The north of Berlin-Neukölln was even more wild than usual during the Pop-Kultur festival from August 31st until September 2nd. One constantly ran into old and new friends; »You’re going to see Thurston Moore? I’m on my way to see Levin Goes Lightly, let’s meet at the Abra-Show later!« Just swaying to A-WA (or doing the Halay with Selda Bağcan), and then right back into the »Body War« moshpit with Show Me The Body in the dripping hot KELLER. Or maybe a quick snack?
You and 9500 other guests attended the second Pop-Kultur festival to see more than 80 international artists in 6 locations and on 8 stages. But what does remain?
Well, Kurt Cobain’s lighter doesn’t. The central exhibit of Scott Kings partially displayed collection of pop memorabilia was unfortunately stolen on the last festival day. Please submit all information on the exhibits location to us online.
As our Art Director King wants to expand his collection, we warmly recommend the following objects to remember Pop-Kultur 2016 by: Joel Gibb’s shimmering golden suit, that he wore playing new fantastic The Hidden Cameras material in his solo set; the watery napkin, Zebra Katz used as a note for his prominent guest list in spite of all material resistance; the safety vest, Frankie Cosmos wore to change tires on the Autobahn before wearing it for her show in the packed and humid Keller. And of course the bracers Selda Bağcan, unfortunately, had to wear, because she – in her own words – had to evade one of her twenty cats while feeding them and fell.
»Yaz gazeteci yaz!« Write, your journalists, write! Bağcan sang her legendary song even twice during her show at Huxleys Neue Welt, as the first song and in the praised second encore. With this song, originally meant to make the Turkish press report on the neglected grievances in the country’s east, the great singer with the incomparable voice was representative of a program of strong-willed artists with an attitude, to whom Pop is always reflective of society as well.
Talking of extraordinary readings: On the stage of the Passage Kino, where Graf Fidi and Enno Park discussed Cyborgs and Disabilities and Juliana Huxtable and Fatima Al Qadiri dismantled the lyrical ex- and inclusion of national anthems in a highly interesting talk, Hendrik Otremba, known from his band Messer, exclusively read first excerpts from his upcoming debut novel. The enthralling detective thriller was accentuated with live effects by his colleague Raune. Rat-ta-ta-tat makes the motorcycle.
Next to other Pop-Kultur acts such as SassyBlack and Colin Newman – as well as further experts like Stephanie von Beauvais, Tina Adams, and Björn Beneditz, Otremba and Herbert gave one of the 42 workshops for the 250 participants of the Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs program. Supported by the Goethe-Institut, almost 500 young people from 24 countries had applied for the program: Uruguay, Colombia, India, Congo, South Africa, Argentina, Malaysia, the Philippines, Tanzania, Venezuela, Hong Kong, the USA, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, France, Russia, Poland, Egypt and Germany. 250 chosen talents were now able to educate themselves further, collect new inspirations and make new contacts.
The latter was also done by the many representatives of the scene, the music industry and culture politics who met during Pop-Kultur 2016, e.g. with James Minor, General Manager of one of the most important festivals of the world, the SXSW in Austin, Texas. And not a few agents sought contact to the team of the KELLER, where they might be seen more often in the near future.
»No other festival in Berlin offers a comparable stylistic range. The programmatic diversity is unique and I am very proud of the large proportion of great female artists, that made up a lot of highlights of the Pop-Kultur program. What other festival exhibits such a balance in its booking and asks the same kind of questions as the Pop-Kultur talk program does?«
(Katja Lucker, Head of the Pop-Kultur festival and of the Musicboard Berlin)
A lot has happened in those three days and nights. We have borrowed the closing remarks from Otremba’s upcoming debut novel, as heard in the aforementioned reading: »What was going on in this world? It orbited the sun.«
In conclusion: Thank you for being there! Thanks to all artists and lecturers, all contributors, the teams of SchwuZ, Vollgutlager, Huxleys, Heimathafen, Passage Kino, KELLER, Prachtwerk, von Young Arts Neukölln, the KinderKünsteZentrum and the Hofperle.
May you have many bright days until the next Pop-Kultur Festival.
Because we’ll return in 2017.
We’re already looking forward to it!