Cement Fields & Floating University Berlin


Floating University Berlin. Photo: Lena Giovanazzi

Cement Fields. Walking Reading Group, Ash Walks #2, 2018. Photo: Rosie Lonsdale

Wetland is a peer-to-peer exchange programme, bringing together Cement Fields and Floating University Berlin to reflect on our socially-engaged programmes through reciprocal visits between the UK and Germany.

Embracing familiar methods of hospitality – reading together, walking together, eating together – we will come together in North Kent and Berlin to research and imagine new ways to foreground care, hospitality and conviviality when working with artists and communities.

As organisations sharing distinct parallels in practice and context – both working in places defined by their industrial uses and intrinsic relationship to water – the programme allows us to look beyond our own immediate geographies and consider unexplored and alternative ways of working.

Wetland is funded by Cultural Bridge, which celebrates bilateral artistic partnerships between the UK and Germany through the collaboration between Arts Council England, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, British Council, Creative Scotland, Fonds Soziokultur, Goethe-Institut London and Wales Arts International / Arts Council of Wales. 

Floating University Berlin is a natureculture learning site on and in the rainwater retention pool of the former Berlin Tempelhof airport. The founding year of the Floating University saw a diverse breadth of visitors involved to varying degrees with the activity on site, creating a unique ecosystem. The program consolidated a network of practitioners, who towards the end of 2018 decided to continue the experiment by transitioning from a ‘temporary’ project into an association: Floating e.V.

Floating e.V. is a self-organised space and group, where practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds meet to collaborate, co-create and imaginatively work towards futures. It is in solidarity with the history of the site and with the lineage of alternative narratives for urban development that the Floating e.V. situates its mission: to open, maintain, and take care of this unique site while bringing non-disciplinary, radical, and collaborative programs to the public. In other words, it is a place to learn to engage, embrace the complexity and navigate the entanglements of the world, and imagine and create different forms of living.