SwapQuest is a social event – and a contest.

We will swap items as a means to collect and exchange stories

The idea is simple:

Each participating team starts with a single item worth 5 € or less and sets out to swap that item with anything people they are willing to part with. In the process they collect stories about the people they meet – where they come from, where they’re going and why. As the number swaps rises, the story of the item they try to swap becomes part of its value. If just 10 groups set out and make 5 swaps – thats 50 connections to possibly interesting people. In the end we all meet, tell our stories, show our spoils, eat, drink and possibly crown our swapkings/queens of they day. If we agree on a winner, they take all the stuff we swapped, if not – we’re all winners.

Step 1: Grouping
Meeting at a fleamarket in Berlin – probably Mauerpark – and form small groups of 3-5 people, some may come as a group, some may form one spontaneously.

Step 2: Initial buy
Each group has 30 min. max to buy something on the market for no more than 5 € (we’ll all be honest, won’t we).

Step 3: Taking stock
We gather again and show what we got, and best start documenting the whole thing.

Step 4: Swapping
Each group sets out to ask complete strangers, if they got anything on them, they would be willing to swap for what you just bought – possibly with a (percepted) increase in value. But in the end it’s just a means to hear their stories and take a peek into their pockets. For example you may swap a shirt you just got for a pair of sunglasses and get to know some serbian actor who tells you about the end of the world next tuesday. It would be great if you all took pictures and/or audio.

Make sure to tell them the name swapquest so they can enjoy all the other stories and swapped items. If you’ve got the feeling you won’t get anything better than what you already have (maybe the keys to 1957 Jaguar e-type or a personal invitation to christina aguileras/Johnny Depps hotel room) just have a coffee and wait for your coronation, but don’t be too sure.
Step 5: Party
We meet again on a courtyard, collect all the media to show on a beamer and start celebrating. I will organize drinks and food and music. If a winning team emerges naturally they will be crowned (does burger king still makes these paper crowns?) and take all the swapped items. If we’re not sure who deserves the honour, we just keep the stuff we got and try again.


  • Don’t spend more than 5€ for the item you’re going to swap (you may as well bring something cool from home, that is worth 5€ or less.
  • You don’t make appointments upfront to meet people you know to make a swap
  • You’re not allowed to swap with professional traders on the market.
  • You may only invite the best people you meet to our party.
  • We are all the jury

Thats it


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