Anyone who refers positively to communism today cannot avoid dealing with the reasons for the failure of historical attempts to realize it. If we want to make a different future possible, we cannot simply dismiss the history of real socialism by saying: "No, no, that wasn't communism!", but must deal with the mechanisms, modes of action and consequences that made this past possible.

We are observing a crisis and a search for orientation in the contemporary left, in which there is also a renewed turn towards authoritarian models of organization. Sympathies for real socialist states often do not take their contradictions and repressive apparatuses seriously enough. The need to distance oneself from a bourgeois narrative that devalues the GDR and other real-socialist experiences and dismisses the experiences made there unquestioningly seems understandable, but falls short.

With the "Zone" canteen, we are sticking to focusing on a topic rather than a person during the festival week. We are aware that the term "Zone" is often used derogatorily in this context. Nevertheless, we have chosen this title because it reflects the external perception of both the GDR and East Germany, which are often seen as backward, incapable of democracy, in need of help - in any case "different". In sometimes very sharp contrast to this, "Zone" also has to serve as a socialist utopian projection surface - both for some leftists and for the "everything used to be better"faction (keyword "Ostalgie"). We want to use this year's canteen to look behind the clichés and devaluations that are often circulated about the GDR and contribute to a differentiated debate beyond black and white representations.

We are aware of the fact that we cannot "work through" all aspects of this complex of topics in one week and therefore have to set priorities. Public discourse is often dominated by how the division of Germany continues to exist in terms of social inequality, mentalities and models of identity. In contrast, there is relatively little focus on how the GDR functioned as a society. That is why we want to focus on the realities of life in the GDR, on how its institutions functioned and on the conditions of change in the system of planning and production.

We invite you to join us at Subbotnik in Chemnitz at the end of July to discuss these topics.


Arrival is possible from Monday, 22.07., at 3 pm. The "Chemnitz Süd" stop is ideal for arriving by train, the "Stadlerplatz" stop by streetcar 3 or the "Gutenbergstraße" stop by streetcar 2, from where the Subbotnik can be reached on foot in approx. 5 minutes. Parking spaces are also nearby.


If you would like to come to the canteen and make use of one of our sleeping places, please register by 30.06.2024 using this form. Please read the information in the "Accommodation" section beforehand. If you have any questions about registration, please send an email to


Breakfast (10:00 - 10:45) and dinner (20:00 - 20:45) are prepared every day and can be enjoyed free of charge or for a donation. Filter coffee and water are available throughout the day. In between, the Subbotnik e.V. café (14:30 - 18:00) invites you to exchange coffee, tea and tasty snacks for a small fee. For everything else, supermarkets and food outlets are just a few minutes' walk away. Everything we offer is vegan.


Important: To our great regret, camping on the Subbotnik grounds will not be possible this year. As an alternative, we will set up a temporary campsite on a wasteland next to the Plusbar (Bernsdorfer Straße 41, 09126 Chemnitz - within walking distance of the Subbotnik) where you can pitch your tents and park your cars/campers. The site will be surrounded by construction fences, there will be a night watch and we will provide lockers for your valuables. In addition, there will be several group dormitories in house projects within walking distance of the Subbotnik. If these capacities are not sufficient, there is another small campsite at a friendly house project, which can be reached by public transport or by bike in about 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, sleeping places are still limited and we cannot guarantee that there will be enough for everyone. If you have the possibility to find a place to sleep yourself (e.g. with a friend or in an AirBnB), this is a relief for us. If you would like to make use of one of our sleeping places, please register by 30.06.24 using this form.


We are trying to organize childcare for the "Zone" canteen, but unfortunately we cannot promise that it will work out.

If you can imagine supporting us with childcare, please send us an e-mail!


The building is wheelchair-accessible, access is possible via the parking lot and a ramp at the stairs

If support is desired, we would like to include it in the planning. Please let us know by 01.07.24, thank you!


You can find more information here: Website Kantine Festival