Be Heard: The Right to the City

© Stel­la Flatten

The Chor der Sta­tis­tik was brought to life in 2019 by musi­cian Bernadette La Hengst and exper­i­men­tal archi­tec­ture col­lec­tive raum­labor­ber­lin. An open call attract­ed peo­ple who want­ed to sing about the chal­lenges of urban devel­op­ment process­es. The spe­cif­ic rea­son for the choir’s ini­ti­a­tion is the ongo­ing trans­for­ma­tion of the long-emp­ty Haus der Sta­tis­tik in Berlin. The joint­ly devel­oped songs raise ques­tions, address fears, and for­mu­late demands. And so, the choir sings about dis­place­ment and the right to the city, it artic­u­lates prob­lems around rent increas­es and the pri­va­ti­za­tion of space. Singing togeth­er and pub­lic appear­ances are equal­ly protest and demon­stra­tion at the same time. »For a bet­ter future,« says the choir direc­tor, rais­ing her baton.


Chor der Sta­tis­tik (Sta­tis­tics Choir)


Andrea Hof­mann, Frauke Ger­sten­berg, Markus Bad­er, raum­labor­ber­lin; Bernadette La Hengst, singer and choir direc­tor; choir members


since 2019


Berlin, Ger­many

The House of Sta­tis­tics on Berlin’s Alexan­der­platz was stand­ing emp­ty for almost ten years, until a group of art and cul­ture pro­fes­sion­als claimed on large ban­ners that the city want­ed to set up afford­able stu­dios at this loca­tion. What began as a prank has in recent years become a com­plex urban plan­ning project ded­i­cat­ed to the pub­lic wel­fare-ori­ent­ed devel­op­ment of the area. © Felix Marlow
As part of the pio­neer­ing uses of the Haus der Sta­tis­tik, the Chor der Sta­tis­tik was found­ed in 2019—a project ini­ti­at­ed by raum­labor­ber­lin and the artist and singer Bernadette La Hengst. The songs of the choir—here a pub­lic per­for­mance dur­ing the Berlin Art Week in Sep­tem­ber 2019—focus on the ten­sions of urban devel­op­ments: Hous­ing short­age and every­day racism as well as sol­i­dar­i­ty prac­tices for a right to a city for all. © Vic­to­ria Tomaschko
Ordi­nary mega­phones seem to have long since ceased to be suf­fi­cient to make your­self heard. So here the mega-mega­phone stands as a per­haps nec­es­sary exag­ger­a­tion for the unheard demands and needs of a broad civ­il soci­ety. © raumlaborberlin