About die Schenke:
Die Schenke ist ein selbst-organisiertes Projekt, das versucht alternative und kollektive Strukturen aufzubauen in einer Gesellschaft, in der alles einer kapitalistischen Organisationsweise untergeordnet ist. Schenke soll ein Raum sein, der für viele verschiedene Lebenssituationen da ist und von vielen Menschen mitgestaltet wird. Dadurch wird auch versucht, gemeinsam Strategien gegen Diskriminierung durch Patriachat, Hetero-Sexismus, Trans*feindlichkeit, Rassismus, sozialem oder Klassen-Hintergrund, Sprache, Papieren oder Körperwahrnehmungen […] zu erarbeiten arbeiten.
Eine Sache, die wird ausprobieren, ist, geben, teilen und nehmen von einer ökonomischen Wert (Preis) zu trennen. Deswegen ist Schenke gerade (vor allem) ein Kost-Nix-Laden und Kost- Nix- Cafe, aber in diesen Räumen könne noch so viel mehr Ideen realisiert werden.
The Schenke is a free store and a café in the Piaristengasse 33 in the 8th District.
The idea of the free store is simple: many people have useful things that they don’t need anymore. These things often lie around, because “it’s too bad to throw them away”. Other people in turn might be looking for exactly these things, can maybe not afford them or don’t want to spend money on them.
If these things are still useable and in order, they can be brought to the free store: from vases to pants to a bread machine, from toys to books. These things can then be taken from others without a service in return.
Café and Event Space
We want to create a room that people can use for exchange and discussion, group meetings, networking or just chatting, without having to spend money.
Besides the free store, there is a café based on donations, in which there is no need to consume. During opening hours there are coffee and cake, drinks, small meals and regular “open kitchen” times, where anyone can cook.
Gift Economics Instead of Buying and Trading
The free store functions according to the principles of gift economics. There is no trade, but instead, that which is needed, is taken und that which is too much, is given – all without money. A free flow of taking and giving replaces the goods-based collectivization of trade and value. The praxis of a free store thus breaks with the form of trade of good on the market that is fundamental in capitalist societies.
We understand the free store to be a first step of a “practical criticism”, which applies itself to the fundamental structural principles of capitalism and doesn’t just try to alleviate the symptoms. The market, work, money and goods, in short: buying and selling (oneself) are fundamental organizational principles in our society. With the free store, we are looking for a way to overcome these principles. It should represent not only an open space and a niche, but also a material infrastructure in order to make the conditions for transformation.
Besides its usefulness, the free store is also an impetus to take the economy into our own hands, step by step – to cultivate in order to live, and not live in order to work.
Through the project, long-term creation of solidarity networks should be supported, for example by setting up bulletin boards on which resources and services based on the principles of gift economics can be posted.
A free store by itself certainly doesn’t represent an alternative to our goods-based society, because it too relies on the abundance of goods in our society.
Only when we try to repair and produce these things together, to then give them to the participating, can an alternative to the collectivization of goods and money come into being.
A visit to the Schenke
We want to build a space, in which people, independent of financial means and social status, can freely and uncomplicatedly have access to things. The Schenke is not a welfare project and we don’t want to be paid social workers. This “peninsula against the current” lives through all those who use the space responsibly.
We are happy about anybody who wants to come by to learn about the project, the space and meet people, who wants to bring or take things, to drink a coffee, has questions or is just curious.
The Schenke as an open space
The Schenke should be an open space. We invite everyone, who wants to participate in any form, to come to the Piaristengasse 33.
In this context we find it important to emphasize that we see the Schenke as an attempt to create a space free of hierarchy. We don’t want any sexism, anti-Semitism, racism, homo-, trans- or interphobia, or any behavior that oppresses others.
And last, but no least: In the dominant circumstances, there is a certain discrepancy about wanting to run a “money-less” project and yet still needing money for rent and other things. In the day-to-day we try to interact minimally with money. Because of this, external financial support is important for us – i.e. in the form of a “sponsorship” (a monthly money order of 1 Euro or more):