The Berlin Housing Crisis and The Right of First Refusal.

A short film by Michael Grubb, Maria Chotou, Merve Kartal, Reuben Holt (MA Digital Journalism), produced as part of the Media production module with lecturer Patrik Baab.

This short report takes a close look at the current housing crisis in Berlin, taking as its focal point the Vorkaufsrecht (right of first refusal) – a legal mechanism that has been utilized by the different federal states (Bundesländer) to intervene in the sale of apartment buildings. The goal of the Vorkaufsrecht is to protect the socioeconomic diversity of different neighborhoods. 

Berlin is famous for its socioeconomic diversity within the city. Plenty of Berlin areas still retain a sense of community that has been destroyed in many other gentrified European capitals.

The use of the Vorkaufsrecht was recently severely restricted by a ruling of Germany’s highest administrative court leaving many groups of renters in a sort of limbo. This film highlights the situation of renters who are, or were, in the process of organizing themselves so as to be able to utilize the right of first refusal.

The report seeks to establish a portrait of those renters directly affected, and tries to elucidate what this means for the protection of renters’ rights vis-à-vis those institutions that hope to profit from speculation in the Berlin real estate market. 

As with all video productions, it required a lot of background research, interviews, investigations, mapping and (lots of late night) editing.

Here are some images from our production journey and please click on the link at the end to see our report:

All images were taken by members of the production team. 

To watch the full movie click the link below: 

If you want to know more about the Berlin Housing Crisis visit the link of the Deutsche Wohnen Enteignen Campaign:

93 Days

A short movie by Asmi Shetty, Prashansa Shreshta, Hala Abdalla and Dine Maria Soto Sanchez (MA PR & Digital Marketing) produced as part of the module Media Productionwith lecturers Jan Dottschadis and Philipp Möller Dorn.

The start of the year 2020 was expected to be the new roaring 20’s of the digital era. The year took a leap into the new world, but within a few months it was brought to a screeching halt when the pandemic began. New rules, strict curfews, and isolation were imposed restricting our movements and human contact. Millions of lives were disrupted and turned upside down – some stories were brought to light while most were left untold. Our film, called 93 days, revolves around one such story. It is the story of a girl, who was separated from her partner for a long duration of time, while also forced to quarantine by herself, away from everyone she knew. In this rapidly changing world, the protagonist tries many things to sustain her sanity, but the pandemic costs her more than she expected.

To watch the short movie, follow the link below: