What we take for granted can get taken away so quickly. From the very beginning, festivals like Pop-Kultur have been based on people convening in the most crowded spaces to experience music together. But right now, doing this would endanger the community rather than strengthen it. The festival world is upside-down, and so are we.
But Pop-Kultur is still happening. Under new conditions and differently from before. Because we are fortunate enough to be able to do so, and because we see the crisis not as an opportunity but rather as a task: It’s up to all of us to create new forms of community. Like the hyphen in our name, Pop-Kultur is about connecting the perspectives of pop musicians with the culture of society. Now this year, as we start anew, Pop-Kultur will connect the whole wide world with our home city at www.pop-kultur.berlin.
From the 26th to the 28th of August, that’s where acts such as 21 Downbeat, CATNAPP, Isolation Berlin, Mavi Phoenix, Preach, Noga Erez, The Düsseldorf Düsterboys and The Notwist will present audio-visual contributions of all sorts, all combined into one long show each day. After each streaming premiere, the productions and performances can be found in full at the Mediathek on our website. Access is, of course, free of charge and strives to be barrier-free.
For 2020, Pop-Kultur is more international than ever. Cartel Madras, Jessy Lanza and King Khan all represent Canada in very different ways, Wanlov the Kubolor of the duo FOKN Bois takes us on a city walk through the Ghanaian capital of Accra, Yugen Blakrok from South Africa shows us her farm in Spain, and Jojo Abot goes on an ancestral search in Los Angeles. Belarusian duo Super Besse even splits into two, playing their songs together from Berlin and Minsk, while Mpho Sebina joins S.Fidelity and Echo joins Tellavision in international residency programmes connecting Botswana and Israel and Germany, respectively. Regional perspectives from Berlin also get represented globally: two editions of Pop-Kultur lokal will also be held online this year.
As you can see, there will be many new experiences at Pop-Kultur 2020 that go beyond the familiar, taking more chances than was ever necessary before. And it’s definitely not limited to music. In addition to our Fanfares and the interdisciplinary Commissioned Works, which Chikiss and hackedepicciotto will also contribute to this year, there will be contributions by Galouchë Galore and Jammerpunk on our social media channels and website, as well as an extensive series of interviews called »10 Questions With…,« which kicks off this week with SADO OPERA. Even before the festival itself begins, the discussion about pop and culture is already in full swing.
After all, whenever we deal with culture, we also ask questions about the nature of our society and its potential. Leyla Yenirce, Pamela Owusu-Brenyah and Yeşim Duman will be doing this literally in their talks. And we do need to talk, right now, more urgently than ever. The world is changing rapidly, but not on its own. We know a few people who can help.
We definitely want you to be there, too, from the 26th to the 28th of August at Pop-Kultur. This year not only in Berlin, but everywhere – at www.pop-kultur.berlin. See you there?
26.-28. August, happening online.
SESSIONS 24/7 Diva Heaven / Eat Lipstick / Isolation Berlin / MADANII & LLUCID / Mavi Phoenix / The Düsseldorf Düsterboys / The Notwist COMMISSIONED WORKS CATNAPP presents »DAMAGE Experience« / Chikiss presents »Silent Cinema in Modern Sound« / hackedepicciotto remixed / King Khan: »Rat-Tribution Now« / Preach: »Fathoeburger« COMMISSIONED WORKS DIGITAL Galouchë Galore / Jammerpunk / Pop-Kultur Fanfaren DIGITAL WORKS 21 Downbeat / Cartel Madras / Eden Derso / Evija Vēbere / Hendrik Otremba / Jessy Lanza / Jojo Abot / Mueran Humanos / Noga Erez / SADO OPERA / Super Besse / Theodora / Wanlov The Kubolor (FOKN Bois) / Yugen Blakrok TALK »DO IT YOURSELF: African Music Festivals«: Elena Schulz-Görner, Jumoke Adeyanju, Pamela Owusu-Brenyah, Wale Davies / »Ping Pong Hayat and the Art of Staying Alive«: Joana Tischkau, Reyhan Şahin, Ronya Othmann, Yeşim Duman / »Speaking of Sampling«: Azadê Peşmen, Enis Maci, Jesseline Sarkodie, Leyla Yenirce FILM »Contradict. Ideas for a New World« DIGITAL RESIDENCIES Goethe Residency: Mpho Sebina & S. Fidelity / Digital Residency Tel Aviv-Berlin: Echo & Tellavision