Time to look back on 8.5 years of critical spatial practice of Hallo: e.V.
After eight intensive years, the activities of the Hallo: at the Kraftwerk Bille will come to an end. The non-profit Hallo: Verein zur Förderung raumöffnender Kultur e.V. has been active in the listed Kraftwerk Bille in Hamburg Hammerbrook since 2015. Since the beginning, the research, artistic and experimental formats and uses have aimed at developing permanent structures. Due to a termination by the new investor, our work there will come to an end in January 2023.
Hallo: is characterized by the cooperation of many people, groups, initiatives, neighbors and institutions. Together we look back: With the Hallo: Review we roam through past actions, festivals, experiences, spaces and formats .
Hallo: Review 2015
First a name is born: Hallo: Festival. Hallo: starts from the need to create spaces for non-commercial culture, socioculture and research. We want to open up spaces. The idea is to develop this over the long term via temporary formats. Since we are not yet in these spaces, the first meetings, which we call Hallöchen, start already in 2014 at places like Kraniche an den Elbbrücken or Toastbar. They follow the principle that each person present invites others to join them. Thus, a transdisciplinary network of artists, sociologists, urban planners, craftsmen and many more is created. In the meantime, we go in search of spaces: on foot, by car and by bicycle we travel through the whole of Hamburg – and we find what we are looking for: a former power plant in Hammerbrook is largely empty. We do not agree with the previous investor, so for the first time in the spring of 2015 we celebrate a Hallöchen, with among others cobratheater.cobra, Friedrich von Roth and star architects in the rear courtyard of the Kraftwerk Bille and begin to explore the space. Over the summer, the first festivals grow: conceived and made together: the Hallo: Festival 2015 is conceived as a week-long festival that invites people to come from the build-up. And at the same time lets architectures emerge and experience a program of performance, music and discourse with, among others, Helena Hauff, isolée, DJ Patex and Knarf Rellöm. And also carries out the dismantling together. The first edition is financed by the participants themselves, despite two days of heavy continuous rain on the main program days, fortunately it goes well. Starting in the fall, we will have a materials warehouse at the power plant and the Hallöchen will continue to explore the neighborhood, e.g. a shipping basement and a truck driver’s snack bar.
Hallo: Review 2016
With the first grants in our luggage, we continue the Hallöchen: we visit what feels like the oldest pub in the neighborhood, the Deichklause, organize a discussion on urban development in Hamburg’s east together with the Bille Rowing Association, and cook another time at the Rothenburgsorter Elbbadetag. And we start more collaborations: one group of Hallo: visits the architecture collective Yes We Camp in Paris and another travels twice to Trafaria in Portugal to reopen an old prison there. A procedural play at the Schauspielhaus is being developed with Hallo:. Since we still don’t have a permanent space, we get to be guests in the Gängeviertel for a residency and test what it would be like to develop a neighborly space there for a month. In summer, the time has finally come: we can use a corner building of the Bille power plant: the Schaltzentrale opens its doors for the first time during the second Hallo: Festival. Against payment of the incidental expenses and the expected appreciation, which we are to bring, we use the rooms rent-free. Our goal is to open an experimental neighborhood bureau that makes the spaces of the power plant accessible and, as a collaboratively designed space, is a meeting place for the changing neighborhood and a venue for a wide variety of programming. The Hello: Festival 2016 has a focus on the development of interior spaces: on thousands of square meters architectures of space production collectives are created, among others by our partners* from France, Portugal and Cape Verde and other participants. Theater (with Amin Motallebdzadeh, among others) and music (with Guy Dermossesian, Courtesy, Tout Est Beau, among others) happens.
Hallo: Review 2017
This year, the Schaltzentrale will be transformed from a dusty place with cracks in the walls, through which one can see the street, into a cozy space that includes a regular café, residences, rehearsal rooms, a sewing and woodworking workshop, exhibition and event spaces, and will host, among other things, construction, photo, DJ and drawing workshops with a diverse program.Among other things, it makes construction, photography, DJ and drawing workshops, monthly “Hallöchen” with a diverse program, concerts, movie nights, guided tours of the power plant, weekly lunches, neighborhood get-togethers and discussion events possible. The first Open Monument Day is organized at the initiative of Hallo: e.V. in the power plant. A tall pizza oven made from barrels is built. University research collaborations are emerging that examine space and how we work. In this way, a locally anchored network of residents and workers, as well as other active people such as sports enthusiasts, is created and forms a platform for exchange about urban development from below and concrete changes in the neighborhood. The Hallo: Festival 2017 is supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, among others, and is thus able to realize an international program in the entire power plant at eight venues. With a focus on auditory perception, Hallo: together with Sérgio Hydalgo invites artists such as Ellen Fulman, Gabriel Ferrandini, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Perera Elsewhere and many more. to realize sound installations, concerts and performances. Daniel Dominguez Teruel develops a music theater piece on four floors, in which pigeons sing and a soundproof corridor changes one’s own body perception.
Hallo: Review 2018
For better comprehensibility we leave behind our old association name with a small tear in the corner of our eye: The Viele Grüße von e.V. becomes the Hallo: Verein zur Förderung raumöffnender Kultur e.V.. This year we extend our investigation area to the surrounding waters. Together with the RV Bille we explore the Bille at the Hallöchen water parade with rowing boats, canoes and inflatable rubber animals. How can we understand the space around the Bille if we study it from the water? At the Mappingcamp Bille Land – Water as social space students create hand-drawn mappings, interviews, audio recordings and the walkable, partly floating Bille Land map.
The 2018 Hallo: Festival is dedicated to the question of how we can metaphorically and actually move onto and into water, transforming it from a social void into a public space. The starting point for this is a temporary pontoon, built by blackschwarz. It is the landing and departure point of water cabs, boat trips with cobratheater.cobra, a kayak made of paper and floating installations. There will be vocal performances in a homemade sauna and music from DJ Marcelle, Plastiq and POSSY, among others.
In order to be able to work together permanently in the power plant, the idea of WERK. The concept envisages the collaborative development, redevelopment and cooperative operation of the front building – as a co-productive and cooperative Haus | Quartier | Stadt Neuer Arbeit. We think about possible usage programs, operator models, forms of ownership and process structures together with Dagmar Pelger, Renée Tribble, and Michael Ziehl, among others, and neighbors. As part of the Actors of Urban Change exchange program, we also exchange ideas with international experts in Vilnius and Lecce.
Hallo: Review 2019
Next door, something is happening on the vacant site of the former recycling yard. Commissioned by the environmental authority, Hallo: is developing PARKS together with the landscape architecture firm atelier le balto and many local actors. The project is a programmatic push in a different direction of what public space can be. In the initiation year, in addition to a continuous inventory of social, structural and ecological structures, networking with the neighborhood, as well as the first cautious interventions in the space, such as the creation of vertical gardens, are created. In the Micromappings seminar, the area was explored with sound derives, a separate unit of measurement was measured, and ownership issues were examined.
Inspired by the term SWAY, the Hallo: Festival 2019 will take place in May at Kraftwerk Bille and the Elbphilharmonie. SWAY means to stagger or sway, but also to exert influence or power, and forms the bracket of our program content: We practice splits. With pleasure practice, ecstasy and dance in the piece Brujx with Luciana Achugar, queerfeminist porn short film program by Moana Vonstadl and Louisa Boeszoermeny, Dionysian parties, talks, videos, performances and visual art, among others with Shroom!, Gudrun Krebitz, Regina Rossi and Angela Anzi and many more. In Daniel Dominguez Teruels ‘ performance Requiem for Architecture, a cooing pigeon choir takes over the Elbphilharmonie’s plaza.
In addition to the various activities in Hamburg, members of Hallo: travelled to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso in December to the Festival Salon Musique of the association Atelier Silmandé and worked as sound technicians* and in the organization of the festival. As part of the Actors of Urban Change exchange program, Hallo: is organizing a conference in May with workshops in the district and inputs from Jeanne van Heeswijk, among others. This will be followed in the fall by an international workshop in which the WERK concept will be further sharpened (using topics such as collective work and solidarity-based financing models, among others) and founded with a symbolic act.
Hallo: Review 2020
Because of the corona (virus) pandemic, our lives are no longer the same. The work of Hallo: is also changing abruptly. Community activities and gatherings are no longer possible. But we remain inventive: In 2020, Hallo: Radio is founded. An independent community radio station that broadcasts a diverse program weekly from its control center at Kraftwerk Bille. It offers residents, interested parties, and local artists a space to experiment with auditory formats. It creates a platform for many artists and at the same time enables people who previously had no audience to enter the public with radio formats. Listen in with pleasure!
The Hallo: Festspiele 2020 will also not take place in the Kraftwerk Bille, but in the frequency room. The Hallo: Radio Festival Edition I streams concerts DJ sets, and interviews LIVE from Ouagadougou from the Salon Musique festival of our friends at Atelier Silmandé as well as from the Schaltzentrale. A transnational program featuring Alif Naaba, Wendlamita Kouka, Amzy, Nika Son, Phuong-Dan, Museum of No Artand many more. We take the changes on the outside as an opportunity to develop and change on the inside as well.
Hallo: receives a grant for an organizational development in which Socius accompanies us. Overall, we are working together on our association cooperation until the end of 2022. The pandemic has changed how we use public space – across the city, in almost all cities. Public space has become more social, by necessity.
PARKS and especially the Alter Recyclinghof becomes more diverse in its uses all at once. This is especially noticeable during the construction days in May and June, when more than a hundred people, distributed among individual small construction sites, replant the hanging gardens, fill the pioneer field with soil, build long walkways, plant the field, and screw together the seating rafts.
Hallo: Review 2021
We start the year with the Hallo: Radio Festival Edition II X channel: Corridors are dug and flushed. Arteries are officially released for swimming. No directions, just navigations! Listen here!
In March, WERK: Haus Neuer Arbeit is selected as a National Urban Development Project and receives a funding commitment of 7.5 million euros. Great joy! This is a big step forward in developing and securing the meter plant as a common asset at the Kraftwerk Bille. Let’s think. However, there was a parallel change in ownership of the Kraftwerk Bille as part of a share deal. Agreements reached in years of negotiations will not be continued by the new investors.
At the Hallo: Radio Festival Edition III Captial H – Von Boden, Eigentum und Orten des Gemeinschaffens we talk in the Schaltzentrale about work and urban development in Hamburg East: collaborative, non-commercial and inclusive. At interviews, concerts and fence talks we bring people into the conversation and into your terminals – among others with Gabu Heindl, Eva von Redecker, trashboo. The digital neighbourhood archive Bille Raum Archiv will also be published. We understand it as an open collection of narratives coming from those who live, work, sweat, talk, swim and rest in this space and therefore know it best.
In the Schaltzentrale, meetings in real life are finally possible again: many concerts happen in the courtyard and the Hallo: Radio continues to broadcast weekly.
In order to keep the power plant usable collectively, Hallo: launches the campaign “HALLO: Kraftwerk Bille Hamburg GmbH – Time to sell fairly!”, which is supported by over 3500 people – including Deichkind, Amelie Deuflhard and Olaf Nicolai. We demand the sale of a part of the building of the Kraftwerk Bille to WERK eG at a fair price. The summer of culture is also making waves in Hammerbrook. With Hallo: WIR VERKAUFEN NICHT we open the doors and courtyards of the Kraftwerk for 12 days of concerts, performances and discussions with Queerpool and Östro 430 , among others . In addition, we organize together with MK&G and Gängeviertel the closing of the exhibition Life on Planet Orsimanirana and imagine more just urban and planetary futures.
A new expression is establishing itself in the PARKS team: Magic-PARKS-Moment. For us, this is the special atmosphere when, for example, Thai boxers train at the Old Recycling Yard, an exhibition is set up at ZOLLO, the kids from the neighborhood rehearse a choreography, the gardeners harvest and a workshop on Safe(r) Spaces takes place at the same time. Such a coexistence is the promise of public space that we want to create with PARKS.
Hallo: Review 2022
Hallo: works as an open and self-organized structure in which there are more fluid and solid projects, constructs, contexts. These divisions and affiliations are now reflected in our new Board of Directors.
The struggle for the realization of WERK at the Kraftwerk Bille continues. In May 2022, a round table with representatives of the authority, the district, the property company and the WERK team takes place, but this negotiation also remains without result. Soon after, we find the termination notice from the control center in our mailbox – we are forced to leave at the end of the year.
Our tempers are heavy, but the pumps are running at full speed. In August, the Hallo: Festival 2022 will take place at RV Bille, together with Galerie Oel-Früh. The area at the Billebecken will be transformed into a park of fun with musical and performative performances on a floating stage and in the radio kiosk with Sandy B, Plastiq and Riccardi Schola, among others. In a funeral march we sing the control center with the Moritat of the shark accompanied with accordion, tears and shark blood drops.
For many years, something has been happening in the neighborhood and in networking. In a one-year process, we are working together with Mikropol e.V. and Hochwasserbassin e.V. on collaborative forms of city-making, stabilization of self-organized structures and community-oriented urban development. From this, the solidary alliance AG OST is founded with some others in November, in order to jointly make political demands.
The PARKS concept of the caretakers works. Caretakers use the space, bring in themselves and their ideas and add something (adding knowledge is also caring) or preserve what already exists. The skaters of the Verein für Skateboardkultur e.V. and Sit’n’Skate build a new skate spot on the old recycling yard, Hallo: Radio does a test run for the radio kiosk Auf der grünen Wiese with toy rental. Open after-work talks, workshops, and artistic works by touch don’t touch will work on the past, present, and future of the Old Recycling Yard.