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.

For more information email us: transit [AT] transitlounge [DOT] org

The transit lounge is supported by Culturia and the DAZ

Saturday, May 26, 2007

little babylons opening

"Sous les pavés... La plage" by Hugo Moline

rogue beach pavilion, monitors, video



Tanja Kimme and Benjamin Milbourne

slide projectors, data projector, slides, stop motion animation, props/remnants

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


By Jane Haugh

Last Monday I drove 100 miles to a diner in Latham, New York, U.S.A. and sat down to eat with a bunch of people I didn’t know. Luckily, this is not a restaurant review because in the U.S., Diners are places full of deep fried foods and bad coffee. I went to meet these strangers not for the cuisine but because they have all adopted children from Ethiopia, a possibility my family is considering -- but this is not, strictly, an adoption story either.
A year ago, I would not have been able to identify a child as Ethiopian as apposed to African American or Caribe. Most of the darker skinned children at the diner last Monday had come from Addis Ababa by way of an agency called Adoption Advocates International. AAI runs an orphanage in Addis called Layla House, which I visited in December. I spent a week with the waiting children there and I now find it startlingly clear when I see an Ethiopian face – in Latham at the diner I was clearly watching Ethiopia eating, laughing, talking in American voices while looking at me with Ethiopian eyes. I had expected to find out more about adoption but instead, I sat with a silly grin on my face, happy to be back in Addis, glad to hold a baby for his mother, or pretend to steal greasy French fries from a toddler – ignoring the adults completely.
My new ability to identify ethnic origins aside, time in Africa taught me something subtle about our proximity to each other. When human beings travel, we don’t just move through space -- our bodies transiting through the airport to the taxi to the guest house and back again. Each hand shaken and smile exchanged make the world less strange for all of us. In Addis, at Layla House, I often felt at a loss for what to do. I don’t speak Amharic and these children are from a culture alien to me. In Europe, at least, there are people like me, middle class people with similar hopes for their children, attached to similar comforts (like safe drinking water!), and at least the same alphabet if not a common language. Africa is another matter. Africa is an idea, a cradle, a horn, a great and terrible river, an inexhaustible desert. Before I went and saw it for myself, Africa was mostly a place of bugs and disease and famine and war. And orphans.
There are 1.3 million orphans. Today. In Ethiopia. It sounds and feels impossible to comprehend. It is. But having landed in that place with those particular people around me, I watched the workers at Layla House and began to learn from them a new language, one child at a time.
Mentasinot, Leuld, Honi, Tibebu.
On my first day at Layla, I met and fell in love with a five year old with impossibly long eyelashes named Mentasinot. He’s the youngest of four siblings and waiting for someone in the US to give him (together with his siblings) a hug and a bed and some food. He was an excellent flirt, looking at me from under his eyelashes with a shy smile that broke into a huge grin at my slightest encouragement. In despair, that first day, I wondered who could take four children? When I went to say good-bye on my last day, as I stood knee deep in toddlers I had come to know, I wondered who could not. The day after we left, a couple came to pick up a sibling group of five.
Now, even though I live half way around the world, I can still feel Mentasinot waiting. I smile whenever I look at photos of my trip and one of him comes up.
Another little smile I met is called Leuld, a three year old whose mother died just before we arrived. Each time I walked into Layla, he would find me and hold his arms up. I carried him for hours as he cried and cried some more. When he was up for it, I bounced him on my knee and sang silly songs, then he’d dissolve again, his face hot and damp and tucked beneath my chin off and on for days. The only thing that could distract him was laundry. He loved to help the laundresses and, despite an enormous workload, they patiently let him. When I got home it was a shock to hear people debate the downside of interracial adoption. What were they talking about? Sure, I felt inadequate to the task of comforting Leuld. But not to pick him up because our skins are different colors? He has gone home to a family in Seattle, Washington since then and I hope his new room is full of sunshine and... well, laundry.
On my way home, I had the amazing privilege of escorting a seven-month-old named Honi to her new mother in New York City. I scooped her up off a blanket on the floor of the nursery in Addis Ababa late on a Friday night. The woman who had spent the most time feeding and changing and tickling and rocking and feeding her again, was overwhelmed with sudden tears and had to step out of the room while they changed Honi into a “Let’s Go Mets” outfit they had been saving (the Mets baseball team also has its home in New York). I followed the young caregiver out to where she stood breathing hard, just outside the door and gave her my hand. For one still moment, she looked into my eyes and pressed my palm to her heart. Then she ducked her head and tore herself away.
In my house right now, we are waiting for a referral of a single male child, aged 2 to 6 years old. We say we are waiting for “A Tibebu” after another boy I would have put in my suitcase if I could have. That tibebu has since found a home but another tibebu will, I hope, find his way here to mine. He will be my child then, surely, as much as the 6 and 8 year old girls who crawl into bed with me when they have a bad dream and write me gloriously misspelled mothers’ day cards, and happen to have come from my body.
So you see, the world is moving in next door. Not down the street or into the next arrondissement or county or stadt teil. Right next door or even into your very own house. And it’s not just through adoption. Commerce and friendship, and simply travel itself are changing the neighborhood. And the neighborhood is stretching, getting larger and larger -- mine, certainly, encompasses Addis Ababa. I now know a whole bunch of people who aren’t “like” my anglo-european self. And my hope is that each child I held or tickled or fed will be less afraid of their new world, my world, of (mostly white) America. I went to Africa expecting to be overwhelmed, I came home feeling privileged and full of wonder. I didn’t save a single child but I sure hugged a whole bunch of them.
And somewhere on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, there’s a little girl growing up as a New Yorker. I handed little Honi over at Kennedy Airport to a single mom who had brought her own mother for support. I asked some questions about her new life and, having grown up myself in New York, I could suddenly see her future spread before me. From a floor in Addis Ababa where women die by the thousands giving birth on street corners and there are no street lights, from the hands of a woman with beautiful black eyes and a huge heart who speaks an ancient language – to New York City and a nutritious diet and good healthcare and a closet full of beautiful clothes, to another woman with a huge heart and a manicure and great hopes and plans – to the possibility of a future.
Because I traveled and met Honi and Leuld and Mentasinot and Tibebu, Africa has moved closer than it was before, certainly as close as the Diner in Latham, New York. I am five months back from Ethiopia and, this past Monday as I drove to eat bad food I didn’t think much about the children that would be there. I wanted mostly to connect with the adults for the advice I’ll need from them in the days after my tibebu comes home. But although I share formative experiences with all the white American adults around that table, I was more pleased, gratified, in fact relaxed by the un-foreignness of the children from Ethiopia. What was exotic, has become domestic. What was so alien, is now conceivable as my own family. I am more deeply at home in the world than I was before my trip and for that, I am indebted to the times we live in with the easy possibility of travel in a shrinking world, and to the children of Addis Ababa.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


hay guise!
jarst wanna sei, ewe guise awl rawked sew hurd inn berlin eit TRANZIT LOWNJ! Leik tewtally! eespeschalee jewdee, kristeena, kaytee ant thad hipee go-vindar - sew kuhl!
jarst dewing anutha Awstraylean tewer nau - ant ets rawkin tew!
sew, wurd up yew guise!
rawk arn!
ps blarg mie tew!

Monday, May 21, 2007

23.05.07 19-22:00 LITTLE BABYLONS

1:20 by Tanja Kimme/Ben Milbourne

An open investigation of new methods of collaboration for photographer/artist and architect, the 1:20 project established a conceptual and practical feedback loop: site-artiface-site.Generating hybrid methodologies and highlighting mis-truths hidden in the image.

"Sous les pavés... La plage" by Hugo Moline

A rogue beach pavilion takes to the streets to subvert kapital and urbanism`s unholy alliance of socio-spatial control. But will the people listen? Will anyone come out to play?


Monday, May 07, 2007

09.05.07 19-22h

an exhibition in transit by


transit lounge
Josetti Höfe
Rungestr 22-24
entry via riverside path

Saturday, May 05, 2007

26 surf street

I was recently involved documenting this ephemeral intervention project.
A group of 8 artists had the rare opportunity to do whatever they wished with a house, located at 26 Surf Street at Merrick’s Beach in Victoria Australia, only a week before it got demolished. The group had met a few times, and had loosely discussed possible ideas, but there was no common project that necessarily united them. Some members knew the owners of the house, others came to the house as strangers, armed with tools and industrial equipment..