"There is tenderness only in the coarsest demand: that no-one shall go hungry any more" – Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia (1974: 156)
A couple of friends of mine sent me a link to the latest Guardian/Observer travel article on squats in Berlin. I guess I would be lying if I didn’t get a bit territorial about the subject and it would be easy to go all pedantic and point out some of the glaring factual errors in the piece. That said, it is good to see something on the subject. What did, however, make me cringe was the nod to “recession-busting holiday food.”
I’ve been slowly making my way through old copies of the Instand-Besetzer-Post (a squatting publication from the early 1980s) in the FU APO-Archiv and in one fold-out map of the scene from August 1981 they indeed poke fun at precisely this kind of alternative lifestyle tourism that has, if anything, become even more of a commonplace in the ‘new’ Berlin.
If I worry about the growing orthodoxy of such an imaginary (and its constructions of an ‘edgy’ Berlin), I do hope to counter with some more detailed posts on the historical and political development of the squatting scene over the next few weeks.