Residents of the Oder and environmentalists want to hand over a petition against the development of the Oder to the Federal Ministry for the Environment at a dance festival this Sunday (October 2nd). On behalf of Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens), State Secretary Christiane Rohleder will receive the more than 7,000 signatures collected so far on the grounds of the Kulturhafen in Groß-Neuendorf (Märkisch-Oderland), as the citizens' initiative "Save oder Die" announced on Saturday. The petition is also aimed at Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP). It is a first success and symbolizes people's concern for their river, according to the actors. The Kienitz initiative supports the "Action Alliance for the Living Oder", which has been fighting to preserve the unique ecosystem of the Oder for years.
In August there was a massive death of fish in the Oder. In order to prevent further catastrophes, the expansion of the Oder must be ended and investments must be made in the protection and renaturation of the entire Oder, according to the citizens' initiative. She also calls for a ban on toxic discharges.
The final report by German experts on the fish kill leaves the question of who exactly caused the disaster still open. The researchers confirmed the massive spread of a toxic alga as the most likely cause of the environmental disaster. However, it was said on Friday that it was unclear which source led to the unusually high salt concentration in the water, which favored the proliferation of the poisonous algae, "due to a lack of available information".
The project is funded as part of the New Culture initiative. The cultural workers developed it within half a year with the Oderbruch residents. According to the artists, they were very involved with the equipment, costumes and props. "It was always important to involve the people from Oderbruch," reported project manager Stiefermann. "Tandems" were developed for this purpose, in which an artist and a resident of the Oderbruch could always get to know each other. This exchange is now presented on stage - as performances.
"It's exciting how you can convey topics and feelings differently through movement and dance than with language," reported Stiefermann. The trained dancer and choreographer has had a home in Oderbruch since 2011. The aim is also to let the population experience other forms of dance without having to go to Berlin. Children's dance, youth work and integration should also be established. The company is also planning a dance initiative for the whole of Brandenburg together with Fabrik Potsdam - an international center for dance and the art of movement.