‘No medicinal herbs can grow in the dirt of capitalist society which can help cure capitalist anarchy.’ Rosa Luxemburg
Early in the morning of 2 September, with 9 space and cultural practitioners from Berlin we loaded our bikes onto the regional train to Müncheberg and then cycled along country roads to the Haus des Wandels. Here we were welcomed by artist and herbalist Ulrike Bernard, who had created a functional outdoor kitchen in the beautiful garden of Haus des Wandels* as part of her summer residency.
Together with Ulrike, we made remedies such as firecider or (very) bitter tinctures to strengthen the immune system in preparation for winter, using simple ingredients, some of which we collected from the surrounding area. We spent the the day lingering, cooking, sharing food, knowledge and resources about health and beyond, and creating an hommage to powerful plants. Gender disparities in the scientific production of knowledge or in the access to health and medicine were discussed, as well as experiments on self-medication and (abusive) experience with physicians were brought up.
The next day we gathered for breakfast and for the collective, critical reading of Marti Kheel’s text: “From Healing Herbs to Deadly Drugs: Western Medicine’s War on Nature”. The article, published in 1989 in the volume ‘Healing the Wounds: The Promise of Ecofeminism’, edited by Judith Plant (Philadelphia: New Society Publishers), discusses different approaches to healing and the transition from herbs to drugs from an ecofeminist perspective.
* Haus des Wandels project is conceived and developed as a commons. In 2018, an association was founded that bought the former BBS (vocational school) and the former alcohol distillery in Heinersdorf with direct loans.The properties offer generous spaces for collective organization and diverse living concepts, while making a sustainable contribution to the social and cultural diversity of the community
Who are We? is a discursive, self-reflexive event format that strives to accompany its participants’ independent spatial and artistic practices of sensible, urban transformation. Its first session happened in 2020 in Berlin. The initiative aims to encourage a discussion on collaborative organisations: Who belongs to them? What are the existing power structures? Which communication and decision-making cultures are prevailing? Which projects, spaces, cities “we” design and build accordingly? How do they influence the way “our” city is produced and represented?
by: Licia Soldavini & Mascha Fehse