Das Archipel is an open platform for self-organization. It consists of islands that float on the waters of Hamburg. Its function and meaning is informed through a communal process. Since its inception in 2015, and the organization of an open collective, numerous events and activities have shaped Das Archipel into a social space. Today, it can be seen as a playground and a manifestation of the community around which it is formed. On a small scale it is an experimental field for a redirective practice, with aims of forming collective action to reimagine our social and political fabric. It is a temporary autonomous zone.
Das Archipel produces connections, tensions, and discussions. The power of interpreting Das Archipel is, can, and should be in the hands of everybody. Das Archipel is the sum of the thoughts and actions that develop with it, around it, and through it. Das Archipel was initiated in 2015 by Finn Brüggemann, Amalia Ruiz-Larrea and Nuriye Tohermes.
From a letter to the city of Hamburg
“Das Archipel is an island, an independent and open space for experimentation that puts communication, self-organization and ideas into practice. The platform is a social space, geared towards collective production. People produce Das Archipel, and it, in turn, produces a heterogeneous collective. Everyone is invited to shape the island, be it as a stage, a research station, a kitchen, a cinema, a marketplace, a gym or a school. The floating modules serve to project possible futures, becoming a space for possibilities. Das Archipel is accessible to all. The organizational structure is non-hierarchical. The social space takes the shape of what people want it to be. Das Archipel is ongoing and never complete.
No matter where it is docked, Das Archipel remains a permeable and independent space, nevertheless retaining its intimacy. Improvised or planned, programs promote different uses, and resist the connotation of a single purpose or function. Here, diversity is celebrated, and people are encouraged to put their ideas into practice.
Through a collective process, we are proposing a different kind of future. Das Archipel is a material space, in which ideas can be tested out. The lived reality is not a utopia.”