Contemplative guide to Cologne

Exploration workshop
8–10 September 2017

Guided route through ignored parts of Cologne, Germany. Spaces free from commerce and control, where there is a possibility for contemplation.

Participants are given instructions they then use to search for the route themselves, one by one or in small groups. The walks are preceded by a lecture about the ideas that give it meaning.

The route is based on the subjective vision of the environment advocated in situationist writings and turned into everyday experience by graffiti writers and urban explorers. It traverses a parallel city free from the control of capital and oblivious to its predictable spaces of production, transport or consumption. A city where anything can happen.

This parallel city expands around the known city, in the form of waste grounds, areas undergoing development or areas around big infrastructures. But it also leaks inside it, filling every crevice the system doesn’t use: in empty lots, under bridges, along railway tracks, roads and waterways, inside tunnels and abandoned structures.

The absence of any control makes this city a natural environment for outcasts, from homeless people to graffiti artists. For the average citizen, alienated by commerce and control, to traverse this territory involves a surprising shift in perception, and opens mind space for contemplation, for getting in contact with actual existence.


Introductory lecture: Graffiti and psychogeography
September 8, 20h – Free entrance for anyone interested
First route:
September 9, 16-20h
Second route:
September 10, 12-16h

Lecture: Festival Center, Ebertplatz.
Routes: TBA.

The workshop is free of charge. You need to register by sending an email to before September 6th. Limited places.

See documentation of previous routes.

The workshop is organised by the City Leaks Academy.