OMZ unforgotten

Yesterday, 22.09.2022, the Pioneer Park was inaugurated in Südstadt with access via Bischofsweg 48-50. The name is provisional. On the website for this project, there is a photo of the site from a bird’s eye view on the home page:

At the lower end of the park in the direction of Bonner Straße are large piles of earth and behind them a fence separating the area, which has not yet been landscaped, from the Pioneer Park.
This was the site of the administration building that was occupied by homeless people at the beginning of the pandemic two years ago. They called themselves Homeless with a Future (OMZ).

Susanne Böhm and her team have documented this time with their hopes and dreams of a self-determined life in their own four walls in a film:               

The film was shown yesterday on the art boat in Rheinau Harbour, and Kalle Gerigk, one of the many supporters of the OMZ from the beginning, described how the project was derailed with the move to Gummersbacher Straße. The rooms available in Marktstraße allowed house meetings and offered realistic prospects of realising the dream of living and working together.

I climbed one of these piles of earth in the Pioneer Park yesterday to be able to look over the wall and take photos of the open space that lies behind it.

Not only could the OMZ have stood there until today. It would also have been possible to integrate the project with its café into the emerging park.

It could not be realised because the majority in Cologne’s city leadership and council lack any reference to poverty in the city.

23 September 2022

Klaus Jünschke

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