Der Badeanzug liegt vor mir, gerade so, als sei ihm seine Trägerin nach dem Bad entstiegen und hätte ihn, das salznasse Stück Stoff, noch nicht aufgehoben, ausgewrungen, ins Strandlaken eingerollt und in den Bastkorb gelegt. Vielleicht rubbelt sie hinter der Schwingtür – die eher einen Saloon als eine Umkleide vermuten lässt – noch ihren Körper mit einem rauen Strandlaken aus Frottex trocken. Die feuchten Haare stehen wirr ab – das machte sie unglücklich – hatte sie doch schwanengleich mit gerecktem Hals den Kopf über den Wasserspiegel balanciert. Dass ihre Adern dabei hervortraten, ließ sich vom Ufer aus nicht wahrnehmen, nur das Zittern der künstlichen Blumenblätter an ihrer Badekappe. Für den fernen Blick hatte sie sich in eine Nymphea, eine Seerose, verwandelt.

Die Schwingtüre endet achtzehn Zentimeter überm Boden und gibt den Blicken ihre Knöchel preis.
Der Rückenausschnitt des Badezuges beschreibt die Horizontline an den Ufern des Balaton.

Seine Sonnenuntergänge stimmen sie traurig. Sie liest in den Verfärbungen des Himmels die Prophezeiung vom Ende des Sommers. Auch die gelb-orange-roten Blätter auf ihrem Badeanzug künden bereits vom Herbst. Ihr Fallen ist als Druck auf Grisuten Textur festgehalten.

In den Sommerurlauben der 70er Jahre am Plattensee ahnt sie nicht, dass ausgerechnet die Chemiefaser aus dem Havelland bestand haben würde – auch noch als zwanzig Jahre später der Boden unter ihren Füßen nicht mehr DDR hieß. Bis heute produziert das Werk der Märkischen Faser GmbH Produkte aus Grisuten®: Von der Babywindel bis zur Inkontinenzeinlage beweist sich der Faserstoff als flexibles Gebilde und findet Anwendung in allen Phasen des menschlichen Lebenszyklus, als Bekleidung, in der Hygiene, Heimtextilien oder dem Automobil.

Als sie sich Jahre später auf der Alpentour im Cabrio vom Wörthersee nach Monaco dem Rausch der Freiheit hingab und die unerträgliche Leichtigkeit des Seins erprobte, war ihr da bewusst, dass das Verdeck Grisuten-Fasern aus Primnitz enthielt? Dass, während sie in den 50er Jahren als Kind in deutscher Trümmerlandschaft spielte, die Schauspielerin und spätere Fürstin Grace Kelly mit Carry Grant in einem ebensolchen Cabrio durch das Filmsetting von Imago rauschte?

 Huldigte sie der Ikone als sie die Badekappe gegen ein im Grace-Kelly-Style geschlungenes Kopftuch tauschte?

Träumt sie heute manchmal auf der Fahrt zum Supermarkt unter dem Dachhimmel, der aus der gleichen Polyesterfaser gefertigt wurde wie ihr Badeanzug, von den Sommern am Balaton? Lächelt sie in Erinnerung daran, wie die Blätter des Badeanzugs auf den Boden fielen und mit ihnen die letzte Hülle.

Eine Hand erkundet das Panorama ihres Rückens.

Licht aus.

barbara caveng


'The first true storyteller is, and will continue to be, the teller of fairy tales. ... always the art of repeating stories, and this art is lost when the stories are no longer retained' Walter Benjamin

From 21 to 22 February, eight performers spent 24 hours digging through a textonic landscape of 45 m³ of old clothes from planetary dwellers.

Their own bodies were wrapped and deformed by new and old, used or even still labelled pieces, whose value was already decaying in the hours of the creation & production process under the hands of the sewers. The prospectors infiltrated dunes of down jackets, excavated pits and penetrated the penetrating the innermost of materiality. No safe footing was possible. From the pile of clothes, they gazed out on the discarded landscape of Anthropozaen.
What stories and thoughts did they uncover? What can be explored, read and told of the discarded clothing that is contemporary civilisational history.

On 27 February, we invited chroniclers and word-finders to write down their thoughts on the textonic landscape of the BHROX bauhaus reuse as poems, essays, novellas and notes. We publish the texts in a loose series.





Miner's term. A not very deep pit excavated in the search for deposits // Schürfen, Schurf, the search for usable minerals at a shallow depth underground or at the outlet of their natural deposits. From the digital dictionary of the German language.

21.2.2021 | 11 a.m. – 22.2.2021 | 11 a.m. 

  24-hour performance in BHROX bauhause reuse auf der Mittelinsel des Ernst-Reuter-Platz in Berlin.

Die Installation kann vom 15.2. – 3.3.2021  rund um die Uhr besichtigt werden.

Es schürften Omar Alshaer | Marwa Younes Almokbel | Shirin Ashkari | Leo Naomi Baur | barbara caveng | Alice Fassina | Nadja Hoppe | Kdindie | Therry Kornath | Jan Markowsky und Flora Tarumim Torres

No idyllic view over peaks and meadows - the familiar surroundings are overformed by dunes of down jackets. No safe tread is possible. 45 m³ of clothing heaps thrown up to form a landscape of anthropozaen.

Bras everywhere - decorative elements like garlands along the glass corridors of the of the BHROX bauhaus reuse, redefined on the performers' bodies as knee pads and butt shapers, their faces hidden under the colourful plague of bumps. Here an arm, there a leg, buried under too much. One breathes heavily in her pit. Nevertheless, despite everything - following the inner commandment to get dressed.

Only what? Hello...... are there no more type advisors, since the commandment of 'everything goes'? How can one make a decision? Futile attempts to classify by colour, material or the geographic indication of where is made in create new maps and announcements leak out: Ernst-Reuter-Platz becomes a bus station for long-distance traffic: Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar, Cambodia, in between a 'Made in Italy' and a pack of Eterna shirts boasting Swiss Cotton.

The rummage table has been abolished. Yesterday's covetousness is now stockpiled as clothing donations. SCHURF!

Breathlessness, suffocation, disgust. The unbearable heaviness of too much, sweat running down the body. Ascriptions, expectations, appropriations -the pressure of the standard. The performers explore the terrain - crawling over the piles of material in search of identity beyond the predefined patterns: florals and camouflage, safari look, elephant hunt. Experiments. Layer after layer reshaping the body into a structure. Another jumper and the survivors become textile rock. Te very last has to be the T-shirt with the embroidered flowers and birds on a bright yellow background, testifying to the belief in the power of nature. Going blind, drowning in the masses - who lost themselves when, where?

Homo Circularis sits naked on the mountain of stripped clothing and serves as a metaphor for a society that is shedding its skin and searching for other economies and value systems. Consumers and humanists have been buried under the avalanches of the history of textile civilisation. There - a bare foot, a hand.

For 24 hours, the mountain of clothes was dug, stripped and pulled over, folded, ironed in a constant ritual and never-ending repetition.

Dann schliefen wir erschöpft. Eine saß im schwachen Licht der Nähmaschine und vernähte Diskrepanzen.

The astronaut fell into the crater.

The performance was streamed live and additionally documented with video and photography. The three available streams in low resolution provide insights into the 24-hour shift in the clothes chute.

Stuff & Credits

Paolo Gallo and Joachim Gern

Video: Oliver Speiser and Nana Rebhan

Technik: Peter Winter | Lorenzo Francesconi | Paolo Gallo | Caroline Speisser

Sound: Hans Böhme – billboard design | Peter Winter

Transport & Sorting
Céline Iffli | Stephan C. Kolb | Ruben Munoz | Ruslan Borzin | Umberto Cunial | Ned Edward Start-Smith | Jules Night | Flora Tarumim | Nadja | Daniela | Sascha Schölbe | Ines Tentscher | Moussa  Bakaxoko | Mareen Butter

Best Boy: Oliver Meeden

Pool attendents in a managerial capacity:
barbara caveng | Alice Fassina | Leo Naomi Baur

of the BHROX bauhaus reuse – Isabelle Kaiser | Peter Winter| Robert K. Huber

SCHURF was made possible by the lending of 45 m³ of clothe donations from HUMANA Kleidersammlung GmbH Berlin. Special thanks to Julia Breidenstein.

Anleitung zum Umgang mit Obdachlosen

How to deal with the Homeless


How to deal with the Homeless

Essay by Jan Markowsky.

An increasingly visible problem: Homelessness in Berlin.

Over the last twenty years, the rental market in Berlin has gone from being a tenant’s market to something far more landlord-friendly. Rents have increased and there is a lack of properties available for those with empty bank accounts. Recent anti-misappropriation regulation in the Berlin City Senate cites a housing emergency. People who find themselves in hazardous economic circumstancesare more likely to lose their homes and less likely to find a new one. People with no fixed abode are at a serious disadvantage on the Berlin housing market. To a large part, homelessness is a homemade problem. In addition come those who end up on the streets after escaping desperate situations in their home countries, and have failed in their attempts to provide for themselves and their families in Berlin. These people have an even worse chance of finding somewhere to rent. 

The systematic marginalisation of both groups has led to a massive increase in the number of Homeless on the street. Exact figures are unavailable but the fact alone that in Berlin Mitte people find shelter under every bridge crossing the Spree is a clear signal. If the state Senator for Social Issues keeps his word, we will soon have reliable figures. Secretary of state Geisel promised a census of the homeless for 2017.
Displacement does not help.
No one wants the homeless or beggars around. They can go wherever they want, as long as it’s ’ Not In My Backyard’. Out of sight, out of mind. After they have been moved on, these ‘intruders’ just disappear, go somewhere else.
But displacement is not a solution. The ‘offensive’ homeless go elsewhere, get displaced from there as well and eventually end up back where they started. Displacement doesn’t offer any improvement in conditions for these assumed delinquents, but it can reinforce disruptive behaviours. 

The actual and the imagined disruption of living with the homeless is an expression of the marginalisation of people. Displacement is extreme exclusion. If people are bothersome, it is better to talk to them, eye to eye, person to person.

Not all Homeless are the same.

Life on the street is hard. Escape is limited to begging, drinking and/or drug taking. But, this is and isn’t true. The fact is many homeless suffer from addiction, but by no means all. It’s true that many homeless beg, but by no means all. Everyone reacts differently to the experience of losing their home. The homeless are much less alike than they appear at first sight. You don’t look at someone in a white shirt and suit and see someone homeless, you only see the drug-addicted beggar. By no means do all the homeless beg. By no means are all the homeless disruptive. By no means are all the homeless dirty.

If someone who is homeless has a psychotic episode and sees the world differently to the rest of us, the problem is not that they have no home, but that they need mental care. An addict living on the street isn’t a problem because they have no home, but because they are suffering from addiction. Displacement isn’t going to solve that!

The fact is that people with a dependence illness, who are in a precarious economic situation, need a lot of time to get the money together that they require to obtain their substance. To accuse them of laziness is to display ignorance of their day to day reality. And, homelessness is the most extreme form of precarious economic circumstance.

Many of those, who you assume to be homeless, on the basis of their appearance, do in fact have somewhere to live, they may even have their own apartment. Someone who makes a living begging, or who is dependent on begging, will earn much more money wearing ripped clothes than someone well-dressed who clearly washes daily. You don’t identify someone with clean clothes, polished shoes and in a suit and tie as homeless. The image of homelessness is not informed by the homeless themselves, but by those in dire economic circumstances, homeless or otherwise, who fit the widely accepted cliche.

What is the best way to deal with an encounter?

When you come across someone homeless remember you are meeting a human.

Give them a friendly greeting, talk to them. If you notice that they are in need of help, you are obliged to do what you can. The emergency numbers for the police or ambulance services are well known. The Berlin City Mission and the German Red Cross have busses touring the city in winter looking for the homeless. Both are available by phone. Other large cities have similar mobile services.

Be friendly, even if you are disturbed by what you see.
What you can do about it is another question. I’ll write about that next time. Promise.



The essay was written in 2016 for the newspaper strassenfeger but not published. This English translation has been possible thanks to the PerMondo project: Free translation of website and documents for non-profit organisations. A project managed by Mondo Agit. Translator: Lucy Wills.

Lebenslauf Jan Markowsky

geb: 21.08.2949 in Greifswald
Schulbesuch 1956 bis 1967 polytechnischer Oberschulen in Velten, Leegebruch, Saßnitz Schönebeck/Elbe, im OT Frose mit Abschlup10. Klasse
Ausbildung 1967 bis 1970 Chemiefacharbeiter mit Abitur an der Berufsschule des VEB Fahlberg-List Magdeburg
Studium chemische Verfahrenstechnik an der Sektion Hochpolymere 1970 bis 1974 an TH Leuna-Merseburg in Merseburg mit Abschluss Hochschulingenieur
1972 – 1976 Mitarbeiter für wissenschaftliche Arbeitsorganisation und  Wechsel als Technologe ins VEB Fernsehkolbenwerk Friedrichshain/Niederlausitz
1975 – 1983 Ingenieur im Rationalisierungsdient Gas bei VEB Gasversorgung Berlin und in der Abteilung Gas der Stelle für Rationelle Energieanwendung Berlin beim Energiekombinat Berlin
 1983 – 1984 Mitarbeiter für BMSR-Technik im VEB Metall- und Halbzeugwerke Berlin
 1984 Übersiedlung nach Berlin-West
1984/85 ABM bei Senat für Stadtentwicklung und Umweltschutz im Projekt für SO36
 1986 – 1999 diverse Arbeiten als Energieberater und Ingenieur für Haustechnik freiberuflich und angestellt in Planungsbüros und Perioden der Arbeitslosigkeit
 Mai 1999 -Januar 2000 Mitarbeiter im Planungsbüro für Haustechnik (gefördert durch Arbeitsamt)

Leben ohne Wohnung


Januar 2000 Verlassen der Wohnung

April 2000 Einladung von Obdachlosen in den Tagestreffpunkt von Unter Druck- Kultur von der Straße in der Almstadtstraße in Berlin-Mitte. Dort auf Plakat der Theatergruppe Unter Druck gestoßen
 Mai 2000 Teilnahme an erster Probe: Rolle finden.

Absolventinnen des Weiterbildungsgangs Theaterpädagogik an der HdK Berlin hatten das Stück entwickelt

Juni 2000 Premiere „Tod eines Clowns“

2002 offener Brief an Klaus Rüdiger Landowski. Veröffentlichung im Straßenmagazin „strassenfeger“.  Aktion „sozialer Stadtrat“ beim „Offenen Wohnzimmer“  Protest gegen Schließung des Treffpunkts von Unter Druck als 2. Beitrag im „strassenfeger“

bis März 2003 Theaterarbeit bei Unter Druck durch Theaterpädagogin

 bis 2005 diverse Produktionen der Theatergruppe Unter Druck 

2005/06 der sozial-kulturelle Treffpunkt zieht unfreiwillig in den Wedding

2006  erste Premiere „Szenen aus dem Leben“

Seit 2003 wiederholte Zusammenarbeit mit barbara caveng unter anderem in den Projekten ready now, A.R.M-all recyled material and BRACE.

STREET SHOPPING  | Stadtführungen

STREET SHOPPING | Stadtführungen

STREET SHOPPING -cruise through the city and find your own unique style.


What are you looking for? Is it a pair of petrol blue G-Star Raw sweatpants, that little black dress by Dior or one of those Calvin Klein sport bras?
Berlin’s most sustainable fashion label STREETWARE saved item offers the largest and most diverse range of fashion brands in town! When we roam the streets of the metropolis, we don’t fall for the tempting promise of shop windows or rummage tables in the street. Shopping online with Zalando has long become a thing of the past. The garments you’re now looking for were once offered in boxes on windowsills or doorsteps, labeled “free to take”. Discover tie-neck blouses and tank tops, a baby’s first dress or a pair of oversized baggy jeans in the most urban areas of the city: showcased on the banks of the gutters, nonchalantly draped over bollards – where public and private spheres seamlessly merge into each other.

Join us and manoeuvre the streets with our mobile clothes rack. You may well find yourself inspired by discarded textiles or empty trouser legs. The path to your individual style takes you on a journey through the streets of the metropolis. Come along as we wheel our way around the place and enjoy the flow that comes with the circular lifestyle.

STREETWARE saved item makes fashion sustainable and accessible. For everyone. For all.

Our tour is approximately 90 minutes long and takes place on a weekly basis from March 2021 on.
We are also happy to arrange individual tours with you.

Due to the current regulations and restrictions regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic, we’ll be strolling through the streets of Neukölln, Wedding and Charlottenburg in teams of two until further notice.

The price for the tour is up to you. We don’t want to determine a specific price but would like to suggest a guiding figure of 10.-€/tour. Donations are always highly appreciated. People with a lower income are invited to participate in our tours free of charge.

We will meet at a centrally located U-Bahn station.
each tour concludes at our launderette:
Waschsalon bei Renata
Jansastraße 12
12045 Berlin

You can register at: