Archive for November, 2010
We’ve just received the news that the listening station at Kanstanienalle and U-Bahn stop Eberswalder Staße, which has been erroneously removed and confiscated by the police, is now installed again. Thank you Thomas Schulz from Iland for reinstalling it.
Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg district on November 25th, 2010: »Today around 4am several citizens called the police independently of each other and complained that the traffic light on Kastanienallee/Schönhauser Allee was speaking loudly to passerbys.«
We were more than surprised as the police report was sent to us yesterday. Talking traffic lights – what a great communication concept! Why didn’t we think of it sooner? Nowhere does one pass so much unused waiting time than at Berlin traffic lights. »Through the loudspeaker citizens were informed about health issues (AIDS prevention)« is how it was described in the report. What could be better?
But apparently there was an irritating moment: »As the police arrived the collegues on the other side of Kastanienallee 3 noticed on lighting pole No. 4, that 3 meters up an electric plug had been set up.« Oops. Stealing electricity or what? For informing about health topics? But that wasn’t all: on a sign slightly below at around 2.5 meters were the words »dear virus, you gave me diahrrea, I eat to counter the diahrrea …«.
Ouch – something’s fishy. The traffic light can speak to passing persons about health issues for a long time. But as soon as messages like the one mentioned above are posted, the informative experience is ruined. Consequently: »At 5:10am the loudspeaker was taken down by representatives of the company Alliander Stadtlicht GmbH and secured by police officers according to clause 15.« And if anyone should encounter another speaking stoplight don’t hesitate to contact the police! Oh the irony …
Meanwhile the confiscated loudspeaker device was turned over to us after several apologies. Of course we will be able to re-install it at the same place. After all, it is officially approved and certified, and it was never about a noise disturbance complaint. Quite possibly some administrative offices are in need of a well-engineered communications concept. We’ve got an idea …
As soon as the date changed into November 25, our voices started speaking. And exactly 24 hours later, they were gone again. This was not due to the weather, but rather an incorrect technical setting in the speakers. We were able to fix the problem and the voices are now speaking again. We appologizes for any inconvenience caused by this and for any futile visits to our stations.
Since 0:00 AM today, the voices have been turned on. In 15 locations around Berlin, people tell their stories of living with HIV/AIDS. Their voices can be heard over loudspeakers placed at 4 meters high. The stations are marked with the Stimmen in der Stadt logo.
Stimmen in der Stadt took off yesterday with an opening event and press conference. The Honorary Patron Ulla Schmidt expressed her respect to the seven people who have given their interviews, openly sharing their stories. It is in these personal stories that the potential lies for bringing the themes of HIV and AIDS back into the public discourse.
The voices will be heard night and day until December 8. A map of the city indicating the 15 station can be found on this website under STADT.
Also, the voices are available on the website too. Under STIMMEN you’ll find the seven interviews in full length. Three of the interviews are accompanied by photo reportage taken by photographer Daniel Rosenthal.
Uhlandstraße, corner of Kurfürstendamm, earlier today: the first listening station of Stimmen in der Stadt is set up.
Here, and in 14 other locations in Berlin speakers and logos are being fixed onto street lamps until Wednesday night. The voices will start telling their stories on November 25 at 0.00 hours.
Consult our city map under STADT to find the 15 locations.
»Medicine has made tremendous progress in the treatment of HIV patients. However, AIDS is still a deadly virus that gravely affects the quality of life of those infected with it. HIV patients are still stigmatized and discriminated against. There are still HIV patients that conceal the fact of their infection for fear of the reactions of their immediate surroundings. The right way of dealing with the disease and those affected by it is not self-evident.« Read Ulla Schmidt’s full statement regarding her patronage of Stimmen in der Stadt.
Paul, Anneliese, Gerd, Eva, Jan, Michaela and Max have spoken up and shared their stories. We wish for more discussions and exchanges to take place. If you wish to share your experiences and comments, we encourage you to do so here on our website.
All comments will be read before we approve them for publication. We’re looking forward to hearing your voice!
We cordially invite you to the press conference and opening of STIMMEN IN DER STADT on
Wednesday, 24. November, 2010 from 4.30 PM
at the Axel Hotel Berlin, Lietzenburger Straße 13/15
Admission: 4.30 PM
Press conference: 5 PM
Followed by a get-together
With Ulla Schmidt, former Federal Minister of Health, honorary patron of Stimmen in der Stadt, and Dr. phil. Martin Dannecker, sexologist and author. Annabelle Mandeng will moderate the conference.
Please RSVP until November 19 at firstname.lastname@example.org