A podcast by Sonia Chien, Lamyae Lasfar, Volha Khomich, Annette Nöstlinger, and Ole Wetjen (MA Digital Journalism) produced as part of the module Media Production with lecturer Clarisse Cossais.

Berlin is known as one of Europe’s most progressive capitals. That, however, doesn’t mean that everyone is taken care of. Berlin hosts 10.000 homeless people, that’s over 20% of all homeless people in Germany.

Through this audio report, we wanted to find out how one experiences life on the streets of Berlin, what the city is doing to tackle homelessness and which solutions are already there. The report was produced in December 2020, pre-Covid, therefore the impact of the virus on the life of homeless people has not been reported upon.

We talked to Alex, who has lived on the streets for two years now. “What would help me would be entertainment, I need distraction (…) I’m trapped in my head all the time,” he said sitting under a bridge at Wedding’s Hansaplatz, while explaining why he avoids the capital’s shelters.

Every week a group of volunteers – from the organization Berliner Obdachlosenhilfe – gathers in Wedding to provide people with food, clothes, and a warm conversation. We met Alex through the organization and talked to its volunteers who, through their weekly encounters, know the population well and call upon the city to start acting up.

The magazine ‘Arts of the Working Class’ is one of those who have done so. The magazine is sold by homeless people as equal partners. Its online editor, Hallie Frost, explained that the magazine’s goal is to provide people with a wage, instead of being dependent on charity. “Our main goal is to redistribute economic wealth,” she said.

To listen to the podcast, follow the link below:  

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