breaking the trance

conversation (October 2019)
A conversation with Sky Deep, Bianca Ludewig, Wanda Vrasti. curated and moderated by Lou Drago.

Dancing, listening to music, meeting new people, strengthening existing friendships and potentially consuming drugs are experiences that collectively could define raving — one of many forms of escapism. This kind of escapism provides much needed distraction and relief from often harsh realities. In times of global crises, such as the present, escape can be a necessary tool for self-preservation, but is there a moment where this escape becomes a habit of absolving oneself from engaging in ‘real life’? Berlin’s club scene exploded as a result of the chaotic political climate after the fall of the wall and the intersection of new musics that were being developed in and being brought to Europe. However, this revolution was quickly absorbed, as capitalism filled the gaps within the chaos, with Berlin nightlife rising to global prominence. This now represents a 1,5 billion Euro per year industry. Despite this inevitable co-option and commercialisation of club culture, new initiatives and communities centred around certain common values or struggles continue to emerge. Although these initiatives are fundamental for marginalised communities to continue to have sites for solidarity, it remains necessary to discuss the ways in which room can be given to allow such communities to grow. The club remains the most effective site for rehearsing alternate realities, microcosms of egalitarian community building, organising, caring, and implicating non-authoritarian justice systems. As we have seen historically, there is a huge political potential in the coming-together of people who value certain types of freedom and who are not content with hegemonic systems, but what does it take to extend these practices into the ‘real world’?

This talk was part of 3HD Festival curated by Anja Weigl, Daniela Seitz and Tomke Braun.