On our first visit to the site, we noticed a lot of trash, too much to clean for us alone. Therefore we invited friends from our study course to come along and help us clean up the area. As the area has been unused and therefore not cleaned in several years a lot of trash has accumulated on the site. Over the course of an afternoon, we gathered more than a dozen trash bags full of different objects.
During the collecting, we also had time to focus primarily on all the non-human actors surrounding us on the site. Aside from all the trees, flowers and bushes which are making their way through the asphalt, a multitude of animals are also living in this area. We saw many geckos relaxing in the sun and throughout the whole area, you can hear the birds singing. While cleaning we saw rather big snails living among the plastic.
Over time the trash got abraded so that there are now many small pieces of plastic in the area, which are hard to pick up. There are also big objects, that were left there by former users of the area. Whenever we cleared an area of trash, we planted flower seeds in the soil to symbolise a new beginning for the area. This action was a great way of connecting with the area.
We collected all the trash and objects we found in front of one of the gates and created a big monument out of it. We wanted to shock bypassers into acknowledging this area and provoke a conversation about the uses of this area. We wrote our messages and questions in the three languages directly onto the objects we found and put them in front of the trash mountain so that bypassers could see them from the street. Additionally, we created a little peek window out of orange tape and put it onto the gate.
Our trash mountain remained on site for several months, in fact so long that it is now visible on google street view. Only when the municipality opened the site as a parking lot for the tourist buses in the summer was the trash mountain finally got removed.
The most common object to find was plastic bottles and plastic bags. Some of the trash has been there for a very long time, some are kind of new. We found some objects related to drug abuse, like syringes, weights, aluminium foil, lighters and pure alcohol. We also found several safes. Furthermore, we found remains of former uses of the site as hoses, bricks, old pallets, parts of a trailer and planning. Apart from cooking equipment, old mattresses and clothes we also saw the remains of old sleeping places. In the entrance area of the site, we found condom packaging. Additionally, we found a lot of parts of broken bikes and two broken sofas. From the objects collected, we could conclude that people were living there and that the area held a place for sex work and drug abuse. The latter became even more apparent as we met a person who got something out of a hole in the wall. At the first opening event, we also found a stolen backpack with passports and fake bags. Some neighbours also use this area as a place for having their lunch and sitting in the sun.