March for your right to party
Walter Crasshole’s column for our English-speaking readers
March is an underappreciated month. Perhaps it's because our metropolis tends to pack in as much as possible into the preceding months and Berliners are just exhausted. That New Year smell has worn off, and 2014 already seems like a lover you've grown tired of. It ain't pretty, but it's chill, and I'll take that. A number of this month's events have a more serious tone to them while still demanding some attention. The Sochi Olympics firmly took the torch in terms of outrageous attention last month, but it should not be forgotten that these anti-gay attitudes have had a more sinister face in sub-Saharan Africa for a longer time. This month Berlin's delightful dork of the dance scene, Constanza Macras, and her company, Dorkypark, are presenting On Fire:
Artistic Exchange with South African Artists on Gender and Tradition (Feb. 28 - Apr. 26 at Studio 44), exploring subjects like LGBTI people in Africa, gender expression and sources of oppression. With seven different performances and showings spread throughout March and beyond, I won't go into specifics, but make sure to check out the full program yourself. Celebrating another struggle, International Women's Day is coming up. Little known where I'm from, the day has its roots in a socialist conference in Copenhagen in 1910. Widely recognized by countries with socialist backgrounds, in leftist Berlin, the day still has legs with demos and workshops. And of course, parties: Coinciding with Frauentag this year is the debut of Lisa (Mar. 8, 21:00 at Südblock). Up the dykes! Along the same lines, Berlin's first Feminist Film Week (Mar. 8 - 13 at Babylon Mitte) is launching. With no fixed program at the time of press, I can just say that the curious cinephile who's not burned out by Berlinale should take a look. Cinematic burnout is a real thing, but if I can push you a little further, go see the films of
Jan Soldat (Mar. 24, 20:00 at Volksbühne). They skillfully document the outsiders among a homonormative gay culture. One of the three films screening – all aufDeutsch with English subs – will be the national premiere of The Incomplete, showing the son of a Nazi officer who wants to live as a slave. (So technically, that means one German sub.) Decade-tripper and new-age-stepping Swedish pop artist Neneh Cherry will be sure not to disappoint this month. The woman raw as sushi has had her hand in everything from punk to rap to pop music and returns this year with her first new solo album in 18 years, BlankProject. The one-time Slit and recent Robyn collaborator performs for the Siegessäule-presented Certain People (Mar. 6, 21:00 at Berghain). Of course I have to mention that the entrance to Neverland is open again with Gegen (Mar. 7, 23:00 at KitKatClub), Berlin's best underground party. You could actually double your pleasure there this month, as the famously hedonistic venue celebrates its two decades of existence with 20 Jahre KitKatClub (Mar. 1, 22:00). So, I've given you plenty of opportunities to catch me out and about, but if it's me you're really after, and you'd also like me to shove my music tastes (which I've been told are quite tasty) down your throat, I'll be DJing the Make Out Magazine Print
Soli-Party (Mar. 6, 22:00 at Mio'L). This isn't just shameless self-promotion; the mag itself really is a worthy addition to Berlin's queer scene and deserves your support. In all seriousness, till next month, kids.
Walter Crasshole moved from San Francisco to Berlin in 2009. He also writes for Exberliner