Es war einmal…
Let me shortly describe our situation and mission here.
Gottsbüren is a tiny village in the middle of nowhere in Germany, about 20 miles from Kassel. This beautiful little village, build in half-timbered style and surrounded by nature, has to deal with outflow of people. Once there was a pretty good infrastructure in this fairy tale like village but gradually school, hairdresser, shoe shop, butcher, pension, restaurant, bar, and every food shop closed. Partly because people moved away, leaving empty houses behind and partly because the majority of the now remaining 800 villagers is 60+. A slowly dying fairy tale.
Und wenn sie nicht gestorben sind…
Now we, art students and teachers from the art university, department space&designstrategies, in Linz, Austria, with “cow” as currant topic of the year, found it a perfect match to interfere. With the goal not to change the people or community there, but to give them a opportunity to get inspired, a new point of view and a chance to change themselves and their circumstances, to revitalize this nice piece of earth again. We also want to spread the news that there are empty houses for sale! In the countryside! In a nice village! Waiting fore someone to take care! And very VERY cheap!! We want to get people from Kassel, the next bigger town nearby, interested to come, see and understand the benefits of moving to the countryside. So we are making a big exhibition called 2nd CENTENNIALE GOTTSBÜREN (exhibition every 100 years), where every student is presenting his or her own project they had over the semester. And we have our own TV show, revealing a new episode everyday on Offener Kanal Kassel broadcast.
So let’s see how the story goes…
Gottsbüren (yellow – abandoned houses)
diary 22. June 2015
It started to rain right after we arrived in our new home for the next 8 days Gottsbüren, in Germany. Because I didn’t want to set my tent in the rain, I started to examine the so called “Studenten Haus – student dorm”, one of the empty houses we already occupied. I vaguely new what it would be like, but after seeing it with my own eyes and smelling musty smell everywhere I didn’t want to sleep there on the dirty floor between dead spiders and rat poop for even one night.. I mean yes, I could have done my best to clean it and try to make myself a little of a home, but I was freezing, it was wet outside and I needed to pee. But there was no water, electricity or toilette yet.
So I sat inside a heated car outside and waited for instructions while my mood was going down and I honestly thought about leaving. And I could see in the eyes of some of my friends they felt the same or worse especially the brave ones who arrived a day earlier and managed to survive the night. So yes mood was going down, but not everyones. Some of our group started to make themselves comfortable, they cleaned, hung up hammocks, decorated with fairy lights and candels.. and suddenly a girl announced happily that she found a place to stay! That some villagers offered their the old party room, heated and with a toilette.
That was my catchword, and all I needed as energy boost. A friend of mine and I started to walk through the village, randomly knocking on doors, kindly asking if they knew a place where we could stay, or if they had a pice of floor to offer, everything would be better than that house.. and felt 100 villagers and hours of begging later, we finally found the one sweet couple who gave us shelter. Warm cosy beds, a toilette, a shower and even a kitchen.. it felt like haven. :´)
progress of the day
- we arrived
- defeated the rain
- found a heavenly place to stay
- found a other emptyhouse whch we declared to be our main meeting point besides the “office house” the “student house” and the “teacher house”
- managed to have electricity there, i think by tapping a street light
- hung up lights in the big main room, brought in the tons of dishes, got tables, chaires, carpet, a chouch und other furniture from the abandoned houses
- managed to cook a real meal for all the 30 of us – Kartoffelsuppe
- ate together
This is the first, second and third episode of our selfproduced tv show called Q-tv on offener kanal Kassel broadcast (Q because german Q=KUH=meaning COW=our toppic of the year)
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