Dear communities, friends, supporters, and interested people,
Another year is over and we are taking a winter break until January 8th, 2024. We like to take this opportunity to thank you all. We have had an exciting, challenging, successful, interesting, solitary, sad, beautiful, and funny year with you – full of exchange, exploration, debate, and sharing. You know that our projects are for, with, and because of you – thank you for joining us, for still being by our side, or for finding your way back to us.
We would now like to give you a short review of the year.
Things have been rather quiet around our digital platform The Living Archives this year. Don’t worry, we haven’t disappeared from the scene, but have given ourselves a year to tidy and catch up. You can look forward to some structural and visual changes in the archive. Finally, with the support of the LGBTI Inclusion Fund of the State Office for Equal Treatment – Against Discrimination (LSBTI-Inklusionsfont der Landesstelle für Gleichbehandlung – gegen Diskriminierung), we were able to add more subtitles to the documentation, incorporate translations in German sign language, enable contrast and size settings and also commission translations in plain language! From now on, we are so excited not only to make our content more accessible but also to make it more structurally tangible. We anticipate all the great content that we will document together with you on The Living Archives in the coming years.
#CommunitiesSolidarischDenken, now in its fourth year and funded by LADS, has revolved around the topic of ‘labour’ this year. Central to us were questions such as: What is recognised as labour and what is not? Do we recognise patterns in these unrecognised jobs? Which ones are disregarded, which ones are erased, and which ones are forgotten? Critiques of labour as a capitalist concept itself, of pressure to perform, underpayment and burnout and, in contrast, the refusal to do so, have been recurring themes.
We’ve put a wonderful documentary for you and, because we can’t get enough, we’ve got two this year. You can pick up our notebook from our office in January. And since you are surely so excited you can hardly wait until then, there’s also a comprehensive digital documentary on The Living Archives.
Here are our highlights of the year for you:
We started the year with the question of Community Organising and, together with Marlize Andre, Clementine Burnley, and Lucy Ng’ang’a, asked: What defines work and where does community organising fit in? As places of encounter, resistance, love, care, and often as a necessary means of survival, they deserve space for processes and debate. More often than not, the labour required to build communities in the first place and the ongoing efforts to maintain them are made invisible.
We were also accompanied throughout the year by the BIPoC literature circle: Labour and Resistance and by great network meetings – such as the one for BIPOC organisations in public funding and the network meeting Community in Academia.
But let’s rest because rest is resistance!
Be it through playing or relaxing. And we did this with you this year, especially in the summer! Because resting is at least more important than working, we met up with you several times in our Rest Space and did… nothing! On August 15th, we were able to send you on a snippet hunt throughout Kreuzkölln with our cooperation partners so that you could solve riddles and puzzles at the stations and win one of the great donated prizes. What fun!
We were also able to work with you in many places. We discussed with you at our kitchen table event “Work, work…work?” and celebrated the publication of Dr. Rena Onat’s doctoral thesis together. We met and learned about the concepts of the circular economy. There was a workshop on labour in the service sector and a critical learning space on discrimination-sensitive translations.
We ended the year with a panel with Asmara Habtezion, Jihad Yagoubi, Newroz Çelik, and Thủy-Tiên Nguyễn on What We Owe Each Other – On Solidarities and Mutual Aid. This panel was about solidarities, labour, and communities in capitalism and how people and our communities navigate through forced precarity. Collective practices, such as Mutual Aid, can provide an alternative understanding of labor and mutual entanglements and translate solidarity(s) into daily and self-enforcing practices.
At the very end, after this extensive year full of work, we took another focal moment. We are in some tough years and we are stuck in difficult times currently. Be it wars and conflicts, the rise of (right-wing) populist tendencies, rising inflation, or simply the good old pandemic, which for some seems to be over… Our communities are struggling, some more than others, but all certainly very seriously. We have learned from other people to allow grief into our lives as a process. For us, our grief, our loss, our lost ones, or for example, a lack of security, to heal. It has helped and we would like to remind you all to take your time. Time for yourselves, time for the pain and grief, so that hope, care, and strength can have space (again). But most of all, time for each other, because we can’t do without each other and with each other. We also express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to this project!
Special thanks go to the panelists, speakers, workshop leaders and the helping hands, interpreters, and communication assistants. A big thank you also goes to the participants of the networking meetings, our cooperation partners, and everyone else who joined us in discussions and exchanges. Together, we have experienced these crucial spaces, enlivened them, and filled them with content. We are looking forward to the coming year and the continuation of our projects. We look forward to new and old exchanges, your ideas and perspectives.
With that, we would like to say goodbye to you this year and with a good dose of community love. Thank you for your love, your feedback, and the support you continue to share with us on an ongoing basis.
We wish you all relaxing days off and time to rest and take a deep breath. We hope that those of you who are going through difficult times can take a break and recharge your batteries. We hope that we can be and remain strong together.
Here’s to a new year with you. We wish you all lots of strength and all the best for the new year and the start of 2024.
With our best wishes,
your xart splitta team
Juli, Anni, Taye, and Nancy