Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin


bartering men

The word “Kreuzberg” brings to one´s mind many associations but “business” is certainly not one of them. “Fun” – yes. “Problem” and “zone” – absolutely! “Hip” – is the Pope catholic?

But “business”? Not necessarily on your list, is it? Still, even something apparently so un-Kreuzbergisch might become welcome and acceptable if given the right shape. Bond trading or property speculation are the dark side of the moon. But turn the moon around and what you might see is a smiley.

Barter trade is almost as old as the human kind. Before we came up with the root of all evil and started demanding hard currency for goods and services, we used to swap things with others. A lot. A type of trade highly inefficient from the macroeconomic point of view but big when considered on a much smaller scale.

And it is this small scale that the organisers of the PLACC TAUSCHMARKT in SO 36 have in mind. They aim to establish their barter market as an exchange platform for the residents of their Kiez (Berlin word for neighbourhood) and beyond. Or in other words, a place for people to meet and talk and swap things.

The market which is going to take place at the former Senatsreservenspeicher in Cuvrystrasse 3 on Sunday – May, 26th – will be the first out of five such events planned for 2013. Everybody is welcome to join in and offer goods and services in exchange for other services and goods.

If you need a haircut but cannot give yourself a proper mohawk or grass head (honestly, I would be in awe if you could) but can bake cakes or fix bikes, come and find someone who´s got a fine pair of scissors and knows how to use them but wouldn´t be able to bake anything themselves. Not even sandcakes. Not to mention do anything to their bike apart from maybe not falling off it.

Anything can be offered as part of the barter – that is, anything within the limits of law and decency: arts and crafts products, clothes, food, books, repair works, courses and workshops. You can swap and bargain to your heart´s content. You want to spend several hours recreating Life of Brian haggling scene with Eric Idle and Graham Chapman? Go ahead! You might be going home in a new pair of jeans and with a well massaged scalp later.

It´s about interaction and about sustainability. The more we exchange, both as in “to communicate” and in “to trade”, the better for us. And the bigger the chance that by full moon we won´t  have to think about its dark side only.

The market opens at 11 AM. Stand fee is € 15.00 (sounds like much but why not share your stand with others?). You can get registered at

Musicians are kindly invited to join the event and to provide accompaniment.

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