residents, street musicians in and round the park, the parks and gardens’ department, the Public Order Office, the police and local politicians.

There is a feeling of frustration across the board:

  • Playing music without an amplifier is still allowed in Mauerpark but it is simply not practical for street musicians.
  • The Public Order Office does not have the capacity to ask musicians and park users to comply with the regulations.
  • The police and the Public Order Office do not have adequate measuring equipment and are therefore obliged to pursue each reported disturbance even if it is only subjective and not actually exceeding the permitted decibel level.
  • Local residents who are upset by the noise feel abandoned and that there only remedy is to hope for rain or colder weather.

The discussions on the Internet and at our information stand in Mauerpark very quickly became emotional. It was predominantly about subjective perceptions. With all due respect for people’s feelings, it is crucial that we explore the facts if we are to be able to work together and find solutions.

  • What is the level of noise that impacts on local residents?
  • Which streets and which apartment blocks are affected?
  • What other factors – including those that have nothing to do with Mauerpark – are contributing to people feeling disturbed.
  • Have different sources of noise and different times of day been taken into account?
  • How can park users help ensure that people living near the park suffer less disturbance?
  • Can any structural measures be taken to provide a barrier against the noise?

It would be helpful to enter into a dialogue that gives all parties the opportunity to voice their points of view and needs. The Mauerpark Roundtable launched in September by the Kulturgemeinschaft offers a suitable communication forum for discussing various problems at regular intervals and developing solutions.

The ball is then in the court of politicians: they must come up with concrete instructions for public authorities, detailing how Mauerpark can be conserved as an important social and cultural venue, on the one hand, while effectively protecting local residents from extreme disturbance caused by inconsiderate behaviour, on the other hand.

It would be a good idea to deploy professionals in the park, who would act as a point of contact for all stakeholders and would have the job of making sure people act with greater consideration for each other. The Kulturgemeinschaft Mauerpark already took the first step in this direction with its Respect the Neighbourhood project, putting information posters on the pavements outside Mauerpark and at the entrances, and talking with the street musicians.

Mauerpark has developed into a haven of cultural diversity in an atmosphere of friendliness and cooperation. We must not allow it to become a place of conflict, culminating in the exclusion of certain user groups. In the course of its long history, Mauerpark has undergone an extraordinary evolution. Once the site of the “death strip” separating East and West Berlin, it is now valued as a place where people of all nationalities come together. We need to take this spirit into the discussions and talk to each other from the heart and not with a clenched fist.

The Friends of Mauerpark association will work with Mauerpark’s Kulturgemeinschaft to support this dialogue and do all it can to find solutions that reconcile the interests of all groups.

von Mauerpark Redaktion
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Demonstration at Mauerpark: “Music connects!”

von Mauerpark Redaktion am 15. September 2018

For many years now, Mauerpark has been a popular meeting place on Sundays for local people, visitors, artists and street musicians. The flea market and karaoke are key features, but it is the street musicians who play a major part in the character of Mauerpark Sundays.

For several weeks now, musicians who have been able to play undisturbed for years have had to put up with residents reporting them to the police, in some cases resulting in them being charged with public nuisance offences and having their equipment confiscated.

A number of visitors to Mauerpark, local residents, and musicians have got together to work creatively and constructively. To draw attention to the situation, they invite you to join them at a demonstration on Sunday in Mauerpark under the banner “Music connects!”

Demonstration

Sunday 14.10.2018 – 2 o’clock
At Mauerpark

More Info:
instagram.com/SaveMauerpark
facebook.com/SaveMauerpark
twitter.com/SaveMauerpark

 

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Abgelegt in Events, General, Politics
von Mauerpark Redaktion
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15th Peaceful Walpurgis Night in Mauerpark (2018)

von Alexander Puell am 26. April 2018

The slogan for the celebrations is quite simple: come and join in!

Local people, visitors and creatives will get together to produce a very special evening that will include a campfire, music, fire juggling, soap bubbles and the opportunity to dance in the May. You can let your imagination run free in Mauerpark.

Some of the people joining us this year: Peter & PatTeam-FoxFeuerCamp, Dub der Guten Hoffnung, Hope Center, diekreativePuto Production, 12 Volt, OYA, Folkwiese, Andy SnatchPaul Tolhurs,  Buddhi, Johanna Zeul + Masataka Koduka – to mention just a few.

At 7 pm we will express our hopes and wishes for peace in the form an interfaith prayer. Everyone of any faith is welcome to join in.

Our celebrations will end just after midnight. After 1.00am, please spare a thought for the people who live near the park and would like to get a good night’s sleep!

Further information at:
www.friedvolle-walpurgisnacht.de
www.fb.com/friedvolle.walpurgisnacht

Abgelegt in General, May Day
von Alexander Puell
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Take part in Mauerpark’s Friedvollen Walpurgisnacht!

von Mauerpark Redaktion am 26. March 2018

On 30th of April we will have a colorful and peaceful Dance into May at Mauerpark, with a bonfire, fire artistry and lots of music.

You’re a witch, fire artists, musicians or you have a band? Then be creative and be part of a diverse community to celebrate this special night!

Prep Meeting:
April 09th 2018, 19.00 at Mauersegler
April 23th 2018, 19.00 at Mauersegler

More information:
www.friedvolle-walpurgisnacht.de
facebook.com/friedvolle.walpurgisnacht
facebook.com/mauerpark.berlin

 

Abgelegt in Events, May Day
von Mauerpark Redaktion
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Celebrating New Year’s Eve in the Mauerpark

von Mauerpark Redaktion am 31. December 2017

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2017 was a turbulent year for the Mauerpark and 2018 will no doubt also have a few surprises in store.

We have just one request to everyone who is thinking of coming to the Mauerpark to see in the New Year:

Please spare a thought for the wildlife in the park and celebrate without bangers and rockets. A lot of animals live in the Mauerpark and the noise, smoke and flashes of fireworks are terrifying for them. The park is one of the very few safe places for them to seek refuge in the city. Please don’t destroy that for them.

And think of your fellow human beings too! They are not an appropriate target for home-made rockets or bangers. Have a great party and enjoy yourselves but please do not overestimate your skills in handling the fireworks. Remember they can cause serious injury – to you and others.

Please don’t litter the park. Take your empty packaging, bottles and glasses home with you.

Our motto for 2018 remains the same: Respect for one another and commitment to taking care of this precious open space in our city.

The Friends of the Mauerpark wish you fun on New Year’s Eve and all the best for 2018!

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Invitation to the opening of the rainbow playground

von Mauerpark Redaktion am 8. July 2017

A promise is a promise: we got the rainbow back!
And not only do we have a new rainbow, we also have a play ship – an ark complete with giraffe.

We would therefore like to invite everyone who supported us financially and practically and, of course, the children and their parents to come and celebrate this special moment with us.

When: Friday, 14 July 2017 at 3.00 pm
Where: Rainbow Playground in Mauerpark

Anyone who believes that rainbows simply fall out of the sky is sadly mistaken. Turning this dream into reality was a long process and it wasn’t always easy. But the process was as important as the result and lots of people got to know each other and appreciate each other along the way. We reached our goal through a concerted effort.

The original rainbow failed a safety inspection. The local authority didn’t feel able to repair the ageing playground and sent in the chainsaws. We channelled our outrage into a constructive approach to the problem: build a new rainbow in the same place. But there was just one problem – the local authority didn’t have the money to do it. A joint effort on the part of the playground designers and equipment manufacturers SIK-Holz, the Friends of  Mauerpark, the local authority, the  many people who made generous donations and,  last but not least, a host of volunteers resulted in a new playground being built.

The first phase with the western section of the rainbow and a swing was completed in summer 2016 and now in summer 2017 the eastern part of the rainbow and the new play ship have been added. All that remains now is to dismantle the last of the barriers and celebrate the official opening of the Rainbow Playground to the public at 3.00 pm on 14 July 2017.

 

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von Mauerpark Redaktion
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Come and help us build the Rainbow Playground

von Mauerpark Redaktion am 22. May 2017

Do you have any spare time during the day between 12 and 16 June? Would you like to lend a hand: digging holes or wielding a hammer or a paint brush?
If so, please get in touch at www.betterplace.org or email us at: regenbogen[at]mauerpark.info

The Rainbow Playground in Mauerpark disappeared suddenly in autumn 2015. The local parks and gardens department was concerned it was unsafe and felt obliged to dismantle it.

We, the Friends of Mauerpark, got a campaign going in just a few weeks, which ensured that the Rainbow Playground will soon be back as symbol for optimism and dreams.

With the help of volunteers from Syria, Africa, America and Germany, the first phase of the rebuild project (first part of the rainbow and the swings) was completed last summer in just one week.

The second phase (second part of the rainbow and a play ship) is scheduled for completion this summer.

Unlike last year, we are no longer fundraising. Supporters of Mauerpark, residents, businesses and nonprofit organisations showed great commitment and contributed almost €17,000, which will go a long way towards financing the playground.

Support from volunteers is an important part of the Rainbow Project. The rainbow is not only a visual symbol, suggesting building bridges in places where there was once division. The actual work of constructing the playground offers an opportunity for people of very different backgrounds to meet and do something constructive together.

And during the first phase, people from Syria, Africa, America and Germany came together and shared not just the work but also stories, joy and lasting memories.

Do you have any spare time during the day between 12 and 16 June? If so, please get in touch at www.betterplace.org or email us at: regenbogen[at]mauerpark.info

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von Mauerpark Redaktion
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Fun for all in Mauerpark as people danced in the May

von Mauerpark Redaktion am 5. May 2017

The eve of May Day was once more a lively party for young and old. It featured soap bubbles, prayers for peace, dance floors, live music, drumming, a campfire, and fire artistry.

Building on the success of last year, there was no ban on bottles and cans. The good cooperation between artists, Friends of Mauerpark, the police and the borough that has developed in recent years ensured that everything ran smoothly and everyone was able to enjoy a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere.

Mauerpark saw 12,000 visitors on 30 April this year. The combination of a sunny Mauerpark Sunday with the usual flea market and karaoke was the perfect prelude to the Walpurgis Night celebrations that went on into the small hours. The artists in the Mauerpark enchanted the crowds both during the day and in the evening.

The event was once more a powerful illustration of the transformation this inner-city public green space has undergone. This park is on the site of the former “death strip” – the no-man’s land that used to be part of the Berlin Wall. Once filled with watchtowers, armed border guards and attack dogs, it is now the city’s most popular place for young people from all over the world to meet, relax and have fun on Sundays.

Many thanks to Peter Pan with his “Love your enemies” initiative, to all the artists and to the volunteers without whose untiring commitment these celebrations would not have been possible.

A special thank you goes to the officials of the Borough of Pankow, to the Mauerpark flea market, the Mauersegler beer garden and, last but not least, to Ballon-Werft.

Photos and impressions on Flickr and on the Walpurgisnacht website.

Abgelegt in May Day
von Mauerpark Redaktion
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