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At the Feldstrasse w/h Agnes Fritz

Every hvv switch point is a story in itself - and an invitation to make a point. More than 100 hvv switch points in Hamburg offer a variety of ways to get from A to anywhere. We introduce you to exciting people from Hamburg - on their routes through the city. This time: Agnes Fritz, Managing Director of Viva con Agua Arts.

Agnes Fritz at the hvv switch point on the Feldstrasse.

Whether her own music label, development cooperation for the social business Lemonaidor a radio series with artists from Zimbabwe: Agnes Fritz has already set up many projects in her life. She would never have thought that this would make her one of the most important women in Hamburg's cultural scene. But that's the way it is.

This is not only due to her previous career, but also to her current job: since 2020, the 39-year-old has been the managing director of the non-profit GmbH Viva con Agua ARTS, where she turns "water into art". With the help of donations, Agnes Fritz promotes art, music and culture - in Germany and in countries of the Global South. The most important project is the MILLERNTOR GALLERY festival. Once a year, it transforms the FC St. Pauli stadium into a venue for international art and music for four days. The proceeds go to drinking water projects.

The 2023 festival ran in July. Agnes gave many interviews in the weeks before and after, always in a good mood. What she did not mention: Two weeks before the festival started, she broke her jaw in a bicycle accident and ended up in hospital. "But the machine kept running, that was great. It's not always possible for the managing director to be out of action for a while..."

You actually come from near Stuttgart and moved to Hamburg in 2011. How was your start in the city?

I drove across Germany with my mother's big Mercedes bus and my boxes and then arrived in Wilhelmsburg late at night. There I first moved in with an old friend. But somehow everything was already familiar. I had been here a few times before. And the friend in question had already told me so many stories about Hamburg and raved about it.

Agnes Fritz at the hvv switch point on the Feldstrasse.Is that why you came to Hamburg?

There were various reasons. At that time I ran a music label with two friends. One of the partners lived in Hamburg, so that made sense. I also wanted to do a Master's in Culture and Media Management, and there was a good offer here. When I got the acceptance letter from Hamburg, I was really happy because everything worked together here.

Do you still live in Wilhelmsburg?

I've been back for a year - in a flat with a garden, in a street that's like a big commune. In between I lived in St.Pauli and in the Karoviertel. At first it was an adjustment to move to the other side of the Elbe, because until then everything was around the corner and accessible by bike. You don't need a car in the Karoviertel. And if you do, there is car-sharing everywhere. In Wilhelmsburg, unfortunately, there is still room for improvement.

How do you get around today?

I still cycle a lot: I love the way from Wilhelmsburg to here, over the Heiligengeistfeld, then through the old Elbe tunnel and over the dike. Unfortunately, I can't do that at the moment because of my injury. I'm more inclined to take the car and the S-Bahn. Since we live on the other side of the Elbe, we have our own car. That was never really an option, but my husband's parents gave us their old one, and with two children it's very practical...

What is your favourite place today?

My new discovery is the Inselpark in Wilhelmsburg. It's never too crowded there, there are five great playgrounds - a very important factor with children - and a small café where you can get the essentials. And you can go swimming everywhere in the Dove Elbe. Absolutely wonderful.

We are here at the hvv switch point Feldstraße. Why did you want to meet here?

I've been over there around St.Pauli Stadium almost every day for months now. And our office is across the street, by the Knust. Here we are right in the middle, it's the area in the city where I'm most often.

You are deeply involved in the Hamburg art scene. Do you have a current tip?

The "Water Messages" exhibition at MARRK. Unfortunately, I haven't noticed much in the past few weeks - but it's on my radar because, like Viva con Agua, it's about water, more precisely about the colonial roots of current water crises in countries of the global South. Really well done.


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