Ideas of urban and rural projects are basically not a new thing. A few years ago, people from the Bernau area came together who really wanted to do something like this. Motivated by friendships, relationships and joint political commitment, four long years of intensive search for a place and supporters. Not all of them kept the pot boiling during this time, but just before it all gone flat everything came together. A handful of people came to an agreement with the mutual project workshop on the purchase of the relatively large site in Biesenthal and founded the "Projektehof Wukania".
The first project to establish itself in Wukania was a joint residential project. But the courtyard was much too big for a housing project, so they soon went on to aggressively promote further projects. Wukania slowly became a term. Other people came, with the ability to implement and good ideas. Many of the abandoned buildings were converted and used to create residential, work and leisure facilities thanks to the help of many helping hands. Since the first handshake, people in Wukania have experienced an intensive coexistence. With a nature day-care centre, a sports club, a film editing area, various workshops and political seminars, gift markets, children's leisure time, the refugee apartment and aproximately ten hens it has so far been possible to set up very different projects on the farm and in the surrounding area. There are often joint actions with other local initiatives in Biesenthal, for example against xenophobia or for environmentally friendly transport links.
The Wukania Projektehof belongs with its projects to the Projektewerkstatt auf Gegenseitigkeit (PaG). The mutual project workshop is an association of people who, with the help of the Foundation for Dissident Subsistence (SdS), want to make collective, solidary and anti-capitalist housing and living conditions possible or to realize them.
The SdS is the owner of real estate in which self-organized projects for living and working are tested and lived. The property is lent to the groups for use and thus the separation of ownership and use is established.
The groups themselves are responsible for the development and maintenance of the buildings. One goal in project development is to be independent of bank loans.
The PaG is organized by its participants themselves, mostly free of charge, and thrives on mutual exchange and support among the participants. The user groups participate on an equal footing in the activities of the project workshop and take part in familiarization processes for the promotion of further projects. In this way they take responsibility for the property of the foundation without becoming owners themselves.
Last but not least, it is the everyday occurrences that make the Projektehof so lively - and can sometimes be very stressful: eating together in the evening without a big appointment, planning a house party or an excursion together, looking for the cordless screwdriver for an hour or the buzzing grape children flying from nest to nest. Everybody here appreciates being able to retreat into their own four walls or into the fragrant meadows and forests around Biesenthal, if necessary. In summer, the Wukensee lake lures you to swim right behind the house, in winter ice hockey and frostbite are the main attractions.
However, one thing is particularly important to us in Wukania: the responsibility is shared by all. That means that everyone has something to say and everybody is in touch with us - and, everyone can join in - without the boss. Regular meetings take place on the farm and in the project workshop to ensure that decisions are not lost in chaos. Discussions are held there, agreements are reached, decisions are made and working groups are formed as required. This often takes a little longer, but this gives everyone a chance to get involved.