In 2010, the Brandenburg branch of the Heinrich Böll Foundation asked us to find a way to make open-mindedness a topic of discussion at social clubs in Wittenberge, Zossen, Fehrbellin and Oranienburg. We came up with a simple approach: We asked experts with similar interests to our club members to host workshops that we would facilitate. Also: The experts were foreign.
This led to an Oranienburg choir practicing for a performance with a Berlin gospel choir, a Korean chef trying to make sushi out of bass and roach, a Native American from the Canadian Blackfoot tribe teaching gun owners from Wittenberge how to make arrows, and two drag artists from Kreuzberg advising the cross-dressing members of Fehrbellin’s »men’s ballet« and performing with them at Berlin’s SO36. SPACES was not about in-your-face confrontations, but about creating a communicative space and a framework to facilitate conversations about prejudice, fear and racism. Once we got the format established, the Böll Foundation took it over for a new set of workshops.