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Berlin’s 1990th subculture: “We are not here just for fun”

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After the reunification 1989 Berlin as the rising new capital of a united Germany transformed into a center for avantgarde art, music and got the home of an outstanding urban subculture. Allthough the city is gentrified rapidly it’s atmosphere still couldn’t get destroyed completely. Cheap rents, low living costs in combination with a hot night life and an international art and music scene still pulls lots of people from all over the world to the city.

Of course West Berlin had been already a hotspot for underground cıulture from the 1970th on. David Bowie, İggy Pop and Nick Cave composed some of their best albums there and were part of the night life scene around the Dschungel-Bar.
Kunstraum Kreuzberg in Bethanien at the Mariannenplatz got invaded in the late 1960th and got transformed into a center for Culture later. You can see the show “We aren’t here just for fun” there right now, a fantastic review of the subculture of Berlin in the 1990th. (29.06.-25.08.2013)

Artists and Musicians were the peaceful form of an urban guerrilla in those days. Old factories got invaded and were getting spaces for music and art performances. Techno and Trance was the sound of Berlin. Beside Discotheques like Tresor and beside the Love Parade small clubs would emerge and disappear again and again.

When you live some time, you aren’t aware of your impact. I was living in Istanbul in the 1990th, when the nightlife pf Beyoğlu was emerging. I would travel to the Turkish Southeast for Crisis journalism and would go to Kemancı later on to tell about this experiences and to have some beers. And ones in a while I would travel to Berlin and stay with my friend Anne in Invalidenstrasse-East Berlin. I was writing for the leftist Paper junge welt, then -until today- for the jungle world.

The weekly is the product of the editors, that got thrown out from junge welt in a form of capitalist overtake. The former eastern german editorial staff was annoyed about the “freak themes” of the others. The expelled wanted to write about the Love Parade, the emancipation of the homosexual scene and other topics, that were considered marginal. So when the paper got privatized, the new owners of the former collective dismissed the uncomfortable ones.

I decided for the dismissed and the marginal and I never regretted it. I love Istanbul and Berlin!

  1. Also see, how Bethanien got an art space

Berlin moving from InEnArt on Vimeo.

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