Nomadic green. The Prinzessinnengarten in Berlin-Kreuzberg
"We are not gardeners ' is how Robert Shaw and Marco Clausen paraphrase their self chosen dilettantism. The two founders of the Berlin Prinzessinnengarten have created on 6,000 square meters of fallow land a blossoming oasis. There they grow vegetables in rice bags, baker's boxes and milk containers and bring people with quite varied backgrounds together. The Prinzessinnengarten is a platform for people who want to do something: Here is a place for the organic beekeeper, the artist who cooks with children from the district, the East European neighbor who grows bio-chili peppers from her native country. They all share with the founders: the cherishing of local products, learning by doing and sustainable pleasure.
Video is now available with English subtitles
Intercultural Gardens' Prize
Marburg Receives the Intercultural Gardens’ Prize. The fact that local communities profit from intercultural gardens has not been a secret for sometime. Now they even receive awards if they support them: In a federal competition, “Federal Capital of Biodiversity” of the Deutschen Umwelthilfe, the university town of Marburg received a special prize of 5,000 Euros for environmental education and environmental justice because it supports, among other things, intercultural gardens within its city district. more>>
Utopia Award for Stiftung Interkultur
“The new garden movement is colorful and multicultural. Here public spaces are cultivated as a commons, re-conquered by the people, renaturalized for self-sufficency.“ With this reasoning the Stifung Interkultur and the Network of Intercultural Gardens together with Prinzessinnengarten Berlin and the Munich Kräutergärten (Commons) won the Utopia Award 2010 twice: the jury as well as the audience prize.
Four new shortfilms (in German) by George Eich show impressively the different dimensions of urban gardening, its livelyness as well as its social and cultural "side products": A mobile, urban argriculture“ at the Prinzessinnengarten in the midst of Berlin-Kreuzberg, a neighborhood garden that becomes the departure point for city development from bottom up, cooking with boys with Turkish background in the intercultural garden in Görlitzer Park and the moving of the Guerilla Garden “Rosa Rose”: The four short films of George Eich allow to glipse into urban gardening, its variety, its dynamics and its social and cultural "side products":
Have a look on YouTube or order the DVD: email@example.com
Pioneer of Urban Ecology
Turgut Altug established the Intercultural Garden in Görlitzer Park and is co-founder of the Turkish-German Environmental Center in Berlin. For this commitment he received the Intergation-Medal of the Federal Government. The explanatory statement described Turgut Altug as a pioneer in urban ecology and calls clichés into question when, for example, he shows the connection between climate change and food in a cooking class with Turkish boys.
Award from the German Council for Sustainable Development
At the annual conference in Berlin the German Council for Sustainable Development granted for the first time a seal of quality of the Werkstatt N-Projekt 2011. Awarded was the nationwide Network intercultural Gardens of the Stiftung Interkultur and the exhibition „Wovon Menschen leben“ (What People Live On) of Stiftungsgemeinschaft anstiftung & ertomis .
Integration Prize for Shimeles
For his engagement the Federal Land of Lower Saxony awarded Tassew Shimeles with the Integration Prize. Minister Aygül Özkan handed over the 3000 EUR special award. Shimiles, as the minister put it, has “realized the potential of common gardening as integrative element and has used it systematically in a creative fashion.“
Lower Saxony’s Minister for integration Aygül Özkan (li), Shimeles and awards speaker Cornelia Rundt (Photo: Koch)
Three Mayors for Intercultural Gardens
"Intercultural gardens enrich our cities (...) promote the peaceful coexistence and establish a sense of shared responsibility and feeling of home." With these words, Klaus Wowereit, the Mayor of Berlin, welcomed the participants at this year's network meeting of the Intercultural Foundation that was held in June 2010 in Berlin. Simultaneously, Potsdam Mayor, Jann Jakobs, congratulated the Integration Garden Potsdam on their anniversary. Even Ulrich Maly, Mayor of Nuremberg, where local residents oppose a intercultural garden project, appears convinced about Intercultural Gardens: "I think such initiatives, which bring people of different backgrounds and cultures together, that create points of contact and provides opportunities for meetings, are very important. Best of all, fear and prejudice can be reduced."
Once again the Intercultural Gardens were honored: the Gardens in Rüsselsheim and Freising were honored and the Integration and School Garden in Postdam received the Ribbon for Courage and Understanding of the Prime Minister of the Federal State of Brandenburg. more >>
Free Access to Seeds
More than a hundred gardeners from throughout the country discussed crop diversity and free access to seeds at this year’s session of the Stiftung Interkultur in mid-June in Berlin. Photographs, lectures, conference reports and a welcoming address by the mayor of Berlin are documented here (in German)
Potsdamers for Tolerance
The Integration and School Garden of Potsdam is celebrating its 10th anniversary. In a congratulatory note, Potsdam’s Mayor, Jann Jakobs, writes, “Your facility has grown into one of the best known and respected institutions in Potsdam, the state capital.” It is gratifying that the garden, during difficult times (referring to several arson incidents) has repeatedly received support and assistance. “It’s been clearly shown”, Potsdam’s mayor said,”that Potsdam’s citizens can be disuaded from the repeated attacks, but not from the idea of cultural diversity in everyday life and continuing to stand up for tolerance, non-violence and peaceful cooperation."
Social Enxieties in Nuremberg
The implementation of the intercultural garden in Nuremberg has encountered resistance. Residents fear the nuisance of noise and odors as well as “messy garden beds” and began an initiative for preventing the garden. Nuremberg’s Mayor, Ulrich Maly, supports the garden project: “In my opinion, initiatives that bring people from different backgrounds together, that create connections and enable encounters, are of great importance. Through this, prejudices and reservations can best be dispelled”, he said.
Islam and Sustainability
A lot of interest was generated by the study “Islam, Environmental Protection and Sustainable Action” that was carried out by Sigrid Nökel on behalf of the Stiftung Interkultur. The sociologist focused her research on Muslims in intercultural gardens and their interest in sustainability issues. The environmental magazine, natur+kosmos, used the study for a cover story.
German Founder’s Prize 2010 for Jens Mittelsten Scheid
For his decades of sustained commitment, the founder of the foundation-association anstiftung & ertomis and Stiftung Interkultur, Jens Mittelsten Scheid, received the German Founders Award 2010. The awards ceremony took place on 7 Mai 2010 at Alte Oper Frankfurt. Chancellor Angela Merkel awarded the prize and Heribert Prantl, head of the domestic affairs section of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, gave the speech honoring him.
Bees in Berlin
Several intercultural gardens like those in Hannover, Göttingen and Berlin-Neukölln have started beekeeping. Soon, bee populations will move into two more gardens in Berlin –Rosenduftgarten (Kreuzberg) and Wuhlegarten (Köpenick). To be prepared for the new challenge, at this very moment gardeners are organizing lectures on the craft of bee keeping.
Architecture Biennial in Sao Paulo
At the 8th International Architecture Biennial 2009 in Sao Paulo/Brazil the IBA presented the International Gardens Göttingen in an exhibition, as a pioneer project for a diverse urban society. With the motto “Cities for All – Ways of Vision” the IBA Hamburg 2009 organized the German contribution to the Architecture Biennial in Sao Paulo. In the summer of 2010, the exhibition will travel to the Kunstverein Hamburg.