Pop-Kultur lokal: Call for Concepts

Dear friends,

dear organiser,

This year, »Pop-Kultur« will feature a brand-new element, »Pop-Kultur lokal«. »Pop-Kultur lokal« is a funded music event series held monthly from mid-April to mid-July, each time in a different location, and hosted by four different local event organisers and venues. It will focus on live performances, although combinations with DJ sets or talks are also possible. The selection of funded events will be made by a five-member jury (Kathrin Müller, Pop-Kultur, Alexandra Bondi de Antoni, i-D Magazine, Mary Ocher, musician, Dominique Schweizer, cultural manager, Anton Teichmann, Off-Kultur), in cooperation with the curators of »Pop-Kultur«. Information about »Pop-Kultur lokal« will be included in official festival communications and supported by the festival both promotionally and financially.

A festival like »Pop-Kultur« would not be possible without the local cultural agents who organise events every day – and our new »lokal« programme has been developed in collaboration with Dominique Schweizer and »Off-Kultur« in order to acknowledge and recognise this fact. With this project, we’d also like to prioritise the local promotion of young talent as well as the production of a diverse range of live concerts and additional musical activities not yet represented within »Pop-Kultur«. Participating artists must reside in Berlin.

We hereby announce an open call for all interested organisers to submit a one-page application containing a short programme description, date suggestions, and a simple financial plan by 10 a.m. on 7 March 2018, as a PDF via e-mail. The grant for concept, artists, and realisation is €2,000 per event. The events themselves should be free and unticketed.

As far as content goes: female artists must comprise at least 50% of the proposed programmes. Applicants are requested to make the event barrier-free. Efforts should likewise be made to integrate people with disabilities into the line-up, and preference will also be given to applications that explicitly address diversity and in particular take steps to strengthen the LGBT and POC communities.

The events should be scheduled to take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays. Preference will be given to venues and organisers who have not previously been supported by the Musicboard.

Applications should be sent as a PDF to info@pop-kultur.berlin (please specify whether you are applying as a private organiser or as a GbR, club, GmbH, etc).


Pop-Kultur 2018: The first 27 artists and bands

Hello, dear friends of Pop-Kultur!

It’s time to announce the first 27 artists and bands! Anyone who’s been following our ›Countdown‹ on Instagram and Facebook over the last several weeks already knows that Sophia Kennedy, John Maus, Haiyti, Henrik Schwarz & Alma Quartet, Drangsal, Noga Erez, and Kat Frankie  will be performing at our festival between 15 and 17 August 2018 at the Kulturbrauerei. Both you and we liked the Kulturbrauerei so much last year that we’ve decided to stay — after one-off affairs with Berghain (2015) and Neukölln (2016), we’ll be in Prenzlauer Berg for the second time in a row.

Kennedy, Schwarz, and Frankie are currently all chipping away at their respective ›Commissioned Works‹ (CW) for the festival. More than 15 pieces will be available to hear and see for the first time ever. And the other musicians announced above will present their latest, au-courante programmes for the stage.

And now for the 20 artists, bands, and projects that have been kept secret:  Agar Agar, Anna von Hausswolff, Ava Bonam, Boy Harsher, Chastity Belt, Chelsea WolfeEbow, »Ein Hit ist ein Hit«, Flohio, Ghostpoet, Hope & Moritz Majce (CW), International Music, Islamiq Grrrls & oOoOO, Kedr Livanskiy, Lisa Morgenstern, Myrkur, Nadine Shah, Pan Daijing (CW), »Rausch Royal« mit 21 Downbeat (CW), and Vivien Goldman. You can find detailed information about each act on our website and — yes, exactly – on Facebook and Instagram.

On our Facebook and Instagram pages you’ll also find interviews and entertaining articles about the acts. In addition to that, 1. every Wednesday, we’ll post a specially-composed fanfare by one of our performing acts; 2. every Thursday, we’ll digitally continue last year’s exhibition »Keller« by the Berlin-based concert photographer Roland Owsnitzki; and 3. every Friday we’ll introduce comic strips by Rattelschneck and Hauck & Bauer, ›Commissioned Works Online‹!

And now we’ll pass the mic over to our boss, Katja Lucker, Managing Director of Musicboard Berlin and organiser of Pop-Kultur: »We’re especially looking forward to our collaboration with RambaZamba Theatre, which will make its majestic stage available for the commissioned works by Sophia Kennedy, Pan Daijing, and Hope. Our programme will also feature a special RambaZamba-Pop-Kultur co-production in the form of the piece ›Rausch Royal‹, which the theatre will develop together with its house band, 21 Downbeat!«

And what do our Pop-Kultur curators have to say? »From sombre folk to sparkly pop, we’re representing all of the styles that, for us, sum up the status of pop in the year 2018«, according to Christian Morin. »We’ve tried to assemble as diverse a programme as possible – we want to be inclusive rather than exclusive«, says Martin Hossbach.

We’ll announce the second half of our ›Live‹ programme on 2 May, and details about our talks, panels, and film screenings will follow on 19 June.

We’ve already introduced »Pop-Kultur lokal«, our festival’s newest building block, elsewhere, but we’ll remind you here of the first associated event, which will feature East-African music. »Feast From The East« by DJ Mixanthrope will take place on 26 April in the Kreuzberg club Monarch.

If any of our newsletter readers are looking for an entry into the music industry or would appreciate tips about their music careers from renowned colleagues, please pencil 25 April into your calendars! That’s the start of the application phase for our workshop programme »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs 2018«. For some impressions from last year’s programme, click here.

So. That’s it for now. Except – ah yes, tickets! Passes! Our festival passes can be bought here for the price of €60 plus fees. Depending on availability, we’ll also offer day passes starting on 2 May.

Warmest Greetings!

Pop-Kultur

Photos:  John Maus by Shaun Brackbill, Ebow by Magdalena Fischer, Haiyti by Tim Brüning, Ghostpoet by Steve Gullick

 


Pop-Kultur Live: Further acts / start of application phase »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«

Dear Friends of Pop-Kultur,

The second half of our live programme is complete! Among the recent additions are Die Türen and Karen Gwyer. The former will present new music for the first time in years with the project »Exoterik«; the latter will perform electronic music of an unheard kind (we’re staying vague here on purpose) in the vaulted cellar of the Kulturbrauerei, which has until now never been accessible to the public. Neneh Cherry‘s last performance in Berlin was in 2015 at the Halle am Berghain as part of Pop-Kultur. This summer, in the festival’s fourth year, she will grace us with a performance of her new album in the Kesselhaus of the Kulturbrauerei, and this makes us very happy.

Our programme includes 15+ in-house productions, called »Pop-Kultur Commissioned Works«. The musical works will be developed by 21 Downbeat / Automat / Die Türen / Ein Hit ist ein Hit / Henrik Schwarz & Alma Quartet / Hope & Moritz Majce / Karen Gwyer / Kat Frankie / Pan Daijing / Staatsakt / Sophia Kennedy.

Further works dealing more with spoken word, moving image, and fine art will be announced on June 19th.

40+ concerts will be given by the artists and bands Ace Tee & Kwam.e / Agar Agar / Anna von Hausswolff / Ava Bonam / Boy Harsher / Carmen Villain / Chelsea Wolfe / Dan Michaelson / Die Mausis / Die Nerven / Drangsal / Ebow / Flohio / Gaddafi Gals / Ghostpoet / Gwenno / Haiyti / International Music / Islamiq Grrrls & oOoOO / John Maus / Kedr Livanskiy / Laura Perrudin / Lisa Morgenstern / Malik Djoudi / Mark Ernestus’ Ndagga Rhythm Force / MIAHUSH / Ms Banks / Munsha / Myrkur / Nadine Shah / Neneh Cherry / Nilüfer Yanya / Noga Erez / OY / Pranke / RÁN / Richard Dawson & Band / Shopping / Shortparis / Stockelborn / Swutscher / The White Screen / Valerie Renay / Vivien Goldman / Voyou / YGG.

Detailed information on all of our announced programme elements can be found on our website as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

Any readers of our newsletter looking for an entry point into the music industry or interested in receiving useful tips about their music career from established colleagues should apply for our workshop programme »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« before June 12th. How about a feminist rap workshop with Lady Bitch Ray? Or an intensive discussion with the producer Henrik Schwarz, whom we’ve commissioned to write an elaborate piece for the festival? Want to pick the brain of Tocotronic and Beatsteaks producer Moses Schneider? The workshops, talks, and lectures will provide inspiration, clarify urgent questions, and encourage participants to continue making their way in the music business. This year’s live programme includes three »Nachwuchs« alumni:  Ava Bonam, Hope and MIAHUSH.

Click here to buy our festival pass for the price of 60€ plus fees.

Warm regards,

Pop-Kultur

Photos: Richard Dawson, Neneh Cherry by Kim Hiorthoy, Ms Banks, Karen Gwyer by Jackie Dewe Mathews 


The time has finally come!

Dear friends of Pop-Kultur!

The time has finally come: on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, as guests at the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg, we will present our Commissioned Works, i.e. world premieres of music performances, concerts, talks, readings, films, and an exhibition, all specially produced for us. We’ve been busy for an entire year preparing for these three days. If you’d like to learn everything there is to know about the status quo of pop in the year 2018, you’ve come to the right place.

Let yourself wander and drift — after all, the most impressive experiences are often the ones we aren’t prepared for! And the most standout concerts are often the ones given by artists we never knew existed.

What’s left to say? Well, not much. We’ve described our programme in detail in past newsletters; you can find extensive information about all of our artists on Facebook and Instagram, both leading up to and during the festival; and of course you can also continue to consult our website. Visit our Ticketshop to purchase day passes and festival passes as well as 5€ tickets for the film and talk programme.

If we don’t see each other there, we’ll be hearing from each other again over the next year. We promise!

Warm regards,
Pop-Kultur

 


Border Movement/ Cooperation/ Sign Language Interpretation and Accessibility/ Pop-Kultur lokal

Dear Friends of Pop-Kultur!

We have some news to announce. You can learn more about our comprehensive programme on our website, where you can also buy day and festival passes as well as €5 talk and film tickets.

Additions to the Commissioned Works

Since its founding in 2012, the Berlin-based and Goethe-Institute-funded platform Border Movement has seen itself as a »cultural catalyst« and as such it values interactions—especially those between Germany and the South Asia region. On two different festival days at Club 23 (August 15th + 16th), the activist and journalist Sarah Chawla (New Delhi, India), the musician Mohamed Manal (Malé, Maldives), and others will represent the bandwidth of Border Movement’s work with concerts, DJ sets, and talks. The Berlin artists Anika,Dan Bodan, and (most recently) She’s Drunk have all participated in the exchange programme, and now the Pakistani artist Natasha Humera Ejaz aka Stupid Happiness Theory will come to the German capital from Islamabad.

Cooperation with the Museum in the Kulturbrauerei

Most documentaries about 1968 seem convinced of the idea that that particular year was a »pop« phenomenon. Beat and rock music are considered parts of a »soundtrack of the revolution« and Che Guevara posters are regarded as icons of political pop. If you look directly at the sources of time, though, things can sound quite different: in 1968, »Leave your guitars in the corner and talk to each other!« was a pop-friendly command generated at the Festival Chanson – Folklore International at Burg Waldeck in Hunsrück, one of the birthplaces of the German-language protest song. As part of a cooperation with the Museum in the Kulturbrauerei, the cultural historian Bodo Mrozek (Chair of Theory and History of Popular Music, HU Berlin) will discuss withKathrin Fahlenbrach (Professor of Media Studies at the University of Hamburg) and Berlin writer Bernd Cailloux (author of »The Fiscal Year 1968/69«). Entrance for the talk on August 16th is free.

Sign Language Interpretation (DGS)

As an interpreter of German sign languageLaura Schwengber has accompanied concerts and music videos by AnnenMayKantereit and the Babelsberger Filmorchester and translated Deutsch rap songs for a deaf audience with her entire body. At Pop-Kultur she will interpret the following programme elements: Kat Frankie’s commissioned work »Bad Behavior: Exploring the Sounds of Protest« (August 17th), the joint talk by Lizzie Doron and Klaus Ledererunder the title »Boycott« (August 15th), and the play and accompanying talk »Rausch Royal«, the commissioned work by the RambaZamba Theatre (August 16th + August 17th).

Accessibility

It is important to us that our festival be as barrier-free as possible. Detailed information about accessibility at our various venues can be found on our websiteFor further information please contact us by mail. 

Pop-Kultur lokal

The series »Pop-Kultur lokal«, which has made stops at Monarch, Refugio Berlin, and Schrippe Hawaii, will come to a close on July 18th and 19th at Loophole, Boddinstraße 60. Under the title »Invincibility«, six works commissioned by Loophole will be presented live by the artists ANY, Marta Zapparoli, and WJM (July 18th) as well as Angelic Sintesis, Greta Christensen, and Maria Jiki (July 19th). Entrance is free!

Warm greetings,

Pop-Kultur


Live Programme and Commissioned Works / Talks, Lectures, and Films / Talks and Film Tickets

Dear Friends of Pop-Kultur!

Our programme is now complete, and it includes a total of about 100 events – phew!

Additions to the Live Programme

Before we offer a little glimpse into our programme of talk, panel, film, and exhibitions, there’s some big news on the live music front: The Last Poets are coming to perform for us. This group of African-American musicians and poets was founded in 1968 in Harlem. If it hadn’t been for them, it wouldn’t have been for rap, basically. Also new to the programme: North America’s … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Belgium’s Choolers Division, and Norway’s Sassy 009.

Talks and Lectures

The social, cultural, political and economic action of boycotting has been a recurring theme throughout the life of Israeli writer Lizzie Doron, who will speak with Klaus Lederer, Berlin’s Senator for Culture and Media, on the first evening of the festival. Here Lederer summarises the topic from his perspective: »Is the boycott of art and of cultural exchange an effective method of bringing about change and rapprochement in a complex conflict? I doubt it very much. Such boycotts harden fronts where art dialogues might make progress. Calls for boycott against Israel are defined by demonisation and double standards, and they serve and promote anti-semitic thinking patterns«. Meanwhile, the author Josefine Rieks (»Serverland«) promises »a combination of contemporary lecture und classic YouTube party«, and more talks traverse topics like the disappearance of subcultural spaces (Kosmetiksalon Babette, Jonny Knüppel) and the new communication style between fans and artists (one of the talks initiated by journalist Salwa Houmsi, with rapper Ahzjumjot and Backspin editor-in-chief Kevin Rühländer) or act as components of our commissioned works.

Commissioned Works

In the commissioned work »Pop-Hayat« curated by Yeşim Duman, the Golden Pudel resident, ByteFM presenter, female:pressure activist, and event organiser condenses her involvement in the queer club scene and the post-migrant discourse, bringing a diverse array of creative types onto the stages of our festival. Her project encompasses a screening of the film »Shakedown« as well as round-table discussions with writer Fatma Aydemir, rapper Lady Bitch Ray, MISSY Magazine journalist Hengameh Yaghoobifarah, and the artists Ebru Düzgün aka Ebow aka Gaddafi Gals. As another part of »Pop-Hayat«, we will set up the installation »T-Unlimited – the Pop-Hayat Çaystube« by the Berlin artist Nuray Demir in front of the Soda Club. And we’ve even put Friday night’s closing party at Frannz Club in Duman’s hands.

When in doubt, Lydia Lunch has always been in favor of being against things. Fittingly, the movement she and her contemporaries built in late-1970s New York was called No Wave. Because punk didn’t go far enough in its break with rock’n’roll, Lunch and her kindred spirits pushed the abandoned genre to its extreme, i.e. until it was on its very head. So where was No Wave headed, and where is it heading now? Lunch will answer these questions via a special commissioned work, a discussion, and a workshop.

Irmin Schmidt played with the best band in the world and hasn’t stopped writing »Musikgeschichten« [»Music Stories«] since. On three evenings at Pop-Kultur, he will share memories from a long life and show films that he himself or his band CAN set to music. Alongside screenings of »Mord in Eberswalde« [»Murder in Eberswalde«] and »Deadlock«, Schmidt will speak with Stephan Wagner, the director of the »Mord in Eberswalde«, about the movie’s soundtrack. TAZ editor Ulrich Gutmair will present the composer with recordings of unfamiliar music, and Schmidt will speak with the writer Max Dax about the recently-published band biography »All Gates Open: The Story of Can«.

The Full Programme

For detailed information about all programme elements, including those we couldn’t mention here because of limited space, visit our website—plus we’re also pretty darn active on Facebook and Instagram.

Tickets for Talks and Films

As was the case last year, we’re offering tickets—one for each of the three festival days—that allow entrance to all the given day’s talks and film screenings. They cost €5 + fees.

Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs

The deadline for our »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« workshop programme has passed. We’re looking forward to reviewing 779 applications from 63 countries and to welcoming illustrious mentors such as moderator Salwa Houmsi and artists such as ANDRRA, Balbina, Ilgen-Nur, International Music, Swutscher, and Vivien Goldman.

Pop-Kultur Lokal

The series »Pop-Kultur lokal«, which until now has taken place at Monarch and Refugio Berlin, will make another stop on June 20th at Schrippe Hawaii with the event »Mash Banger«. See you there!

Best wishes,

Pop-Kultur


Day Tickets Now on Sale / Further Acts for PK Live

Day Tickets Now on Sale / Further Acts for PK Live: ANDRRA & DIVES / Pop-Kultur Lokal on May 24th at Refugio

Dear Friends of Pop-Kultur,

Starting today you can buy day passes! These tickets cost €25 + fees and provide entry to all— that’s right, all— daytime events, as long as the capacity of the respective venues hasn’t been exceeded. Also available is the festival pass, which costs €60 plus fees. You can find out who plays when and where on our website, though of course we hope you’ll make it to the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg on all three festival days.

We’ll also take this opportunity to announce two other recent pieces of news: the live programme now includes the Austrian rock band DIVES and the Berlin-based Rosenheim native, former Musicboard scholarship holder and Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs alumni ANDRRA, whose political, well-informed pop still takes our breath away.

You can find extensive information about all of our announced programme elements on our website as well as on Facebook and Instagram. We will provide details about our talks, panels, and film screenings on June 19th.

Any readers of this newsletter looking for an entry into the music industry or interested in receiving tips about their music careers from established colleagues should apply immediately for our workshop programme »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«. The application deadline has just been extended to June 12th.

Our series »Pop-Kultur lokal« had a very successful start last month in the Kreuzberg club Monarch. The second event of the series will take place on May 24th at Refugio Berlin in Neukölln (Lenaustraße 3-4, 12047 Berlin). »New City Sounds #1« is organised by GSBTB – Open Music School. Starting at 4 pm, it will offer music workshops for women. This will be followed by a podium discussion focusing on the situation for Berlin-based female musicians with migration backgrounds. It will ask: is the Berlin music scene as open as we think? The live programme then features appearances by GSBTB students and performances by Yaramiso, AVIA, Party Fears, and Adi Amati + MELI & Hz8.

Warmest greetings,

Pop-Kultur


Background, facts, and our official statement about the boycott against Pop-Kultur 2018

11.05.18

Pop-Kultur is funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe of the State of Berlin, the European Fund for Regional Development (ERDF), and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. Individual artists can receive support from the national cultural institute or embassy of their respective country, and this is a common practice within international cultural exchange. We cooperate with all countries officially recognised by the Federal Republic of Germany. Partners and sponsors have no influence over the programming of the festival. Our cooperation with the cultural institutions of individual countries depends on the artistic decisions made in the process of programming the festival.

As it was in 2017, Pop-Kultur has once again been declared a boycott target of the international BDS-Network (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and PACBI (Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) in 2018. The goal of this campaign is the economic, cultural, and political isolation of Israel. We have received e-mails requesting that the official cooperation with the Cultural Department of the Israeli Embassy be discontinued and that the embassy’s logo, which is included on our website as a measure of transparency and represents the travel and accommodation contribution of €1,200, be taken offline. Various artists have also received messages in which they were asked to boycott the festival. The British band Shopping, the British musician Richard Dawson & Band, and the British Band Gwenno have cancelled their performances.

We will collaborate with the Cultural Department of the Israeli embassy this year because our 2018 lineup includes three Israeli artists. We will receive a total travel and accommodation contribution of €1,200 from the embassy. Currently the Israeli embassy is one of five festival partners contributing artist and travel support. The Bureau Export is contributing €3,400 for six French artists, and the British Council is contributing £18,000 (British Pounds) to the Project “Mix the City” to be presented at Pop-Kultur.  Moreover Austrian Music Export and Music Norway support local artists with direct travel support. This type of collaboration is common at festivals, events, and exhibitions of all genres.

Pop-Kultur maintains a clear and steadfast position: We are not intimidated by boycotts. If there are artists who don’t want to perform at our festival because we receive travel and accommodation support from the Israeli embassy in Berlin, we very much regret that. However, the boycott, the refusal to perform, is not our decision. We are always open to having constructive dialogues. It’s important to us to support the freedom of artistic and verbal expression and to seek out meaningful exchange in this context. We believe that discourse and dialogue are the only means through which to deal with conflicts in this world. We as cultural workers have a special responsibility for establishing networks across borders, even when we disagree.

Pop-Kultur

UPDATE 05.06.18: John Maus and band have cancelled their show at Pop-Kultur. They »prefer not to play within a politicised setting« (John Maus).

UPDATE 13.06.18: Nadine Shah has cancelled her show at Pop-Kultur. Her British agency writes: »None of us could have foreseen the events of 14th May on the Gaza/Israel border when this booking was agreed. Force majeure.«

UPDATE 09.07.18: Alun Woodward (Chemikal Underground) has cancelled his »Mix The City« talk: »In the present climate and in particular because of recent events I’m not wanting to be involved«.