Lee: cologne

Vendor City Guide: Cologne

The Big Issue has been reaching out to vendors across the street paper network to get the inside scoop on the cities they know best. This instalment features Draussenseiter vendor Lothar talking about Cologne in Germany.

Our vendors: Lothar (Draussenseiter, Cologne, Germany)

Lothar is a Draussenseiter vendor with an extraordinary connection to the outside world: he loves to walk. And we’re not just talking about rambling or hiking here: after he set off on his first walk in July 2016, Lothar walked over 2,000 kilometres around Germany. His walks allow him to indulge in his love for nature, to let his mind wander and to discover new things. They have also taught him that less is more.

A day out with Draussenseiter vendor Lothar

At the end of January, when there was still snow in Cologne, Draussenseiter vendor Lothar was equipped with an analogue camera and asked to record a day in his life. He liked the idea and started documenting straight away. Here you can see the selection of photos Lothar captured, along with his comments.

INSP Vendor Playlist: Lothar and Linda (Draussenseiter, Cologne, Germany)

This year we asked vendors: if you could give a song as a present this Christmas, what would you choose? The result was the INSP Vendor Playlist, which is now available for your listening pleasure. Draussenseiter vendors Lothar and Linda have very different ideas about the kind of music they find meaningful.

“Who knows anything about how women on the streets suffer? They’re mostly invisible, just like I was”

Cologne-born Linda, a Draussenseiter vendor, was homeless for eleven years. Now, she runs her own self-help group for women on the streets and is passionately committed to ensuring that homeless women are properly supported. Here, she looks back on her life and discusses the positive legacy of her homelessness: those years endowed her with a sense of purpose that she has channelled into helping others.

Tiny houses give homeless people in Cologne the key to a better future

Can you hand out happiness? Sven Lüdecke, founder of Little Home Cologne, thinks so. He has so far given out 12 tiny houses to homeless people in his city.

Vendor wishes: “I wish for more accommodation for homeless women with a dog”

“Every homeless person has a story to tell,” says Linda, who sells Draussenseiter in Cologne, Germany. She tells us her aims for 2017.