Come on in!
After many years of often strenuous effort we have finally got there: since December 2013 the house dubbed the STRAZE, an abbreviation of its location at 10-11 Stralsunder Straße, belongs to us! A hotbed of ideas for Greifswald and the surrounding region; much-needed space and independence for people and groups, who want to make a difference; a house at the centre of things in geographical and social terms for the town and local region. What happens here will be noticed by the general public and will definitely have an impact.
We want to create a public space with the potential to reach people in the region and have a positive influence on the nature of our society. Open space and incubator for diverse activities; a place for experimentation, to test and demonstrate the benefits of more ecological and socially inclusive forms of living and working; a place where transcultural encounters happen and it is possible to find local responses to global processes; a space for cultural and educational activities relating to a range of issues from democracy, human rights, antiracism, and antidiscrimination to solidarity economics.
The house will be an open and welcoming place for people who want to become actively involved in making society and the local cultural scene better. It will be a place that connects people, who want to make a difference, a place that lends weight to their arguments and allows them to be heard.
We have decided to stay here, in a region where an already weak civil society is being further weakened by cuts and resignation. We want to live together and create the necessary basis for economic security and independence through mutual solidarity.
And now we have a house to do all this. A big house!
Long a local landmark, the house has played a central role in the cultural and social life of the town since the 19th Century.
A once splendid meeting place and free house known as Zum Greif (The Griffin), the building is an important historical monument of considerable value for the region from a cultural history perspective. Following its construction in the mid-19th Century, it soon fulfilled a focal role in the cultural life of Greifswald as the venue for theatre performances and other public events. In the early 20th Century, the University of Greifswald purchased the house and used it to provide offices and classrooms for several institutes. As the last remaining example of the archetypical 19th century meeting and concert house in Western Pomerania, the building is culturally significant for the entire region.
Significance from a cultural history perspective:
- oldest surviving venue for regular theatre and concert performances in Greifswald
- fulfilled important functions for the university in the 20th Century
Significance from an art history perspective:
- last surviving late-classical theatre and concert hall in Greifswald
- original structure as well as many period interior fixtures and fittings from the 19th Century
- historical murals
The house is a listed building but is in a dilapidated state due to years of neglect by previous owners. Our aim is to save the house for posterity and restore it in a sensitive manner.
We are a loose amalgamation of initiatives and individuals, both adults and children. Some of us have been living in Greifswald for many years, others are more recent arrivals. We are involved in local affairs: in youth work, refugee support networks, human rights initiatives, environmental groups, in the arts and the culture sector, and in local politics. Because we want to have our say and shape society for the better we have established new projects or taken on responsibilities in existing groups. Examples include the Scouting Association of Western Pomerania (Pfadfinderbund Mecklenburg-Vorpommern); the sailing ship Lovis; verquer, an educational project; the Greifswald International Students Festival (GrIStuF); the Student Theatre Society (StuThe), Film Club Casablanca; Kabutze, a community sewing studio; and the fair trade shop.