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  • Writer's pictureWanja Wedekind

"It's a pity concrete doesn't burn"

A value and work critique of the building material of modernity



For a long time, moderne reinforced concrete was considered the perfect building material. Then it became increasingly clear that it was harmful to the environment and to health. Today, concrete is considered the No. 1 climate killer.

In addition, concrete is extremely short-lived, favors authoritarian projects and has dealt a death blow to traditional construction methods and handcrafts. Much like petroleum and plastic, modern reinforced concrete buildings are disposable and monumentalize the logic of the utilization of industrial capitalism.


But why have the concrete buildings of antiquity been able to survive in aesthetic form as imposing buildings and ruins to this day? And do traditional building materials and a master craftsman's way of working represent an alternative for a sovereign approach to one's own living environment, both from a socio-political and a technical point of view?


Amseln Jappe has written a book that takes a value-critical look at modern reinforced concrete as a mass construction weapon of capitalism. Wanja Wedekind has been dealing with the world's building materials, traditional work techniques and production methods for years and moderates and adds from a work-critical point of view.


Speaker: Prof. Anselm Jappe (he has published besides "Concrete. Mass construction weapon of capitalism", Mandelbaum Verlag, Vienna 2023) in German "Die Abenteuer der Ware. For a New Critique of Value" (Unrast Verlag, Münster 2005), he teaches aesthetics at the Rome School of Art).


Moderation: Dr. Wanja Wedekind is a restorer and material scientist and published numerous technical articles. He teaches restoration science at TU Berlin and SUPSI Mendrisio.


An event of the "Helle Panke" e.V. - Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Berlin

Venue: Kopenhagener Straße 9, 10437 Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg

Monday, September 25, 2023, 19:00 to 21:00.

Admission 2,00 Euro

Event language: German

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