Flâneur or Killjoy?
Flaneurin* oder Spaßverderberin*? (Flaneur or Killjoy?) is an exhibition and performance project which, against the background of social developments, examines the freedom of movement of marginalized people (women*, BIPoC – Black and People of Color or LGBTQIA+) in public space from various perspectives: artistic, political and philosophical-sociological, in order to develop new suggestions with the invited artists and visitors. Sara Ahmed’s killjoy concept is a vivid source of inspiration throughout. All in all, the participants (artists, visitors and cooperation partners) are invited to show works that reflect on how we deal with public space, its limits and possibilities, and especially with strolling in Berlin.
Invisible and Camouflaged Borders
„Walking, for a woman, can be an act of transgression against male authority.“
Walking in and through the city, be it with a concrete goal or just strolling around, can, depending on the time of day, be associated with a feeling of unease for marginalized individuals—usually triggered by inappropriate behavior towards the person up to acts of violence. In public, marginalized people in particular are exposed to potential dangers through physical or verbal attacks. Carefree strolling in the city, and thus appearing as a subject, is something that is still reserved for the identity and social gender of the white (cis) man.
Taking a stroll through the city, although in literature from Walter Benjamin, Franz Hessel to Charles Baudelaire the stroller is male in character, has become a feminist strategy for appropriating space. The movement can be understood as a performative act that enables the users to inscribe their constitution into the structures of the city, to rise from subjugation and to assert their personal rights as subjects of equal importance. The writer Aminatta Forna writes about historical models: „Walking, for a woman, can be an act of transgression against male authority… Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, George Sand, the flâneuses whore corded their flânerie were women who all defied male authority in other ways, too.”
Sara Ahmed also develops and recommends a figure she calls „feminist killjoy“, which makes it possible to create everyday systems of mutual help and support. The feminist killjoy originates from the anti-feminist stereotype which assumes that feminists are unhappy and want to destroy the happiness of others. Ahmed recreates this character by saying: „Okay, if questioning sexism and racism in the world, challenging norms and power relations spoils your fun, then I’m willing to spoil your fun.”
This role of the killjoy should serve as inspiration for the project and encourage all participants to ask questions that describe, challenge or disempower the prevailing unease. The discourse on the institution of „public space“ must by definition take place in interaction between the respective participants in order to discuss so-called questions of general interest. The prerequisite for this is, on the one hand, the linking of human spaces of action regardless of their social parameters; on the other hand, the arena must provide space for intervention, particularly to ask unpleasant, cross-border, supposedly stupid or seemingly outdated questions.
Exposing Through Wave Formations
Strolling, wandering and, by moving together, experiencing, embracing and conquering public space, can be described as an undulating structure, a subversive, activist strategy of appropriating space. „Many feminisms means many movements. A collective is something that does not stand still, but is produced by movement and generates movement. When I think of feminist action, I think of small movements of water, small waves, possibly caused by changes in the weather; here there, each movement makes another possible, another small wave, outwards, towards the edges“. Feminism, according to Ahmed, spreads in waves: „Feminism is a movement in many ways. We have moved to become feminists. Perhaps we are moved by something: a sense of justice.”
Flaneurin* oder Spaßverderberin*? (Flaneur or Killjoy?) invites artists to deal with the question of public space and the formation of identities within it in order to develop a site-specific piece for feldfünf e.V. and the public space in Berlin. The artistic works can be experienced as interventions in public space, as an exhibition at feldfünf e.V. and as performances—artistic practice can thus bring people together, create a platform for interaction and exchange, but also question solidified structures, in relation to themes such as belonging, individual ideas, freedom of movement and collective, everyday action.
 Freeman, John: Freeman´s Power. Atlantic Books. 2018.  Freeman, John: Freeman´s Power. Atlantic Books. 2018.  https://taz.de/Sara-Ahmed-ueber-Feminismus/!5513932/ (18.09.2019) Sara Ahmed: Feministisch leben! Manifest für Spaßverderberinnen, 2018, P. 10  Sara Ahmed: Feministisch leben! Manifest für Spaßverderberinnen, 2018, P. 10