Inflatable cobble stone 3x3x3 meters, 1th of May 2012 Berlin Kreuzberg

Inflatable cobblestones (Berlin 2012)

1may2012web2

Sous les pavés, la plage.(Under the pavement, the beach.)
Streetgraffiti from the french ’68 movement

On the 25th revolutionary 1st of May demonstration in Berlin-Kreuzberg, protesters were throwing huge inflatable cobblestones, made of silver-reflective foil and tape.The creative intervention was initiated by the artivist collective “eclectic electric collective” (e.e.c.) and was meant as a celebration of an object which is both a symbol and a material weapon of anti-authoritarian struggle everywhere. It also aimed to bring new strategies of tactical frivolity into the demonstration.

A member of the collective explains:

Through 25 years of riots, the cobblestone has become an icon for protests at the May 1 in Berlin Kreuzberg. The use of cobblestones in social uprisings is however much older: from ancient Rome, to the Paris Commune in 1871 to the ´68 movement, cobblestones have been used for barricades and as a weapon of defense. Taking stones out of the pavement is a favoured act of those who refuse to consent to an oppressive social order.

Cobblestones used as a barricade in the uprising of the Paris Commune 1871.

The May 1st demonstration in Berlin has long been a testing-ground for police tactics of crowd control and restrictions on protest. This year, 7000 highly-armed and aggressively shielded cops matched some 15 000 protesters, who were warned that a new water cannon, with a 10 000 L water-capacity, would be ready to be used against them.

The inflatables are a collective creative intervention against this growing repression of protest and dissent, in ways that are both concrete and as well as symbolic. The experiences of the inflatables on May 1 proved their many uses in situations of protest, which can be summarized by the term “tactical frivolity”. Inflatables bring celebration and play to a demonstration while at the same time having strategic functions in situations of conflict…

Watch Video below:

Inflatable Cobblestones Berlin Part 1 from Artur on Vimeo.

Inflatable Cobblestones Berlin Part 2 from Artur on Vimeo.