Pic.: Lecture of Peter Birke


Lecture & discussion with the writer and activist Peter Birke from Hamburg

Wednesday, March 18 2009, 7 p.m.

< rotor >
Volksgartenstraße 6a
8020 Graz


‘Civic participation’ is en vogue in Graz: Whether we think of “Zeit für Graz” (Time for Graz) or the ‘dialogue’ on the reorganization of the Annenstraße – participation is attached utmost importance to. Thus the citizens may get rid of their fears and worries about what is going to happen with their neighbourhood and bring in the one or other idea.

Yet, in this way the people affected are being lead to believe that they have decisive power that they in fact do not have. Because the decision-making takes place somewhere else when entire neighbourhoods are conjured up out of nothing. And in case there is nevertheless some resistance against a shopping mall, the construction project is excluded from the civic participation forum. And the residents have no option but to wait for the next elections.

Urban district activists turn the tables: solidaric neighbourly help, exchange among the people affected and autonomous, i.e. independent and self-governed design of the neighbourhood and the principles it is based on. Peter Birke, urban district activist and writer from Hamburg, tells us about his work and all the conflicts he has experienced with regard to rents and free spaces, gentrification and eviction, traffic policy and industrial settlement in the Hamburg district of Wilhelmsburg.

Organized by Projekt A-Z – Initiative für ein autonomes soziales Zentrum in cooperation with < rotor >.

Part of the < rotor > series “The Art of Urban Intervention“, which deals with the situation and the developments in the Graz Annenviertel.