Kotti und Co / Gecekondu

May 2012

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Gecekondu is a Turkish word that refers to informal, hastily built housing. Its literal translation means “landed at night” and has come to denote a bottom-up, spontaneous action to provide much-needed housing. In the spring of 2012 a community of tenants at Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg organized to protest the rising rents and displacement in the neighbourhood. With the help of friends, Kotti & Co built their protest camp at Kottbusser Tor – their own Gecekondu. In May 2012, with one person guiding the construction, a group of 5 or 6 built the basic structure of the Kotti Gecekondu in just a few hours. We helped with the construction and also helped decorate the squat with neon signs. These “fake” city signs were meant to make visible the broader socio-political context behind the protest camp.