52 Geschichten #20: My garden, my neighbourhood

My third summer in Berlin - in Oberschöneweide to be exact - and I hope there will be many more to come. No, it's not easy to arrive in a metropolis like Berlin from scratch and have to find yourself anew. But this city and especially "my" district have been kind to me. Although no one rang my doorbell and said, "Hey! Glad you're finally here!" Nah, that's just not how it went and still doesn't go. It was and is a give and take; so I moved myself and after a few weeks I wandered "over the edge" of my flat straight into Villa Offensiv, a good place of lively togetherness. Nothing brings people together in a pleasurable and lasting way like cooking and eating together - across all cultures and languages. In no time at all I was part of the team and not only found a nice and fruitful job, but also good friends I wouldn't want to miss. Schöneweide functions like a village. People know each other, they help each other, they clean up the Wuhlheide or the Kaisersteg square together or run into each other for a chat or whatever - I love it! This neighbourhood reminds me so much of my old adopted home of Wuppertal: both have retained so much of their originality; here and there, the beautiful and the ugly are allowed to coexist quite naturally. No make-up covers up what is there and wants to be seen in its diversity, just like in real life. The jumble of lots of water, greenery, old and new industrial buildings, the slightly battered Wilhelminenhofstraße and the HTW as a haven of creative knowledge forms the mixture that I like so much. And the people here contribute their share and fill it all with life. I love Schöneweide and Treptow-Köpenick and I think I've really arrived here.

Marlene from Oberschöneweide.

Photo by Neslihan Gunaydin on Unsplash

About the author

Katha koordiniert InteraXion, Willkommensbüro und Wohnraumberatung für Menschen mit Migrations- und Fluchterfahrung in Treptow-Köpenick. Sie begleitet RawafedZusammenfluss von hauptamtlicher Seite. Journalistische Erfahrung konnte sie durch verschiedene Projekte der Jugendpresse und dem Studierendenmagazin UnAufgefordert sammeln. Wenn sie nicht nach neuen Geschichten sucht, tummelt sie sich in Boulderhallen.

Katha coordinates InteraXion, the welcome office for migrants* and refugees in Treptow-Köpenick and accompanies RawafedZusammenfluss through her work. She gained journalistic experience through various youth press projects and the student magazine UnAufgefordert. When she is not looking for new stories, she spends her time in bouldering halls.



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