To achieve even more room for encounters of all kinds, to enable the people that met at an evening in the container to see each other again, and to ensure our goal to create a longstanding community during our stay, we made the container an even more open space in the year 2018, where people of all cultures and across all generations and social classes could meet and unleash positive energy and fuel hope. To make it such a place, we experimented with new ideas and reduced the number of cooking events in favor of new formats and motivated the citizens to utilize and shape the container themselves.
Biberach an der Riß
May 2 to June 17, 2018
June 18 to August 5, 2018
August 6 to September 23, 2018
Biberach an der Riß
Biberach is the first location of our 2018 tour. In between the library, the theater, and the museum, the container stands in the central ‘Viehmarktplatz’ and soon everybody in the small Swabian city has recognized it. After the first two weeks, all of the cooking evenings are fully booked and, on the weekends, the local fans of the container or the Foodsharing community are taking over and organizing afternoons with lots of waffles, can-throwing and disco soups. Biberach offers its citizens a high standard of living. The abundance of local companies creates job opportunities and, around the historic half-timbered houses, there is a cosy atmosphere flowing with friendliness. The distinct Swabian culture makes the people pleasantly down to earth, and we notice that it is helpful to know one’s own identity to not get confused when encountering a new one. Also amongst the people with experience as a refugee, there is a broad identification with the city. The favorite recipe of Ahmad, from Syria, is “Herrgottsbscheißerle” with tabbouleh and Roman, from Afghanistan, knows the city better than many of the old residents. Most of the people feel well because there are many opportunities beyond meeting basic needs in the city.
In Süchteln, we are collaborating with the charitable association ‘Königsburg 2.0. e.V.’, which offers a wide-ranged cultural program and provides enough reasons for people of the surrounding towns to spend their Saturday night in Süchteln. The association’s aim is not only to revive the landmarked Jugendstil-ballroom in the heart of the city, but also to attract a diverse audience and to establish the ballroom as a place of encounter for people of all cultures. It offers us the ideal infrastructure for the forming community. Never has our blue friend been in such a small place and captivated so many people at the same time.
“It feels like Süchteln has awakened from its thousand-year Rip Van Winkle sleep,” says a market vendor on the occasion of our farewell. And actually, we also have the feeling that the container has changed the spirit as in no other place before.
Jena – Lobeda
Many know Jena’s suburb Lobeda only from driving along the highway that passes right between the grey multi-story tower blocks. At first glance, this panorama ruled by concrete does not seem very welcoming. On our arrival, the major of the district introduces it as the city of the four seas: in the morning, it is a sea of fog; in the day, a sea of concrete; in the evening, a sea of lights; and in the night, the sea of nothing. One of the buildings has a slogan in bright blue letters that can be seen from afar, which says, “I see something that you can’t see,” which fits remarkably to the split perception of the suburb. While the general view of the suburb is often tainted with prejudices, the daily routine of a Lobeda resident looks different, because most of the people like to live here. With the container, we are located between the school, the refugee accommodations, a soccer field, and a student’s residential home on the parking lot of the center of encounters ‘KuBuS’. Soon we are becoming the central meeting point for many of the people with experience as a refugee that live in Lobeda, who would like to get in more touch with Germans. We have to spend a lot of energy in getting in touch with the other groups of the local citizens. But the effort pays off.