2022 is here, and it’s time for us to look back on the ways in which aequa has grown and deepened over the last year. We thought opening a community centre (aka aequa CC) in March 2020 was a challenge, but in many ways, 2021 was harder both for us as an organisation and community, and for many of us personally as well.
And yet we got through it. We survived more or less intact. Thanks to the contributions of time, energy and financial support from our community, the CC was able to host groups organising for everything from s3x work3rs’ rights and mutual aid to migrant justice and solidarity for Black lives in germany to queer trans liberation and more.
And aequa’s working groups, mutual support groups and event series grew and grew.
Here’s a little peek at how the year flew by!
We kicked off the year with one of our favourite events to date – the MOSAIC exhibition. This project — co-organised with OUSA Collective, which took place at our community centre and online — featured original works of illustration by 18 BIPoC, migrant and diasporic artists, exploring the topics of memory, ritual and future. You can still see these gorgeous pieces hanging on the CC walls today. We also launched our online shop and sold the artwork to raise funds for the artists, OUSA and the space.
(You can expect to hear more about our online shop soon — in 2022 we’ll be releasing aequa T-shirts, hoodies, totes, zines, posters and more that you can buy to help support the CC!)
Over the next months of lockdown and high Covid-19 numbers, we deepened our structure mostly online by relaunching mutual support groups (like Critical Masculinity, Equity Reading Circle, Designers and Freelancers) and later launching the Neurodivergent Mutual Support Group.
Meanwhile, our volunteer working groups expanded as well, as we continued exploring new ways of organising with the horizontality and autonomy that we strive for. In 2021, we added Transformative Justice, Website and Social Media working groups to the already existing Fundraising, Communiciations, Space Management, Equity Library and other project-based working groups. The combined efforts of all these groups make everything aequa does possible!
We started hosting our assemblies this year, as an opportunity for people in all the various groups in aequa to get to know and support each other’s work, and get involved in new ways. We hope to bring more consensus decision-making into these spaces, so the people most affected by decisions can also make them. The Advisory Team continued to meet regularly, giving the core organisers a chance to explore our decisions and actions with new perspectives that we might be missing.
March saw our Beyond Visibility action, writing letters to trans prisoners and learning more about the struggles faced by this community. In the same month, we started an online Breathwork series which was very much needed. April brought us a trans feminist book reading.
May brought us Life Architecture, hosted by the aequa Workshop Collective — a group of facilitators that teaches various subjects relating to social equity, diversity and inclusion — and thereby generates vital funds that keep the community centre open.
Career Gxrls had a launch event at the CC for their new mutual support group for s3x work3rs, later in the year followed by the Berlin S3x Work3rs Union, Black s3x Work3rs Collective and Wh0recare.
Summer gave us the chance to get outside a bit more, bringing us picnics in Neukölln and Wedding and a local festival, Ausufern, with our neighbours Ufer Studios. In September, aequa Radio was launched. This monthly radio show is hosted by our beloved Sarj and Refuge Worldwide with fabulous guests exploring topics from solidarity to rest.
In October, a classic workshop came back – Action Teams! – helping community members support each other in untying knots in their life. As it was the first in-person aequa event at the CC this year, we also (re)launched Get-home-safe for this event — a donation pot raising funds to get at-risk folks home safer. We also posted a daily reminder on social media of ways to show Everyday Trans Solidarity.
November brought us our cosy Spacewarming as we were finally able to gather some of the community members together under the CC roof for karaoke, colouring in and gin.
Capitalists Anonymous held their first meetings and aequa Library had its first event. The CC held an open house over Christmas, the holidays and new year for people to drop in IRL and online and hang out together at, what for many, is the most isolating time of the year.
As we look ahead, there’s a lot that we don’t know, but we’re ready as ever to build more exciting things together with you.
If this is what we as a community can achieve in a difficult year, we can’t wait to see what happens when things are easier. Thank you to every single person who’s been involved. We’re so happy to be on this journey together, building community, solidarity, mutual support and social equity. And finding joy together in the small things.
your aequa team