Kiez Burn Land?
Around the discussion of a new site there was the idea of (sort of) investing into our own space and being less dependent on other groups real estate.I'm looking for advice and ideas, and trying to figure out if this is a good time to proceed on that way.
This advice process is about developing option and ideas if and how we would live to have land, and how to use it.
Proposer (name, handle, etc.):
Member of the board of Kiez Burn e.V. (and also Berlin Burner e.V.) . I'm trying to collect the thoughts about that topic at one single place as advice to the verein about possible outcomes from the freiland discussion.
The advice process
The first step in the advice process is to gather input and advice from experts and people affected. (see realities)
Information gathered before posting
We had some discussions within the board about that topic.
We got a (not-to-be disclosed) offer/proposal about supporting us in finding land and funding, and doing projects for us or together on that land.
The borderlands are also currently a role model of running big-ish events on their own land.
I also had a conversation with Ann-Kathrin Rudorf of Kreativ Kultur Berlin about some aspects of and around that topic. She shared a tons of thoughts and links (I've added some deepl-translations for german paragraphs):
The following selection focuses on alternative communities, democracy projects, cultural politics and visual arts. Reflecting my field of expertise. But you find so many more communities and makers from different fields in Brandenburg. The festival scene / rave scene is quite big too. Therefore I encourage you to create your very own mapping and understand this as a starting point to form your vision for KiezBurn with its permanent home and also to start thinking about organisation developement to carry your vision on the long run. I believe speaking to other makers and gathering best practice examples could be a great start. The current offer won't run away and it's legit to pause it to gather more infos and comparison offers.
"Kultur im ländlichen Raum" - Culture in rural areas
There is a big discourse around the development of rural areas in Germany and the role of culture in it. Brandenburg has many great examples in this regard. I believe that learning about it could be inspiring for your vision as well as it will enable you to contextualize what you do within this cultural landscape: why? for whom? with whom? etc.
The Future Places network is committed to turning the current trend of a perceived "urban exodus" into an asset for communities, municipalities and regions that until recently suffered (or are still struggling with) outmigration. We want to support them in shedding the image of the "disconnected province" and becoming an innovation space where many things are possible. The Zukunftsorte network is supported by the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Energy with funding from the European Social Fund and the state of Brandenburg. https://zukunftsorte.land/
(Original: Das Netzwerk Zukunftsorte setzt sich dafür ein, den aktuellen Trend einer gefühlten “Stadtflucht” zu einem Gewinn für Gemeinden, Kommunen und Regionen zu machen, die bis vor kurzem unter Abwanderung litten (oder noch immer damit kämpfen). Sie wollen wir dabei unterstützen, das Bild der “abgehängten Provinz” abzustreifen und zum Innovationsraum zu werden, wo vieles möglich ist. Das Netzwerk Zukunftsorte wird gefördert durch das Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Energie aus Mitteln des Europäischen Sozialfonds und des Landes Brandenburg. https://zukunftsorte.land/ )
Kreativorte-Brandenburg was born from the desire to present Brandenburg in a different light and to give more visibility to innovative places in the countryside. In 2018, Philipp and Susan spent a summer driving through fields and forests in their camper, visiting projects, discovering initiatives, and making friends. Since then, this blog collects success stories from the countryside and presents places and their creators who discover a new (digital) way of living and working in the countryside. -> Here you can also find real estate: https://www.kreativorte-brandenburg.de/immobilien/ -> they also organize meet ups, so you could start asking around...)
(Original: Kreativorte-Brandenburg entstand durch den Wunsch Brandenburg in einem anderen Licht darzustellen und innovativen Orten auf dem Lande mehr Sichtbarkeit zu schenken. Philipp und Susan sind 2018 einen Sommer lang mit ihrem Camper durch Feld und Wald gebraust und haben Projekte besucht, Initiativen entdeckt und Menschen als Freunde gewonnen. Seither sammelt dieser Blog Erfolgsgeschichten vom Land und stellt Orte und ihre Macher*innen vor, die eine neue (digitale) Art vom Leben & Arbeiten auf dem Land für sich entdecken. -> Hier werden u.a. auch Immobilien vermittelt: https://www.kreativorte-brandenburg.de/immobilien/ -> sie veranstalten auch Meet Ups, so könntet ihr anfangen euch umzuhören..)
The book "Ländliche Verheißung" is a good read about cultural (living) communities in Brandenburg. Here's an abstract: https://www.kreativorte-brandenburg.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Verheissung_Buch_kleiner.pdf
Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (federal organisation for political education) offers a scientific well researched read about "Land und Ländlichkeit"
Also interesting is "Lebendige Orte: Eine Reise durch Barnim und Uckermark" https://www.amadeu-antonio-stiftung.de/publikationen/lebendige-orte-eine-reise-durch-barnim-und-uckermark/
Do you know this project? The state Brandenburg is working on a platform to connect and present culture in Brandenburg. You might want to geht in touch: https://www.kunst-in-brandenburg.de/
How can cultural offerings be further developed in rural regions and smaller cities? And how can local cultural institutions open up to new tasks, content and cooperation? The program "TRAFO - Models for Culture in Transition," an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, supports regions in permanently strengthening their cultural venues and their cultural offerings.
NEUE AUFTRAGGEBER (New Patrons)
In Germany, the Gesellschaft der Neuen Auftraggeber offers support to citizens who launch project initiatives. A nonprofit organization based in Berlin, it cooperates with numerous partners and sponsors and is a key node in an international network. It lays the groundwork for the projects and provides the structures required for their realization from initial idea to finished work.
Here some further links to makers and projects in Brandenburg:
Hof Prädikow https://hof-praedikow.de/
ROHKUNSTBAU (yearly art exhibit always at a different forgotten venue in Brandenburg that brings the Berliners out to the countryside) https://www.rohkunstbau.net/
UM Festival (pretty new arts festival) https://um-festival.de/
E-WERK Lückenwalde https://www.kunststrom.com/startseite.html
In the past I've played with the thought of establishing a county side branch of the Burner Embassy Berlin as a "Kulturlustgarten" , but gave up on the idea because of the distance to the center of Berlin (though reachable in 1h door-to-door from the Embassy), amount of work necessary to clear the space from bushes and other obstacles, and most risky: direct adjacent neighbours.
People/roles most affected by this proposal
Kiez Burn event team/Korg
The whole Kiez Burn community
People/roles with the most knowledge and experience relevant to this proposal:
What is the current situation? What are the problems with this? Are there any assumptions in your proposal?
It's not certain that we will still need to use Freiland e.V.'s land for future Kiez Burns after this summer. The cost of renting the land is getting higher and more fees are being added per person. With rules about sound and limited dates, we might consider other options. We are looking for new locations for 2024, but buying our own land might be a possibility, like the association running The Borderlands did. We could use money from previous years as equity for a loan, and save on rental costs in the future. The space could also be used for other events that align with our values. However, we need to think about how the space will be used all year, not just for Kiez Burn. Ideas include making it a permanent art space, a Burner campground, or hosting other regional burns. We need to decide how the land will be taken care of, whether it's by a community living there, weekly volunteers, or just the legal minimum. This will depend on funding requirements and the need to have a good business plan for the land, which might be required for a loan from a bank.
We should come up with ideas, a concept and a business case first on how to use the land, based on relevant guesstimations of comparable existing spaces, like Freiland, Wilde Möhre, The Borderlands. The proposal should state what is needed from the community in terms of work hours, people moving to or near the land, financial support and projects to use the land. It should also name people interested in supporting the project long-term, and what structures and resources we'll need as a minimum there.
How would the proposal be implemented
Define the process. Think through some of the implications and be ready to incorporate suggestions to change some of these through the discussions.
First, we will need to brainstorm the contents of the document. Depending of feasibility and calculated amounts of money we need to check with the Schatzmeisterin if the necessary funds are available, or within reach by fundraising activities.
Then we'll have to decide if we have resources enough to find funding and land on our own, or if we cooperate financially with consultants. We will also research banks for loans and conditions. When we are able to buy land, we also need to educate ourselves beyond our 11 principles, which laws are relevant for land owners and how to prepare the land for Kiez Burn.
Who would implement this proposal
Most likely you will not be the only one that implements something. Map out who's help you may need or on which areas you need help. Be aware that if you need help from others, they need to give their OK to the proposal.
We will form a group of people working on this, with at least another board member working on it and the Schatzmeisterin in close communication (e.g. for financial aspects of proposed concepts). As the legal body a membership assembly of Kiez Burn e.V. needs to instruct in time the board to negotiate and sign the necessary contracts. Running the land after purchase will probably be the task of another group to be formed.
When would this proposal be implemented
Give people an impression of the timeline of your proposal. Potentially linking this with how other projects' timelines.
I see a window of opportunity in combination of with the location scouting ad, so the usage concept and demand calculations will take at least three months. Actual research and anything around funding programs will take another while. Depending on volunteers some parts of it can be done in parallel if we know what we are looking for. But the whole purchase is not to be done in a rush, and even when we own land, making it usable for events will need more time (like: one is not allowed to cut bushes or trees from March to October).
What would be the cost (time, money, effort, etc.) of this proposal
Define how this might impact finances of different people or areas.
This proposal will need a lot of effort and also money. So it is most useful to keep the financial impact and obligations low until we have a concept (and real numbers) how to develop the place in combination with how to develop our community over the years.
What are the advantages of this proposal (relative to the current situation and/or counter-proposals)
How does your proposal relate to the Kiez Burn principles?
We'll have our own land to run Kiez Burn and probably more events on, with the opportunity of more freedom what to create, leaving some infrastructure and/or art permanently there, and also extending our reach into other Burner and non-Burner communities.
We can practice living with the 11 principles in an accountable way, and we could showcase that to people interested in Burner culture.
We can keep our event money more community-owned.
We're following some sort of growing maturity as a community by creating permanent places for experiences.
We're becoming more independent from other groups in our time planning.
We can think about more permanent Burns, like PermaBurn, Burner campground, Circle of regional Burns. We can support more nature based experiences as a part time alternative to the hectic city life. More and longer opportunities to grow together as a community and on a personal base.
We can stop any time along the way until a certain point and still have a way better idea where the community is heading in the long run.
We can try to learn from The Borderlands about their first successes and failures, since they are 1-2 years ahead from where we are now.
What are the disadvantages of this proposal (relative to the current situation and/or counter-proposals)
Be open to self-critique and document feedback people give under this header.
We will need money. We will need a lot of volunteers in all phases of the proposal.
We haven't done anything like this in such a dimension (the Burner Embassy would be a small bush compared to this huge tree).
The future is uncertain, and this is really a long term project. We need to make sure that we can avoid unfortunate developments which happened in other communities (e.g. Netherlands). Power within the project needs to be balanced and bound by internal contracts for responsible decisions.
The whole thing might require the effort of a Kiez Burn year round, plus the normal effort for Kiez Burn and our other events. The community might be too thin to do all this besides their normal activities.
The place we might end up could be far away, since land around Berlin is probably expensive and/or too crowded. It might be to attract major parts of our community often enough to be of good use.
We will have to deal with land owners risks: storms, floods, fire, drought. Those things might need insurances, or money if they happen.
The administrative load on the verein will increase significant. We even might need to think to pay companies for some tasks or have paid staff for the year round operation. That touches power and imbalance questions.
We might need to question us how commercial-grade sound systems might fit with neighbours, and what might be necessary infrastructure to be able to live with them. Since we will depend on the local authorities for permits etc., we will need to find ways which will work for several years.
Buying land means to invest into the future of our community. That also includes people as far as 10 or 20 years away. We will need to find out if we can look way beyond our own activities and perspective and our own current (maybe) intense social life.
Write here when you think a decision can be taken or should be taken. You could set a deadline if other important leads/areas are dependent on a decision here. Or you could take the open-ended view that you will take a decision when all have had the chance to give advice.
When a decision was reached, write on top of the thread:
A decision has been made
Who made the decision: Your name
When was the decision made: Date
Decision Summary: Short version of what you have decided