Why is there a pilot project?
The Mauerpark is a popular meeting place for people with diverse backgrounds and realities. Mauerpark is a place of social exchange, finding identity and trying things out, especially for young people. These spaces can be used for people to get to know each other and develop a sense of community. The expectations of the personal experience of events, as well as celebrations in public space, can vary widely. Where some experience a boisterous celebration, others may experience exclusion, verbal, structural or physical violence.
In recent years, the park has been used more intensively, especially in the evening hours. Unfortunately, there have also been sexual assaults and violence at mass parties in Mauerpark in recent years.
How do we want to react to this?
At the beginning of 2022, the Mauerpark Prevention AG was set up by the Friends of Mauerpark. The participants include associations and initiatives from Mauerpark and its surroundings, the district offices of Pankow and Mitte, Grün Berlin GmbH, the park service and other associations.
In the Mauerpark Prevention working group, a prevention concept was jointly and iteratively developed. An important pillar of this concept is the use of awareness teams and the creation of the prerequisites for their successful deployment. As a basis for this, an awareness concept for the Mauerpark was developed and network and cooperation partners were acquired.
How do we want to achieve that?
The Leipzig association “Initiative Awareness” brings in the technical expertise on the topic of awareness, which, together with its Berlin team, takes over the training of the actors and the deployment of the awareness teams.
The English term ‘awareness’ can be translated as consciousness. In German-speaking countries, the term stands for an attitude and practice that counteracts discrimination and (sexualized) violence and promotes consensus-based action. On the one hand, awareness means a local structure through which those affected by discrimination and violence receive partisan support. If necessary, informative talks can also be held with discriminatory or violent persons. On the other hand, this work is based on prevention and education. Awareness therefore helps to find a conscious way of dealing with one’s own limits and needs and to perceive and comply with these in others.
The awareness teams are intended to close the gap between park runners, the regulatory office and the police and thus offer a contact point for support centered on those affected. The goal is, on the one hand, to create support services for those affected and, on the other hand, to ensure broad public awareness.
For their part, the Friends of the Mauerpark provide local expertise, their extensive network of cooperation partners, their communication platforms and channels that are well known to the target groups, and their on-site premises.
Awareness concept for Mauerpark – as of May 2023 (PDF, 2MB, German)
Round Table: May 12, 2023, 4 p.m
Awareness Team appearances: 2nd + 3rd June, 9th +10th June, 16.+17. June
The association Initiative Awareness e.V
The Awareness e. V. is committed to combating sexualized violence and discrimination in the event context. The initiative advises and supports venues in the implementation of awareness strategies, trains national staff and awareness teams, organizes further training, conferences and nationwide networking days. In addition, the association takes a look beyond the context of the event and devises ways in which the idea of awareness can also be applied in other areas of society.
The Friends of the Mauerpark e.V.
The non-profit organization emerged in 2005 from the citizens’ initiative of the “Freundeskreis Mauerpark” and sees itself as an intermediary between park users and residents, representing the interests of these groups vis-à-vis administration and politics. In the event of conflicts between park users and/or residents, the association encourages constructive solutions. The offers for conflict resolution range from talks with individuals to round tables with affected groups to extensive projects on specific topics (e.g. acoustic shell, species protection, awareness).
In 2019, the association was awarded the BVV-Pankow Volunteer Prize.
The “Mauerpark Awareness” project is funded by the district-oriented violence and crime prevention funds of the Berlin Senate Department for the Interior, Digitization and Sport.