Through an independent arts and culture festival every year one abandoned building or site is temporarily occupied, inviting people to visit the building, bringing the place and its history back into the public awareness.
BEGEHUNGEN is an independent arts and culture festival in Chemnitz dedicated to the promotion of young artists in abandoned buildings and sites. It takes place every year in August and is organised by a non-profit association working on a voluntary basis. The festival takes the vacant place as an opportunity, a chance to rethink and play with the vacancy. With the festival they try to open up new perspectives for the space and recall it to the memory of the city. They invite artists to initiate debates about selected themes by using visual, auditory or performing art. Artists apply with an idea and do a residency to work on the artwork in Chemnitz and the exhibition place.
Creating a festival like BEGEHUNGEN takes time. A well organised group of people is needed with different skills, like crafting, communication, finding financing resources, etc. The political and administration support of the city is needed, in particular to make the place safe that people are allowed to enter the building. The festival does not offer final solutions, but kicks off discussions how to reactivate and how to deal with the vacant places.