Reflections on Berlin Scenes
Edited By Geoff Stahl
Out on the Scene: Queer Migrant Clubbing and Urban Diversity: Kira Kosnick
Out on the Scene: Queer Migrant Clubbing and Urban Diversity1
The setting is Berlin Kreuzberg, late-night Saturday, with scores of people queuing down the block hoping to eventually make their way past the club doors in order to join the party. Over the course of an average Gayhane club night, more than one thousand people will have joined in, dancing to a mix of Turkish pop music with tunes from the Balkans, Israel, and translocal sounds between Hyderabad and London thrown in. The musical mix reflects its audience, not just in terms of its migrant origins, but in terms of its sexual ambiguities and gender expressions as well. The Gayhane club night has been created as an event to predominantly attract a “queer” Turkish-German crowd, though the party has become immensely popular among self-identified “straight” Turkish-German clubbers. Queers without migrant backgrounds and other aficionados of Turkish pop music complement the picture, to form what enthusiastic journalists at Berlin’s public-service radio station Radio MultiKulti and other media reporting have invariably termed something along the lines of a ‘colourful celebration of diversity’ or a ‘multicultural paradise.’ Other reports have instead stressed the functioning of Gayhane as a place of refuge for a doubly discriminated minority community: one that has a tough standing both in heteronormative Turkish environments and in a gay and lesbian scene in Berlin that entails different forms of racism.
The above paragraph more or less colludes with such mass media descriptions...
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