The city of Hamburg has gained a “pioneering social and feminist enterprise” called eeden towards which the Ministry of Culture and Media is putting EUR 100,000 in early-stage funding. The centre, under the auspices of Dr. Carsten Brosda, Senator for Culture and Media, recently opened its doors in the trendy Schanzenviertel district. Founded by Kübra Gümüşay, Onejiru Arfmann and Jessica Louis, eeden is likely to thrive in its vibrant surroundings.
Co-working space for women only
The eeden centre has been designed as an innovative, visionary seat of forward-looking feminist ideas with a creative, co-working space, incubator and venue all in one. Women in the arts, culture, politics, music, science, business and media will now have an opportunity and space to shape the world of tomorrow together. The plans also foresee panel discussions, concerts, readings and pop-ups. “The initiative taken by the founders of eeden shows impressively how much can be achieved with a good idea, courage and commitment. The joint, creative space stands for commitment to equal rights and innovative, experimental spaces for public thinking,” said Brosda at the opening.
Space for free thinking
“There is a need for places where the first-best answers are not reached reflexively especially in politically turbulent eras, but in which the challenges of our times can be approached in a experimental and future-orientated manner and with innovation and creativity,” said Gümüşay. “Our aim is to strengthen civil society and living together in a democracy and to create spaces for public thinking.”
Social commitment and economic success
The founders aim to combine social commitment and commercial success to benefit everyone. The eeden centre made headlines all over Germany during the start-up phase. Last November, the founders were honoured in Berlin as the “Cultural and Creative Pilots 2019”. The prize put them among 32 entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative sector, who were shortlisted for the German government’s 2020 competition from 800 applicants. The founders have launched a crowdfunding campaign and other fundraising measures to raise sufficient operating funds for the centre.
Gümüşay is an author, activist, speaker and political scientist. Her first book “Sprache & Sein” will be published in spring 2020 by Hanser Berlin. She also writes for Die Zeit weekly and the taz daily, among others. Te anti-racism campaign #SchauHin, the feminist alliance #exceptionally and ‘Organised Love’ are just some of her many initiatives. In 2018, Forbes magazine ranked Kübra among the top 30 women under 30 years in Europe in the media and marketing sector.
Onejiru Arfmann is a producer, musician, activist, consultant and geographer. She advises non-governmental organizations on interculturalism and empowerment, is founder and lead of the Sisters (Keepers), as well as a member of the advisory board and consultant to Viva con Agua. She is also a Board Member of Music Women Germany and spokesperson for musicHHwomen. Jessica Louis is brand strategist, creative director, consultant, artist and activist and developed visual identity for Greenpeace’s internationial “Make Smthng” campaign. She also initiated the 2017 Sister’s March and the first Women’s Barcamp in Hamburg.