Berlin-Mitte as Science-Fiction

Since the pandemic hit in 2020, OfW, a multi-personal, multi-identical and multilingual theatre collective, explored their neighbourhood in the centre of Berlin – or as they call it: the ∇. They were digging so deep into the history of the previous Scheunenviertel, that they got completely absorbed by the energy of the ∇.

Several art projects emerged, such as a guided tour and a Video-Podcast-series.
Today we get to talk to a very excited OfW, who are referring to themselves as “I”. Right now they are rehearsing for the Finissage of the Exhibition “The Hole in the Blanket” in L40 on the 28th of January, where they are going to give an introduction to the ∇.

What is ∇?

It is the area that you all call Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. But since it has the shape of a triangle and me not believing in labels, I prefer to just call it ∇ (pronounced Nabla). But somehow ∇ was so fascinating, that I decided against my principles to turn it into a label on its own. This is why now we have the ∇-Tour, the ∇-Fandom, and the ∇-Podcast….

Tell us about this Series.

So I already did this guided tour in 2021 and became such a nerd after that. It became clear to me that my neighbourhood’s history can only be told in a Science-Fiction-series. Like the story of an eternal fight of good against evil and at the same time mirroring our world.

How is that related to your neighbourhood?

It’s all based on true events that happened here. Every episode features another icon in the universe ∇. All of them are set in different periods, but they all are related to each other and all lead to the inevitable future.

Who are these ‘icons’?

The cast is based on people who lived and live here. It’s characters who were shaping the neighbourhood, mostly in dramatic ways. For example, in the first episode, I tell the story of Hermann Blecher, who came to Berlin in 1906. Think about Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks – that’s how significant he is in all of this. Plus his story arc is very relatable. 

In which sense?

I think everyone who once came to Berlin will understand the struggles that Hermann had. He was just looking for a place to stay. A search that then became his destiny. The classic “lost soul in Berlin”-story. And the energy of his innocence has had a significant effect on all the events in the ∇. The rest would be spoilers.

Who are the other characters?

Another major one is Frau Börngen, a “Berliner original”: She was running an asylum for homeless women that was shut down in 1907 to “cultivate” this area. Today you can admire the oeuvre of a renowned architect named Roger Bundschuh <3 here. If you’re lucky you can catch her soul standing in front of the REMI restaurant, reminding people what has been there BEFORE. 

And of course, you have some regulars like the curious neighbours, who could be any of us. And not to forget Dharma Ewe, who is maybe the most relatable because she is what we all are somehow: Someone in between, the exception of the exception who failed to be attached to any bigger group of people. That makes her the final girl of the ∇. It will be her who will finally save the world and how she’s doing it will be explained at the very end.

That all sounds very interesting. Are there also villains in the story?

Of course, there are! One of them is Schmidt, your token toxic neighbour: He is so ordinary in his evilness that the only way to prevent him from spreading his toxic behaviour is to lock him into his apartment forever. And then there’s Anzo*, the extremist. He was the guy who started to organize the protests against the Covid-restrictions in 2020 which caused the collapse of the BEFORE.

What exactly happened there?

I know you have a lot more questions. But guess what: You can just tune in to start watching the series by yourself. You can find all the episodes here. And in case you have more questions, you might get more explanation in the Fandom:

And when you’ll have consumed all that there’s still the Epilog ∇.

Is this also online?

To watch it you have to leave your living space and enter the L40 in Linienstraße 40 (black-edged building, first floor, ring Kunstverein), designed by my favourite architect Roger Bundschuh. 

Watch out also for posters with the ∇ symbol in the area, the QR Codes on them will lead into the universe as well.

That seems like a lot.

It is. Any more questions?

I guess not for the moment.

If you have gotten the Marvel Universe, you will also get the ∇. 

* I had to change that name because I don’t want to be sued …


All episodes are available here:



∇-Epilogue as part of the exhibition

The Hole in the Blanket.

until 29.01.2023

Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Linienstraße 40, 10119 Berlin

Opening hours: Thu–Sat 2–6 pm and by appointment


at the Finissage: 28.01.2023, 4 pm

With: Raquel Villar, Stéphane Mashyno, Clémence Caillouel,  Andrew Clarke, Tomas Kutinjač, Sara Mazzanti, Jakob Plutte, Florentine Schara, Christina Lindlein, Gianni-Michél,  Jamila Boukhers, Romain Frequency & Lena Schulze Frenking 

Concept & Direction: Philipp Urrutia

Based on a Dream by Xanti Faraway

Creative is OfW @theaterofw

Models are Raquel Villar, Christian Lindlein, Pauline Payen, Andrew Clarke, Mashyno, Carmen Urrutia & Gianni-Michél, 

@raquelina_____ @plnpyn @clarktions @funktionsverb & @mashyno