The transit lounge is the archetypal transit space, the point where the hyper-global + hyper-local coincide; a location which blurs traditional conceptions of geo-political boundaries, creating pockets of international space within the borders of individual nation-states. An in-between space, it exists relative to a fixed departure and arrival point, not to the area that surrounds it.
The Transit Lounge is a series of overlapping residencies for Australian and German artists and architects in Berlin. It is also a blog where themes relating to the project will develop, collaborations will be initiated and sustained, and observations on the city collected. The Transit Lounge invites you to participate in these transnational conversations by commenting on the blog.
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Sunday, February 04, 2007
We are still in transit ... and think about authentic places.
Our visual introduction of the last days shows different perspectives of a historic place: „Dreilinden Raststätte“, designed by Rainer G. Rümmler (1929-2004) in the end of the sixties. Today the ensemble stands under conservation of monuments and historic buildings.
A short review on a transit route:
Dreilinden was an important official inspection point. Here the highway connected West-Berlin with West-Germany. Dreilinden was also named Checkpoint Bravo (by the Nato phonetic alphabet). Here was the entrance to the GDR.
One left near Helmstedt (Checkpoint Alpha) only then again the area of GDR. Dreilinden – Helmstedt was the shortest street connection between Berlin-West and the area of the federal republic and accordingly frequented. A distance of about 200 kilometers transit route.
Dreilinden is situated in the southwest of Berlin. The service area was a very important stop. A meeting place for tramper usually students who wanted westward. A place with a big bustle and a special atmosphere of anxiety and departure.
Today Dreilinden service station is a point which one can reach neither by the car nor officially on foot. Here the highway still goes past, but there is no exit. So this historic place has lost its function. An abandoned, a recollection place.
It is nonetheless an authentic location, certainly, not a museum, but it admits as a real point of contact reflections about past, present and future. A space, a vacuum which is in the middle of a movement network. Round this area, something happens, something is in movement. The driving past cars were already mentioned, but not yet the official place for Sinti and Roma on the ground of the former traffic jam space near by the border inspection point.
This camping facility for Roma and Sinti, travelling in Germany as seasonal workers in the month of May through October is the result of a gesture by the Berlin Senate. Still a provisional arrangement with minimal infrastructure. At least they pursue a school, accommodated in containers which is used obviously gladly by the children. To us very much sympathetically is the indication that Sinti and Roma are called outside of the German-speaking countries „Rom“. This term stands for human being and leads us to an abstracter view which is not necessarily bound to the direct place. Favour also has to us the poignant statement of a Sinti residing there, the freedom flows in his blood.
Perhaps this place is a metaphor which stands for the variability of not changeable believed political settlements, just as to be for the movement in the life without purposeful determination.
The whole areal seems to be a setting for the discourse on who we are, where we have been, and where we are going.
So much for today