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Poor, but Sexy

Reflections on Berlin Scenes

Edited By Geoff Stahl

Poor, But Sexy: Reflections on Berlin Scenes offers readers a varied cross-section of the city’s scenes, providing a prismatic view of one of Europe’s mythical cultural capitals. The authors gathered here address a range of topics, including Turkish gay clubs, queer filmmaking, record labels, the legendary Russendisko, electronic music festivals, the city’s famous techno scene, the clandestine dimensions of its nighttime club culture, and the fraught emergence of the Mediaspree. With the shifting context of post-Wende Berlin its backdrop, this collection puts into relief an electic array of case studies, presenting to readers interested in exploring urban issues a number of critical and analytical perspectives on the city’s cultural life as it moves into the twenty-first century. Poor, But Sexy is an important contribution to the critical analysis of the cultural spaces in the city, and allows readers access to one of the few scholarly overviews of Berlin’s varied cultural life available in English.
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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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