At the place where Lichtstrasse begins in Cologne-Ehrenfeld, there are street signs covered in stickers, and the walls at the corner are plastered with concert posters. The sides of the residential buildings are colourfully painted; upon entering a rear courtyard one discovers ateliers, and a few steps further, the skeleton of a former factory, the steel struts of which serve as parking bays for a couple of cars. In this industrial wasteland the creative avant-garde gratefully took possession of a large urban playground — which, however, is in danger of disappearing.

This shimmering microcosm, standing in for the structural changes in the whole of Ehrenfeld, is explored as a space of remembrance and artistically presented within the context of Re:framing — Lichtstrasse. Here, ‘re:framing’ signifies a reconsideration, a revaluation, a new perspective. CityLeaks Urban Art Festival, an international festival that presents murals and installations in urban public spaces and on building façades, intends to generate (hi)stories and memories of those who otherwise have little chance to be heard. How do people who live here experience the current changes that are taking place? What are their visions and utopias for urban life?

Artistic research produces interviews and photographic and video documentation, forming the basis for written and pictorial interventions on windows, doors, and façades. Lichtstrasse thus temporarily transforms its visage. It invites visitors to explore and discover, and allows them to see the city with new and different eyes. This collection, recollection, and preservation of memories is founded on a far-reaching question that has long been politically articulated the world over: who owns the city?



re:public (2019)
head of research:
Georg Barringhaus
research team:
Sebastian Jacobs
Franziska von Hoesslin
Janis Idel
Sebastian Ingenhoff
guests & speakers:
Arne Schmitt
Aurora Rodonó
Christian Werthschulte
Madhusree Dutta
Methods & Tools:
guideline interviews
archival research
text based interventions
photo interventions
explorative tours "hidden spaces"
online documentation @Memory Station
Akademie der Künst der Welt