It started off as a vague idea, but for two weekends the “Blumentaler” was the official currency of the utopia festival “Auswärtsspiel: Blumenthal“.
Fictitious currency to stimulate thought
The Blumentaler could be earned within the context of the festival by carrying out voluntary activities. The Blumentaler is disbursed in “the flower bank”, installed in a vacant bakery, and can be spent afterwards again on coffee, ice from the last italian ice maker founded in 1981, or theatre tickets. In addition, the temporary currency is there to stimulate thought on the value of voluntary work and work in general. Local actors from the sharing economy were presenting themselves and stimulating the discussion on work.
The bank notes are ecologically printed and falsification safe. “The Blumentaler is Riso-printed. The process is similar to silkscreen printing, but is mechanically and faster. We worked only with uncoated paper, the colours are from soybean oil and the film is based on plant fibers,” explains Lucia Mendelova, who designed them. The 500-, 1,000-, and 2,000-bills carry images of buildings in the district as well as – how could it be otherwise – floral illustrations.
Inspiration from REFILL
The idea of issuing a local currency in return for voluntary work was picked up during the last REFILL meeting in Ghent by ZwischenZeitZentrale Bremen, one of our network partners. On a visit to the temporary use at “The Site” the experience with the local currency “Torekens” in the Rabot-district of Ghent caught their attention.
Vacanct buildings got filled with visions
The organizers of the festival “Auswärtsspiel: Blumenthal” used the vacant spots in the old city center for their work. The shops, homes and places inspired the artists to turn visions and utopias into reality – be it for a limited period.
The temporary establishment of a sharing economy offers everyone the opportunity to participate in the economic system and at the same time strengthen the community in the district.
Fleurovalley: youngsters researching utopias
Those who wanted to take a completely fresh look at the city could participate in one of the performances of the young actors of “Fleurovalley”. Visitors started at the upper floor of a local office building where they received a visa and were admitted in small groups to a guided tour. The tour led them through the Utopia laboratory of the Fleurovillanians: 30 young people – all from local high schools – who thought about what is important to them for their neighbourhood.
The festival took place on the weekends of 3-5 June and 10-12 June in the entire city center.
This post is based on an earlier article in Weser Report.