FlowArts e.V. Our association
More awesome news in 2023…
Our association is alive!
Parallel to the organization of the first edition of Ostflimmern we’ve set up our own association FlowArts e.V. (non-profit status pending) in 2023 to support the organization of our conventions, training meetings and events.
Who we are?
Heart & Identity
We are “FlowArts e.V.”, a group of Fire and FlowArts players based in Berlin, who work non-commercially and voluntarily. We have been active as a heterogeneous collective of friends for over 14 years in different, ever-changing constellations in and around Berlin. We are currently 16 members with 2 chairpersons and a treasurer, and have organized ourselves into 5 interest-focused crews for our current core activities.
Our community is united by the passion of FlowArts, i.e. the movement/dance with tools and partners to music. Special highlights for us are ritual dancing with fire, public fire jams or playing with fire at parties and in clubs.
What happened recently
During the pandemic, many gatherings came to a standstill, spaces were closed, organizers withdrew and stopped their activities.
The idea of the FlowArts Association arose from our midst to revive and carry on the traditional Berlin Fire Players Convention, the Fire Jams and FlowArts meetings, to organize and safeguard them collectively. The association is the connecting element for us.
Furthermore, we have been trying for years to coordinate our fire & flow events, which are “tolerated but not allowed/approved” in public space, with the police, the public order office, and the responsible authorities.
Our values grow with us
With our events we create gathering spaces and places for the large and diverse Berlin FlowArts community, our friends and families. We cultivate a warmly open, family-like togetherness at eye level, where the Flow-& FireArts arts connect us.
We gladly welcome and include every person who is inspired and attracted by the flow. It is important to us to organize events free of charge or on a donation basis, in order to be able to include everyone as solidarily as possible (you can find our values and principles right here on the website).
Inside and outside, flow is a possibility everywhere
When the weather is pleasant, we use public parks and squares. During the cold and long winter months, we rely on affordable training spaces. Currently, we have our flow home at the Olof-Palme-Center, which we can use for a donation.
Since we use the same public spaces over and over again, we pay special attention to sustainability and cleanliness at our events. Music accompanies us, but does not dominate: “We leave no trace – but good energy”. So we are tolerated and welcome in these places and parks for years.
Fire safety is a must
In the area of playing with fire, we make it our business to train fire players in the safe handling of fire tools, people and the environment, and to provide the safest possible dipping stations with environmentally friendly measures, as well as to observe sensible safety aspects for the public:
- At every event and convention with fire that we organize, we provide an environmentally safe fire space and dipping station with the most health-friendly lamp oil currently on the market to the participating fire players. The necessary equipment is provided each time from private stocks by community members. Any costs incurred, such as for the lamp oil, are financed by collecting donations at the respective event.
Before each fire event we conduct a mandatory fire training, in which we instruct the current fire and environmental safety regulations and personal protection guidelines, as well as the correct soaking of the fire tool, and how to extinguish the fire tool.
Never Conforming – Ever Evolving
Our present and future
For us, openness, freedom and playful exploration of creative flow processes are at the core of our work in the collective. We place great value on a collaborative experience of culture and art in our colorful city.
Our collective consists of multi-virtuosos, DJs, jugglers, acrobats, hulahoop players, staff spinners, poi players, event organizers, and many other people who love to move.
We create cohesion in our community through many open meetings in public parks. Therefore all interested people are welcome and have a low threshold to access. Often interested people approach us directly in parks and experience their first trick sharing.
The collective was formed due to the pandemic-related cost increases for locations and due to the loss of key people in orga positions. As a result, the collective was formed from long-time experienced fire players and new enthusiasts with the goal of continuing the tradition of fire playing in community and making it possible under the new circumstances.
A safe backdrop for us to continue growing
For years, providing private funds on a small scale made fire events possible. But as the size of the events grew, large canisters of lamp oil, sound equipment, rent and needed funds could no longer be provided by private individuals.
The foundation of the FlowArts e.V. first served to legally secure the planned Ostflimmern FlowArts convention, because before that everything was made of private material. The association gives a legal framework and protects the engaged people and should carry the financial risk of Ostflimmern in the future, so that the private individuals do no longer need to do this (this also applies to equipment provided so far privately, accidents or possible damages of any kind).
There is also room for us
We are critical of “being tolerated” in public spaces, which means we are always in the gray area. In Berlin there are only a few parks where fireplay is tolerated and it’s also very dependent on the people deciding that day.
To avoid the restrictions and the bureaucratic limitations, we organized our first own Ostflimmern FlowArts Convention in Brandenburg.
From all of us, for all of us
We organize all events on a voluntary basis. One or two members of the association form an organizing team and keep an eye on all important aspects, if necessary under the guidance of the association’s board of directors.
In the details we work together collaboratively, depending on our own time availability for the topic.
The highlights of the past year
With aftermovies on YouTube
Between July 2022 and July 2023, we organized and hosted the following events:
- Crew-Convention as a test run for the planned Ostflimmern at the airport Finowfurt (16.9.22 to 18.9.22)
- Autum Equinox on 23.9.2022 (Herbstfeuern) in the Berlin Mauerpark with an organization time of approx. 3-4 weeks (Video Link)
- From October 2022 to April 2023, Sundays between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., the „FlowSpace & Flow Music OPZ for families and friends“ took place, as indoor training and meeting option (Video Link)
- Spring Equinox on 20.3.2023 (Frühlingsfeuern) in the Berlin Mauerpark with an organization time of about 3-4 weeks (Video Link)
- Participation in the Friedvollen Walpurigsnacht 2023 in Mauerpark (30.4.23 to 01.05.23) with organization time of about 3-4 weeks. (Video Link 2022)
- July 2022 to March 2023 we have worked out an association concept for FlowArts e.V.; the founding meeting took place on 25.03.2023 and the official registration on 16.05.2023.
- Organization Autumn 2022 to May 2023 of the 1st Ostflimmern Convention on the airport area Finowfurt (Whitsun 2023), under the flags of FlowArts e.V., as the first Fire- & FlowArts- Convention
- June 2023 Working out our application for the “Day of Club Cultures 2023” collaboratively with 5 association members and 1 supporter
The organization of our convention was arranged by different areas with fixed crews, which independently worked out the implementation for their area, if necessary under the guidance of the association’s board of directors.
The association board concludes contracts for this and keeps an eye on the financial framework. In 2023, 12 association members and up to 13 helpers were involved in the organization and implementation on site for 18 areas.
Our training rooms and playgrounds
During the pandemic, training rooms were no longer available due to increased room rents. Open spaces for meetings were difficult to access, and members suffered from depression, diminished financial resources, and sick leave. The community dispersed because regular meeting places and events were lacking and could only take place on a small scale.
By cooperating with the Olof-Palme-Center in 2021, a new community meeting place was created and the Ostflimmern Crew was formed. Thus, the OPZ served us as a community center over the cooler months from October to Easter and will hopefully continue to do so in the years to come.
A continuously growing community
Whenever we organize big fire events (like in Mauerpark), our group reaches a size between 40-80 Fire-& FlowArtists, who participate, play along or are passing through and join in temporarily.
There are long-standing friendly connections and exchanges with the Friends of Mauerpark e.V. for the organization of the peaceful Walpurgis Night in Mauerpark and other small collectives in Berlin.
In the future we strive for a closer cooperation with other associations like KiezBurn, Dreamworld and the FireSpace e.V. to build a larger network.
Interested? Of course you're interested!
We hope we’ve sparked your imagination, kindled your curiosity, and are eager to participate.
If you’re also looking forward to learn more about the con, and not miss any update, there’s only one thing left to do…