|Detail of the Koepi's frontage|
The Karneval der Kulturen (May 22-25) was founded in Berlin in 1996 to combat the growing tide of nationalistic racism in the former East German capital. Some would say that it also afforded the local prols (chavs) an excellent opportunity to work on their fake tans and get dressed up in pastel colours and bling-bling. (Many seem to have taken that idea and run with it).
Some of the true minority cultures that are visible on the streets of Berlin (African, Jamaican, Turkish) will feature largely at the KDK though. Balkan and TurPop are two well-represented genres, and YAAM will do its ubiquitous reggae float at the street parade on Sunday.
here. You're bound to find something exotic... by your definitions, anyway!
On the more 'local' end of the cultural spectrum, the Koepi will be hosting a parade and festival centered of its own. The Karneval Der Subkulturen will focus on all the marginalized strands of German home-grown cultures: hip hop, punk, doomcore, speedcore and "industrial carnival" will be some of the sounds emananting from the gig space and cellar of the Kreuzberg punk squat located on Koepernickerstrasse. Subhumanz (a.k.a. Citizen Fish) and Doom are two of the bands that will play... they may ring a bell for English readers of this blog or those of you who are into punk and crust.
|A trad Namibian hairdo would fit in on any runway|
There are probably plenty of Germans out there who view Berlin's artists, activists, hedonists, designers, fashionistas and punk buskers as layabouts. Yet when women in Namibia spend hours putting ochre and mud in their hair, or making elaborate bead trinkets to display, it's taken for granted that they probably aren't thinking about mortgages and unemployment rates (although anything is possible). If you only spare the cultures that generate revenues, you will always end up with a monoculture in the end. That's ethnic food for thought as Berlin heads outdoors this weekend to celebrate the culture of others.
For an African-American view of the Karneval, you can check out this entry by Black Girl in Berlin.
|Visuals at HI World Conference|
"Hedonist International was founded in 2006, in order to try and field test politics. It centers [on] action, which can mean a nude group visiting overpriced flats, or demonstrations for freedom and human rights, or doing gramophone concerts in Swiss homes for the elderly." Each of their World Congresses has three parts - party, action and politics - and the events are ad hoc, freeform, and can discuss everything from gardening and food to drugs to social theory and new forms of direct action. And of course, there's cool music to go with.
Another weekender happening in the countryside around Berlin is the bass-x-travaganza called Wax Treatment @ Kiekebusch Openair (near. Schoenefeld). It costs 15-25 Euros, lasts two days and features dnb, dub, and all the attendant fringe genres associated with those two things.
Have a great weekend!