Participatory intervention
YOYI! Care, Repair, Heal

visions: Acupuncture Clinic

SERAFINE1369’s programme visions opens with a community acupuncture clinic in the Gropius Bau’s atrium, the heart of the building. Throughout one week, qualified acupuncturists will be available for free treatment sessions. The clinic, facilitated by Zinzi Buchanan, is a direct response to the themes of care, repair and healing.

A drawing of a heart above which you can find the word “visions”

SERAFINE1369, visions, 2022

  • Treatments last 20–45 minutes

Past Dates

Turning the attention towards interior space and our bodies’ permeabilities, the clinic is an offering that interprets the internal activities of our individual bodies as a kind of live performance. The clinic invited several healers with community-based work in Berlin to bring their practices into the heart of the Gropius Bau.

visions is a programme of live performance that seeks to encourage an embodied approach to engaging with live work and choreography where all bodies present are implicated and senses beyond visual sight are activated. It is an invitation to be with what is conjured, stirred up and rising to the surface of each of our particular bodies, in relation and response to the environment. As such, each offering is somehow immersive. All events are free to attend and happen during regular opening hours of the Gropius Bau.

Community acupuncture in the West has taken many forms over the years. Despite its standardisation and legitimisation, acupuncture is kept in the margins of Western societies. By bringing acupuncture into the centre of the Gropius Bau, SERAFINE1369 reflects on what care work is and whose hands care, repair and healing is in.

The scenography, designed by Soft Tissue Studio, subtly morphs with each intervention.

Booking an appointment:
Bookings open at 10:00 on 5 October 2022. The appointments will take place between 11:00–17:00. Bookings can be made in person at the acupuncture clinic reception in the Gropius Bau atrium or by phone on 0049 (0) 16098063312 between 5–10 October from 10:00–17:00. NADA treatments are also available for booking at the clinic. They involve the gentle placement of up to five small needles into specific points on the outer part of each ear.

What to wear:
Please wear loose fitting clothing to your appointment so that your limbs may be easily accessible and lying down can be comfortable. You will not have to fully undress.

Arriving for your appointment:
Please arrive at the acupuncture clinic reception in the Gropius Bau atrium at least 15 minutes before your appointment. You will be given a corresponding treatment contract (, 125 KB) to complete and shown to the waiting area.

During the appointment:
Your practitioner will greet you in the waiting area and take you to the consultation space. Here you can briefly discuss your needs and the practitioner will carry out a diagnosis in line with Traditional Chinese Medicine. This involves listening to your pulse by making contact with your wrist and asking you to stick out your tongue to have a look at it. They may also ask you questions about your body, emotions, medical history and lifestyle. Any information you share will be treated confidentially. Then you will be taken to a massage bed in the Gropius Bau atrium where you will be invited to lie down. You will have to roll up your sleeves or trousers and remove your shoes and socks. The acupuncturist will then insert thin, sterile, single use needles through the skin at specific points on the body in accordance with the meridians (lines or pathways of energy that traverse our bodies). The practitioner chooses these points based on what will offer the most effective treatment for you. Acupuncture needles can be inserted at different points on the body depending on the condition and the formula for treatment. You can expect to receive needles in your feet, hands and limbs. Any needles on other parts of the body will be given only after asking for your explicit consent by the practitioner.

Important information about the clinic:
The atrium is open to the public during clinic hours and there will be people moving through the space who have not come for acupuncture. The appointments themselves will be behind a curtain, but the waiting area is in the open. All areas of the clinic will be partly visible, including from the balconies of the Gropius Bau. For this reason, we request wearing clothes that are loose-fitting so that undressing is not needed.

This is a new and unconventional setting for a community acupuncture clinic. The Gropius Bau is open to the public and there are exhibitions on simultaneously. For this reason the clinic would like to share a few points of attention as a way to nurture this space for healing in this week:

  • Please be mindful that some people are receiving or have just received treatment.
  • Please refrain from having long phone conversations in the atrium.
  • Please be aware of personal space. This includes how long you look at someone for.
  • Please be respectful to our acupuncturists. Any discriminatory treatment will result in a refusal to follow through with treatment.
  • Please refrain from taking photographs of the clinic and allow the practitioners and people receiving treatment the privacy they deserve.
  • Please take time to reflect on your own healing and if and how collective spaces can support you in it.

The practitioners practise community acupuncture in various places in Berlin including a self-organised clinic called  metamorfosis and a once-squatted building that has centred healing since 1981 called  Heilehaus e.V.. Many of the spaces are more than just a place to receive treatment, but are places where people affected by capitalist violence can get a break.

Pronoun: he/him
Tzoa is a gender-non-conforming trans* masc of colour, passionate about the decolonisation of bodies, healing and the self.
Languages spoken: English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese

Pronouns: she/they
Swantje is an acupuncturist, massage therapist and shiatsu practitioner. For Swantje, treating people means looking behind their symptoms, to see the whole person with all their patterns, emotions and traumas.
Languages spoken: German, English

Shima Saeedi
Pronouns: she/her
Shima Saeedi works with a sliding scale model for her treatments, where people pay what they can afford. She supports people with traumatic experiences caused by structural discrimination. She practices community acupuncture at Berlinakupunktur and Naturheilpraxis am Ufer. Politically, she likes how community acupuncture makes treatment more accessible and affordable, especially for marginalised people. For her it is also a more original way to practice acupuncture, by bringing the practice to a wider public and making it less of a commodity.
Languages spoken: Farsi, German, English

Pronouns: she/they
Sophie advocates for and practices healing to be able to be more loving and dangerously connected.
Languages spoken: German, English, French

Julien Darmaillacq
Pronouns: he/him
Julien Darmaillacq works with Chinese medicine, acupuncture and phytotherapy to unlock emotional and physical blockages, diseases and disharmony. He contends that our environment, family and society structures can lead to a disconnection between our bodies and minds. He aims to create an environment that is respectful of sensitivities, gender and history, in order to work together to take back control and understanding of oneself. He currently works at Naturheilpraxis am Ufer, Praxis Metamorfosis and Berlinakupunktur.
Languages spoken: German, English, French

Franz Kratochwil
Pronouns: he/him
Franz Kratochwil loves Chinese Medicine, which brought him to work as an acupuncturist and teacher for Chinese Medicine. Since 2020, he is the head of Shou Zhong.
Languages spoken: German, English

Zinzi Buchanan
Pronouns: they/them
Zinzi Buchanan is an artist working with dance, performance, facilitation and writing. In 2019, they completed an MA in visual cultures at Goldsmiths University in London and have since been focusing on experiences of chronic sickness and queer survival in their art-making. This includes their thesis Loving On The Edge (2019), a friendship-based theatre performance called Rogue Intensities (2020) and a year-long project called Sick Bed Series (2021). They were a 2020/21 recipient of the Berlin Tanzstipendium, researching grief from chronic pain. In 2021, they trained to be a death doula with INELDA (International End of Life Doula Association) and are finding ways to accompany themselves and others through big change. They are currently in Glasgow training in TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) and reconnecting to their mining ancestry through a project called THE PITS.

(1) The acupuncture treatments are carried out by and the responsibility of the respective practising acupuncturists.
(2) A treatment contract between the practising acupuncturists and the visitors is concluded in writing directly on site.
(3) The corresponding treatment contract is available on site.
(4) Appointments for the treatments will be made on site in the atrium of the Gropius Bau by the practitioners. Treatments can also be booked by telephone between 5–10 October from 10:00–17:00 at 0049 160 98063312.
(5) The premises of the Gropius Bau are made available for the acupuncture treatments as part of an artistic performance. The Gropius Bau is neither the organiser nor the performer of the treatments and accordingly accepts no responsibility for the treatments.
(6) The appointments are part of an artistic performance. The atrium is open to the public during clinic hours and there will be people moving through the space who have not come for acupuncture appointments.