Lee: germany

Just doing it: BISS CEO Karin Lohr talks about her time at the street paper on its 25th anniversary

2018 marks 25 years since the launch of Munich-based street paper, BISS. To mark this significant landmark, Karin Lohr, the CEO of BISS, talks to Christoph Gurk, one of the leaders of the BISS writers’ workshop, about loyal customers, why permanently employing vendors is so important to the magazine and why deeds, not words, are vitally important.

INSP Vendor Playlist: Toni Menacher (BISS, Munich, 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. BISS vendor Toni dedicates this John Denver track to his late girlfriend.

Different perspectives: “Repicturing Homeless” photo project shows homeless people in a fresh new light

Clothes make the man: a principle that vendors of Düsseldorf street paper fiftyfifty had the chance to experience first-hand as the subjects of an unusual photo shoot. Advertising agency Havas collaborated with the world’s leading photo agency Getty Images to create a completely new perception of people living on the street, with the aim of helping to challenge existing prejudices. Their campaign, called “Repicturing Homeless”, has received media coverage all around the world.

“Hairdressing is a social service”

Recently, two street papers in different parts of the world published similar stories celebrating organisations that give free haircuts to homeless people. Dortmund-based magazine bodo told the story of the Barber’s Angels, a group of professional hairdressers from all over the North Rhine-Westphalia region who had come to Bochum to dish out complimentary styling. Across the Atlantic, Nashville’s The Contributor described a day of business for the Nashville Street Barbers.

Our vendors: Ewa (Hinz&Kunzt, Hamburg, Germany)

Ewa, 51, sells Hinz&Kunzt at her pitch in front of the Douglas perfume shop on Mönckebergstraße, Hamburg. Earlier this year, she worked in the KunztKüche, where her hard work and dedication were noticed by her co-workers and, in May, she was the winner of the ‘Mit dir geht mehr’ (You make our city better) campaign. Hinz&Kunzt met up with Ewa, who has high hopes for the future and who has done so much to support others in her community.

BISS: The documentary

Making a documentary film is an intricate and lengthy process. Here, Hans-Albrecht Lusznat describes his role as cameraman during the production of BISS’s documentary about the lives of four of its vendors. Filmed over a period of three years in Munich, Germany, the film follows four vendors and documents the trials and triumphs that they experience while working for BISS.

A message of solidarity and thanks: BISS’s 25th Anniversary

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Munich street paper BISS, the renowned British duo, Ivan Morison and Heather Peak have installed an artwork in the magazine’s hometown. A pavilion has been constructed around the equestrian statue of Maximilian I on Wittelsbacherplatz with the title “I will be with you, whatever”. From the 30th June to the 13th October 2018, a number of events will take place on Wittelbacherplatz that will involve both artists and the citizens of Munich.

Attacks on the homeless are on the rise in Hamburg

The Global Street Paper Summit is an opportunity to focus in on a lot of the amazing work being done by street papers. However, that doesn’t mean that the problems affecting their vendors are overlooked. In Germany, the number of violent attacks on homeless people – arson, assault, rape – is increasing. Figures released by the German Federal Criminal Police Office [Bundeskriminalamt: BKA] show that, year on year, the number of attacks is continuing to grow. Hinz&Kunzt examined the reasons why such violence is on the rise and asks what can be done to stop it.

Our vendors: Petra (Hinzt&Kunzt, Hamburg, Germany)

Petra, 55, sells Hinz&Kunzt in front of the Edeka supermarket in the Winterhude quarter of Hamburg, often in the company of her dog, Luna. Here, Petra talks about the friendly relationships that she has with many of her customers and talks about what life has been like since she became homeless three years ago. One day, she hopes to have a place of her own that she can call home.

Friday the 13th is Asphalt Day

Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day, but Hannover street paper Asphalt decides to circumvent that perception by holding one off events whenever the date rolls around, to raise awareness of the work its staff and vendors do in the city. We spoke to Asphalt to understand more about why they do this.

Our vendors: Holger (Hinz&Kunzt, Hamburg, Germany)

Holger (53) sells Hinz&Kunzt at the Isemarket in Hamburg Eppendorf. Here, he looks back on his earlier life, which was turned upside down in the 1980s when he worked at a shop selling stolen goods and was blackmailed by his physically abusive boss. The support of friends on the street led him to Hinz&Kunst 20 years ago; now, his life is full of hope – and love.

A hunt for clues in Hamburg

Olaf S died on a park bench close to St Michael’s Church, Hamburg. He was homeless and had braved sleeping out in the elements on a night when the temperature dropped below freezing. Two of his old friends, in collaboration with German street magazine Hinz&Kunzt, try to understand the circumstances of Olaf’s tragic decline.

“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.

Hinz&Kunzt to celebrate 25th anniversary with pop-up restaurant staffed by Hamburg’s best chefs

German street paper Hinz&Kunzt turns 25 this year and, to celebrate, its team of staff and vendors are opening a pop-restaurant, Kunzt Kitchen, which will serve meals rustled up by some of Hamburg’s best chefs.

Female, homeless and invisible

In Germany, 100,000 women have no home of their own and a quarter of all homeless people are women. bodo spent time with four women from Bochum who are facing homelessness. They talked about their experiences and explained why women who live on the streets are ignored.

Our vendors: Constantin (Hinz&Kunzt, Hamburg, Germany)

Constantin (60) is a vendor for Hinz&Kunzt at the REWE-Center in Dorotheenstraße. After losing his home and his family in his native country of Romania, he travelled to Germany looking for work. After finding himself sleeping rough, he turned to the German street paper for help.

Hinz&Kunzt vendor Peter gets the send off he deserves

For Hinz&Kunzt vendor Peter, the Kiez area was his home. After his death, his colleagues, friends and neighbours honoured him with a funeral march through St. Pauli. The tour ended in the pub called Silbersack – so did Peter’s sales tours in the past.

Vendor moments 2017: “The paper, that helped. I’m really grateful for that”

In the final instalment of our series of vendor profiles looking back on the memorable moments of 2017, Strassenkreuzer vendors Günter and Marco go into detail about how their year went.

Vendor moments 2017: “This has been a year of change in Germany”

In our special series of featured street paper vendors looking back on the year just gone, the idea that 2017 was a turbulent year has been a common theme. In this instalment, three Tagessatz vendors talk about how political change in Germany has affected them.

Vendor moments 2017: “You really have to put in the effort”

Street paper vendors across the world come into contact with many different people everyday. Most of the time, those interactions are pleasant, but not everyone automatically treats vendors with the respect and equality they do everyone else. Arno, who sells FiftyFifty in Düsseldorf, describes one such negative experience from this past year.

Our vendors: Gerald (Hinz&Kunzt, Hamburg, Germany)

Gerald is a Hinz&Kunzt vendor who sells the magazine from his pitch in front of the Haspa Spitalerstraße in Hamburg. He tells us about his difficult childhood, years spent in prison and his dreams of becoming a chef.

Our vendors: Raitis (Hinz&Kunzt, Hamburg, Germany)

Raitis (60) sells Hinz & Kunzt in front of German supermarket Edeka on Stresemannallee, Hamburg.

Our vendors: Alexandra (Hinz&Kunzt, Hamburg, Germany)

Alexandra used to work as a street musician, travelling between Hamburg and Romania. Now she sells Hinz&Kunzt, and sees her future in Hamburg: she proudly explains that her daughter can already speak very good German.

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.

Our vendors: Peter (Hinz&Kunzt, Hamburg, Germany)

Ten years ago, after the collapse of his marriage, Peter became homeless. “I deliberately wanted to destroy myself,” he says. Peter’s story is one filled with loss, but thanks to Hinz&Kunzt, he now has a “brighter future”.

Vendor wishes: “I’m afraid extremists will become popular again. I hope I am wrong”

As 2016 nears its end, Straßenkreuzer vendor Steve hopes that the new year will be defined by social justice instead of terrorism.

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.

Vendor wishes: “I want to complete my training as a healthcare assistant”

Rüdiger takes some time to reflect on his hopes for 2017. He also has some words of support for the charity that makes Berlin street paper Strassenfeger.