RAUMERWEITERUNGSHALLEMarkgrafendamm 24c, 10245 Berlin, Germany
The Raumerweiterungshalle (spatial-extension-container) of the non-profit association Selbstuniversität e.V., is a self-organized space for non-commercial projects and events, such as film evenings, performances, readings, concerts, seminars, discussions, exhibitions, and workshops, with a queer-feminist focus.
During the student strikes in 2003 in Berlin and elsewhere, a critique developed of an educational system that was increasingly returning to elitist prerogatives and being attuned to economic competition. At that time, a group of artists wanted to pass on their pleasure dome, a telescope-like container, the Raumerweiterungshalle (R.E.H.), which thus became the clubhouse of Selbstuniversität e.V.
Spatial-extension-containers were built in the GDR in the sixties and seventies and used in various ways. Our container consists of eight elements that fully expanded form a space of almost 90m2. The R.E.H is also transportable: until 2007 it was located on a vacant wall-strip on the edge of Berlin Mitte/Wedding, before moving to an area of the former Kindl-brewery in Neukölln. Since 2009, it neighbours About_Blank near Ostkreuz.
As the precarity of conditions for artists and cultural workers’ rapidly increases, Raumerweiterungshalle exists and acts in solidarity as a sustainable space that aims to facilitate the development of alternative approaches to cultural/political exchange and communal/community production. The critical perspectives we explore and develop around the intersection of art and politics, theory and practice, scientific disciplines and self-organized education models, are largely contributed to by our audience, which is comprised of individuals with diverse and multifaceted sociocultural backgrounds. Along with the realization of art events, we make the space available for political groups to put on solidarity- and info-events.
Collectively, we are about opening the space for emancipatory and/or critical projects, while accompanying these efforts with a kind of infrastructure. What is important to us in this is the possibility for a multiplicity of events, of organizational approaches, and of modes of practice. The infrastructure (space + technical equipment) is used by a variety of people; therefore the concrete methods of utilization depend on those involved. In this, mutual trust is a priority: we have no intentions to establish an identitarian or consistent program that is marketable or easily legible. The organizational team, responsible for the maintenance of the infrastructure and coordination of events, currently consists of 9 members.
Through our programming we aspire to confront common hierarchies of class, sexuality, ethnicity, origin, gender and pursue forms of collective knowledge production that acknowledge and include different kinds of knowledge, while simultaneously creating as few exclusivities as possible. Our aims are facilitated through R.E.H.’s continuity, the establishment of local relationships, through low-threshold modes of presentation and little institutional regulation.