AUDIOTHEKA is a PILOT project in which neighbours from Buch and Karow deal with their urban environment.

Okay, go!

My name is Niklas.
I am Ms (M…)

Now we’ll move on to some questions. What are your favorite animals?

My favorite animals are cats, hamsters and dogs.

What are your favorite animals?

Cat and dog.


Because … I don’t know.

What is your favorite animal?

A bumblebee!

A bumblebee?

A bumblebee.

A bumblebee, okay!

What are your favorite animals?

Dog, cat and lynx.

What are your favorite animals?


Why is that your favorite animal?

Because it is cute. I like puppies best because they are small, cute and active.

What are your favorite animals?

Anything except insects, but the butterfly is an insect I like … and bees.

What are your favorite colors?


So everything.


What are your favorite colors?

My favorite colors are purple, pink and blue.

What are your favorite colors?

I don’t have.

What are your favorite colors?

I don’t have any favorite colors.

Not even black or white or blue or green?

No! I think all colors have their charm.

Well then say: all of them.

No, in this case you can’t call it favorite colors.

And on it goes: Do you like the school?


Why do you like it?

Because you make a lot of friends there.

Do you like school?

I never did!


Do you like school?



Because you can learn a lot there.

I don’t like school because I have six hours of classes and it bugs me.

Why does that annoy you? I mean, after all, it’s important for continuing education and stuff.

It bugs me because the classes are boring.

Do you like the schools here in Berlin?

No, I don’t like the schools in Berlin or in general in Germany. I think the education system as it is right now is terrible and it should be reformed.

(Wait a minute! Wait a minute!)

And do you have any questions?

Yes, one: What’s your favorite food?

My favorite food…?

Yes, your favorite food!

I love salad. I think salad is really good.

Why do you like to eat it?

Because it’s always so fresh and diverse.

Is it possible that you are a vegan?

Nah, I’m a vegetarian.

Not vegan?

Nope. Why, I just don’t fit into your statistics right now…?

Because through the plants and trees and stuff comes oxygen and so we have no oxygen, if you eat away all our plants here.

That’s right! You’re right, wow.

So you are vegan?





Ac-cep-tance! … That was slow now comes evil: acceptance! … Does not fit. Ac-cep-tance! Now angry: Acceptance! And now in love: Ahhh-Ohhh-Acceptance!

Slowly: so-rry! Sorry! Angry:  Sorry!!! … sweet.

What is your favorite language?


Why is it your favorite language?

Because it has clear sentences.

What is your favorite language?


Why is it your favorite language?

Because I don’t know any other.

What is your favorite language?

My favorite language? Actually, I don’t have a favorite language.

I think my favorite language is people’s body language, like facial expressions, gestures, posture.

And why?

Because you can read out much more emotions and you can communicate with the body in general, even if I don’t know the verbal language, I can still communicate somehow and I can still communicate.

What is your favorite language?

My native language.

And which one is that?

That’s private. 😉

I close my eyes for a moment and listen to the sound of this place.

What should I do? Just listen?

I heard children talking.

I heard the sound of children talking to other people. And I still heard the car traffic out there. And still, I’ve heard the TV program of my child.

I hear music, maybe. Talking, many people talking. And a loud car. And … only that.

I live in a street in Pankow, very quiet.

In this place I can hear the sounds of the birds, otherwise leaves and the wind. Or the foot rubs… or the people walking along.

I live in Buch, in a very quiet street. Cars rarely pass by. Most of it is dog owners all walking their dogs at certain times. Still, it’s not noisy, the dogs don’t bark much.

Some people on the street. And that was nice to hear. And a dog, I think a small dog. And – that was funny – I could hear my stomach.

Silence and being alone.

What is your favorite place?

My favorite place is at my house.

Uhh, my home.

The crosswalk.

And why is the crosswalk your favorite place?

Because I can cross there anytime I want.

What’s your favorite place on the street?

On the street?


Actually, the parking lot.


Because … because it’s so quiet there.

In Pankow there is a place where I like to go, it’s the Schloßpark, around the corner from my home. I go there very often, especially in spring and autumn … always. I have the feeling that – especially in spring – it’ss like a bit of a fairy tale park, where maybe there are fairies and other fantasy life creatures, which maybe I will meet once. There is also the Panke, the small river that goes through. I always have the feeling that one day maybe there will be a tour of the fairy world.

Can you perhaps tell a concrete moment? A small memory that you have of this place (with these fairies)?

In spring, for example, there is often this moment when all the trees are suddenly green. Everything is dead in winter and empty and then suddenly, in one day everything is green. And then you think, hey, what happened here? There is somehow magic: from one day to the next everything is alive again. I have that every year. It’s not an anecdote that just happened to me once. It happens to me always, every year. I try to find that day when I will have this surprise.

I can remember when I met my husband. His grandparents were in East Berlin and we went over together for the first time. And I was not used to that. I was born in West Berlin, my whole family is from West Berlin, and then we went over and were checked and put in this little room, with checks, and I got scared somehow. I thought I wouldn’t get out of there … with the machine guns and all. We didn’t know that. Well, I didn’t know that. And then I just heard my husband saying: Don’t say anything, don’t ask anything, just keep your mouth shut until we get to grandma’s and grandpa’s house. Watch out, stay calm! So I had been there just once, the second time I didn’t go over because it was just too scary, too cramped over there. Yes … because he said, one is controlled and I know … my husband for example, under his ID photo there was such a red point, however, it was somehow marked.

That was not an isolated case. It was like that, yes. Anyone who wanted to go to East Berlin was checked. And when I was able to travel to the West for the first time, that was in 1986, I went to my aunt’s 70th birthday party and we were also checked and we had to go through this hall and there were people’s police everywhere with guns and immediately when you came to the station. On the train, you were stopped again, there was control. This was the way of this system. So…

So, what do you think, is there or was there discrimination?

Well, I think that here in Berlin it was a bigger problem because of the wall. Well, I was in Luckenwalde, 50 kilometers south of Berlin and we had not at all the problem with a wall. We had our lives there and it didn’t affect us as much as it did the people here. And I think with the opening of the border, this confrontation was different from ours, where people just came occasionally. I have to say that the factories were all closed and the good machines that were there were all transported to the West. They took the factories over for a penny. That’s how it was. But well, these personal conflicts didn’t happen there, because the mass of people didn’t face each other the way they do here, in a city where suddenly a wall was gone and then …

Both sons wanted to work as seaman but were rejected. First, they were allowed to attend school, graduate from high school, and then they didn’t get a seaman’s book and had to see how they got along, and all because I had a brother in the West, although we hardly had any contact with him. That was very drastic for my two sons. One never got over it, and my other son, he learned three jobs before he really settled down in the end.

People from Luckenwalde, which belonged to the GDR, to the East, went to work in West Berlin, and conflicts arose as a result. In relation to those who worked for us and were actually active for our region in relation to those who then simply drove away and helped themselves in West Berlin.

I was married for almost 50 years and my husband worked 45 years at the police. In my company I sat together with 5 men who watched Western television. Western television was not allowed for the police nor anyone else. Yes? Now I always sat there and listened to them talking about Denver Clan and Dallas and all these things, and then they said, “Oh, let’s be quiet for once, Christine is completely quiet, who knows, maybe she’ll blacken us somewhere. Then I got up and said literally: “You can kiss my ass!” Yes, that’s what I said. But I couldn’t go out when they wanted to talk about their TV lesson. I had to do my work, too.

And what is your experience with East and West?

The border is still in people’s minds, as well in the younger generations. That the cohesion is no longer there. In general, after such a long time, we should be a community, but some people still make differences. When we moved here, in 2001, my son was in a soccer club. We participated in games and also parties and all that. And at some point it came up: Where do you come from, from which area? We said from West Berlin and then we sat alone at the table. 

We’ve been together here for 30 years now, and I find that unbearable!

What do you miss most from the GDR?

We lived well in the GDR. We had cheap rents. We were able to buy what we needed to live. And today … It was … We didn’t have to be afraid. We didn’t have to worry about anything. We had to change completely because we were actually left alone. Whether you go to this specific health insurance company, whether you do that or every time … A lot of new things came up for us. I liked it – I was still many years younger. The fact that – how shall I put it – well, we didn’t know that the situation to be left alone. Our young women who had children were supported. The social welfare system was good. So we were left alone, like the many people now who can’t stay in their apartment even though they work … Even as pensioners we’re actually afraid of what’s coming for us now.

Same with the job situation.

Yes! Everyone is now more afraid than before.

The cohesion among people was also …


We were … We all held together in a different way..


We were actually in good hands in our collectives. We celebrated nice parties: Work parties, women’s day celebrations, yes.

There’s nothing like that anymore.

There are no more rooms here, no more money, and socializing among colleagues is not supposed to happen anyway. That is not appreciated.

Even in the apartment buildings it was quite different in the past. In our houses it was quite different with the neighbors. So that was … What’s happening today is that you hardly know anyone there, or just … At most, I got them to say “Hello!” but that’s all. Then everyone goes. That’s how it is today …

It was different. It was different before.

It was different, it was completely different!

Where is your heart?

On the left!

And what does “left” mean? The East?


I wish there would be a playground near the youthclub “Würfel”, where there is a ferris wheel, a roller coaster and so … all for free!

I wish there would be no school in Buch.

Now she wants to say something.


I wish that in Buch – here in Buch or in a book? – there would be a giant trampoline where you can jump for free.

I also have in my card something, pictures, and look one out, some photos, and what is that exactly, my feelings? I have this photo here, this is my homeland, this comes from my homeland, there is not much freedom. I want to be quiet in my homeland. I always have good feelings about that. This is good feelings, for me in my homeland.


Iran. And a lot of freedom, a lot of life and people can just dance, be happy and drink coffee quietly or take pictures and do anything they want. But now there is nothing. They can’t!

From Syria. Always war for 12 years. Always fear all children. Always all old, families is fear. No life, no good sleep, no good meetings, no work. Now there is no heating, no gas, no electricity, no water. Life, that is human – also no life. Unfortunately! When I hear, I think: why? For example (…), there is heavy war in Ukraine, but all people come here. But my country is the problem: big cold now, same as Germany. War and cold and life, family life. But maybe (…), if there was no war, I would be in my country. War is finished, also my family would all be with me here or in my country. And all children, life is without war and without (…), without problems. And all animals also live without war and all countries would be without war….

I wish we would have a place like the UNO, which has however an executive, which thus really, if there is a war somewhere, simply can go and say: Sit down, 0 points! No war! Done!

I wish we live together, play together, meet, eat.

I also want a freedom country and be happy and be quiet. Cleaner and much more sporty. This is life, good feeling. That’s all.

In the year 2040 aliens land on our earth. What is important as a recommendation to the aliens to survive here on earth? First, report to the alien registration office that one is registered and gets all social achievements. Second, a toilet so that one does not dirty the street and the third: soccer, because the whole world loves soccer and it creates a good atmosphere. It’s worth going there even as an alien. The fourth thing I would recommend to the alien is to go to the library. There he can read everything that happens in this world.

And the language?

He can learn the language in the library.


No, there are enough audios available.

For example, this one.

For example this one, exactly!

With the help of artists we experiment with different ways of storytelling and discovering sounds of the city. Together we make audio recordings, which are then donated to the local libraries as a collection.
AUDIOTHEKA is a digital archive of multilingual audio contributions that neighbors donate to local libraries.

What would you like to hear more of in your neighborhood?
What will your neighborhood sound like in 30 years?
Can voices become (in)visible in the architecture of a city?

The perspectives of the participants of the workshops are summarized in personal audio contributions at the end. All the stories together form AUDIOTHEKA.

In cooperation with:
Kinderclub Der Würfel
Stadtteilbibliothek Buch
Stadtteilzentrum im Turm 
BuKa /Mamis en Movimiento