Gentrification – A Hot Button Issue for the Berlin Election Campaign

     |    Tuesday April 26th, 2011

On September 18, 2011, eligible voters in the city-state of Berlin will cast their ballots for the state parliament and district assemblies. The office of mayor is also up for grabs. Incumbent Klaus Wowereit of the Social Democrats – known for his coining of the phrase “Berlin is poor but sexy”, his moral (if not policy) support of the “creative industries”, his brave disclosure of his homosexuality before he started his first campaign ten years again – has one main challenger: Renate Künast of the Greens. Künast has distinguished herself both in Berlin local and national politics and enjoys a competent, no-nonsense, if somewhat dour image.

The privitization-friendly housing policies – real and planned – of Wowereit, Künast and Economics Senator/vice Mayor Harald Wolf of the co-governing socialist party “Die Linke” (’the left’) are satirized in a series of photoshopped portraits that have been popping up around Neukölln, Mitte and other inner city districts. The posters are attributed to the “Partei der Mieter” or party of tenants.

See below the portraits hanging in Neukölln and a video of Brunnenstrasse in Mitte, another highly contested site of contrary visions of urban development.


Related films: DENK MAL BERLIN, about the city governments urban development plans; NO MORE | NOT YET and NEULAND about alternative urban visions.