… was man so sein eigen nennt: Der Mauergarten und andere Grenzfälle
In a corner of the former border zone between East and West Berlin, today belonging to the districts of Kreuzberg and Mitte, there is a small vegetable garden. Due to the confusion in regard to responsibility in the period following reunification, two Turkish families were able to assert their customary right of cultivating onions, cabbage and beans there, even nine years after the fall of the Wall and against all new allocations of property. The Wagenburg (wagon fortress) inhabitants on the neighbouring unused street, also part of the former border strip, were not as well off – their homes were cleared and the street was opened for traffic.
Property is the basis of power and recognition. One who owns nothing is dependent on those who own property, and this dependency pays off. In everyday life, the words ‘mine’ and ‘yours’ more ambiguous. They can denote a mere assignment or the claim to the exclusive right to use a thing, but also the declaration of a responsibility associated with this. Imma Harms and Thomas Winkelkotte examine in their film what people, in times when ownership relations are being newly structured, make use of as their ‘own’. What counts as one’s ‘own’ beyond the legal norms, when the conception of legality is constituted at the focal point of different social and cultural structures?
DE 1998, Video, 70 min, OF