The Hanging Gardens of Oberlandstrasse

An interdisciplinary festival on home life, urban ecology and sustainable forms of coexistence

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project description

In the lowlands of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar II’s wife yearned for the verdant forests and mountains of her homeland. Legend has it that the king consoled his wife by having an impressive garden built, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. A transdisciplinary festival on the grounds of the former Berlin Union Film Atelier (BUFA) on Tempelhofer Feld takes the legend of the displaced queen and her place of longing as inspiration for an artistic-collective examination of homesickness, arriving in a new place and the search for free spaces in a metropolis.

For two whole weeks in late summer 2022, the Atelier Gardens and the Berlin Taubentheater invite visitors to the “Hanging Gardens of Oberlandstrasse”. The outdoor festival will include an exhibition, a series of events and a residency programme. Artists from numerous countries, e.g. Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia and Afghanistan, who were forced to leave their homeland, will be presenting both previously developed and newly commissioned works from the fields of performance, video, music, calligraphy, ceramics, installation, sound and sculpture. The gardens shall serve as both a residence and creative venue for studying the landscapes, languages and societies of the participants’ countries of origin. The grounds will be divided into four architectural components, each developed by the artists collective Guerilla Architects: tents in the form of a performative installation, tiny houses which will serve as a meeting place and exhibition venue, a boat converted into a dovecote, and a treehouse which unites nature and humans, and invites visitors to adopt a bird’s-eye perspective. The Hanging Gardens of Oberlandstrasse will bring artists, communities, children and adolescents, researchers and broad segments of Berlin’s urban population together and offer space for self-empowerment, reflection, learning and experiencing.


Concept and artistic director: Ayham Majid Agha
Curators: Boaz Levin, Ayham Majid Agha
Spatial design: Guerilla Architects
Production manager: Heidi Erickson
Artists: Hiba AL-Ansari, Najib Abidi, Yalda Afsah, Mouneer AL-Shaarani, Andrea Büttner, Margarita Jimeno, Nina Katchadourian, Annelein Pompe, Fatima Sai, Yaser Safi

Festival: Atelier Gardens, Berlin: 4–23 Nov. 2022


Atelier Gardens

Berliner Union-Film GmbH & Co. KG
Oberlandstraße 26-35
12099 Berlin

Telefon: +49 30 75782 100
Fax: +49 30 75782 200