As part of the build up to Recreation Ground I made contact with an encampment of tee pees to the left of the Köpi Brache as the land meets the river Spree. Teepee Land or Teepee Dorf (village), as the site has been named, is inhabited by a mixed nationality group of roughly 50 persons and was founded in 2012 by the self titled 'king of an anarchistic monarchy' - 'Flieger'.
As stated in an article from last Friday's Berlin Kurier, the encampment is a protest against rent increases across the city - http://www.berliner-kurier.de/kiez-stadt/protest-gegen-mietwucher-die-zeltstadt-der-spree-indianer,7169128,23951718.html - and is self-organised community headed by Flieger.
The site offers a series of tables and chairs set around fireplaces, cobblestone lined garden areas, a kitchen, performance stage and direct access to the riverbank. No one seems to know precisely to whom this strip of land belongs. It is discussed in the village as belonging neither to the owner of the Ice Fabrik nor to those of the Köpi Brache - but is said to be owned publicly. This being the case it would have had to be occupied in order to be made accessible for public use. Whereas previously large fences and barbed wire made access unattractive and dangerous, those living in the encampment wish to make the space available for passers-bye, tourists, journalists, artists and researchers alike. This reflects Teepee Land's drive towards the provision of a cultural platform as a means to draw support and attention from the public - a move recognised by the village as an attempt to garner social/cultural capital in the face of future eviction and to promote the cause. https://www.facebook.com/teepee.land.1 Exactly how this process of recognition and even legitimacy is to be established is unclear. But it is a reminder that far from simply becoming recreational or urban playgrounds, 'wasteland' spaces can and do emerge as sites used by groups that have more permanent aspirations.