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Zur Verfassung. Recherchen, Dokumente 1989–2017

#5 / From the Central Round Table of the GDR to the Tempelhofer Feld


In 1990, a constitution with wide-ranging civil rights was in effect in East Berlin for half a year. These civil rights had been formulated by the citizens’ movements and the opposition at the Central Round Table of the GDR, based on the experiences of the 1989 revolution.

In the first parliament of the reunited Berlin, efforts to anchor these expanded political rights in the new constitution were largely defeated. However, a provision for legislation by the people was adopted.

As a result, in the state of Berlin laws can be passed directly without the parliament by popular vote. In recent years, two laws have been passed in this way: the public disclosure of municipal water contracts and the preservation of the Tempelhofer Feld. Although a majority of Berliners—in all districts—voted in favor of the latter in May 2014, the governing parties soon tried to overturn this legislation passed by the citizens. In response, a new citizens’ legislative proposal, “Volksentscheid Retten”, was initiated in 2016 to strengthen legislation by popular vote in the constitution.

These two processes, in 1989/90 and 2016, aimed to enable all Berliners to participate in shaping the constitution. This book traces the connection between the two.

Elske Rosenfeld

Elske Rosenfeld (b. 1974, Halle/S.) is an artist and author researching the relationship between body and language in revolutionary events, the history of 1989/90 and forms of dissidence. Her work has been shown internationally at Gorki Herbstsalon (2017), mumok kino, Vienna (2016), steirischer herbst, Graz (2015), Devi Art Foundation, Delhi (2013), Former West, Utrecht (2010), among others. She blogs at dissidencies.net.

Jyl (Joerg) Franzbecker

Jyl Franzbecker co-produces, -curates and -publishes various, research-based and knowledge-producing formats on art and urban space in changing collective contexts and is co-publisher of the Berlin Journals—On the History and Present State of the City.

Kerstin Meyer

Kerstin Meyer works in international cooperation and for the Economy for the Common Good. She was active in the referendum campaign to preserve the Tempelhofer Feld (2014) and co-initiator of the Volksbegehren zur Stärkung der Direkten Demokratie in Berlin (referendum to strengthen direct democracy in Berlin, 2016).

Eds.: Elske Rosenfeld, Kerstin Meyer, Joerg Franzbecker
Text: Elske Rosenfeld, Kerstin Meyer
Image series: Elske Rosenfeld
Design: Flo Gaertner
Design e-book: Lena Appenzeller
96 pages (pdf), 12 illustrations
August 2018
ISBN 978-3-947295-06-7 epub (5 MB)
ISBN 978-3-947295-12-8 pdf (4 MB)
3,99 Euro

Published as a book by: berlinerhefte.de
ISBN 978-3-946674-04-7
7,00 Euro

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