›Berlin Factory’s‹ invitation for the ›Berlin Tech Halloween Party‹ left us utterly stunned as they portray their new party location as an ›abandoned old factory building‹ in their latest facebook announcements. What said location (an historic factory building in Lohmühlenstraße 65) really was until just a month ago, was one of the last affordable working places in the area for over 150 mostly self-employed people operating in various fields such as art, film-making, science, translation and psychotherapy, amongst other things. When the building, where ›Berlin Factory‹ now tries to simulate the Berlin-empty-factory-vibe of the 1990s, was bought by a shady network of real estate investors to make way for the expanding enterprise we all got kicked out. Every effort to negotiate or even talk to the people responsible for the loss of our workplace proved futile. They simply refused to react to any attempt at dialogue we made with the help of local politicians and the press. Now we are scattered all over Berlin, some of us working from public libraries, others from their homes, some small businesses owners being in severe economic distress while the new owners are on their way to make a fortune. Last Friday’s Halloween party was part of an attempt to wipe clean the dirty history behind the building’s unfriendly take-over and a stepping stone in the creepy gentrification process that has been going one in Berlin for years.
›Abandoned building‹? Indeed, but only after a real estate company bought it and threw out everyone who had been working there for years!
Some of the former tenants of the Lohmühlenstrasse 65