On Saturday November 30th the accompanying talk curated by Kajet Journal is held at the exhibition and space of ZÖNOTÉKA in Neukölln, and takes up central topics on the theme “Subcultural Peripheries: Remapping the East”. Event takes place on Saturday from 4pm, Facebook event here. 

The cultural spaces of Europe have continued to be divided even long after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Despite the benefits of globalisation, increased mobility, and widespread access to technology and foreign cultures, Eastern Europe is still seen as lagging behind and non-progressive.

Within this circuit of transactions, there is a sharp contrast between what happens intellectually, artistically, and culturally in Eastern Europe and how these ideas are disseminated within a Western sphere of action. Regardless of this, Eastern Europe has blossoming local scenes that manage to translate their marginal condition into artistic practices, and this topography of pain into powerful pockets of creativity.

This talk seeks to explore what happens beyond the core and the normative centre. By tackling the existing master narratives, can an emphasis placed on marginality and periphery give way to the possibility to create a community of struggle across borders? How can subcultural forms of artistic expression create a framework of transnational (Eastern European) solidarity? With panelists:

Alexander Pehlemann—journalist, curator, organizer. Since 1993 he has been editor and publisher of Zonic Magazine, an holds a special interest in Eastern European subcultures. He is the DJ-selector for Al-Haca Sound System, and writes for regional and national music magazines. He also produces the Zonic Radio Show. He’s curated numerous exhibitions and compilations focused on Eastern European underground culture. 

Artjom Astrov—musician, multimedia artist and founder of the Serious Serious collective.

Ira Merzlichin—member of the Paradaiz collective, an organisation whose main goals are the exploration, mediation and support of inter-cultural exchanges as engines of preserving cultural diversity and creating tolerance between what is considered minority and majority, peripheral and central.

Anita Jóri—a research associate at Berlin University of the Arts (Universität der Künste Berlin). Her research and publications focus on electronic (dance) music cultures and their diversity and gender issues. She’s just finished editing two upcoming volumes at Springer Publishing: Music & Empowerment and The “New“ Age of Electronic Dance Music and Club Cultures. Since 2018 Anita is also a chairperson of the German Association for Music Business and Music Culture Research (GMM). She’s part of the curatorial team of CTM Festival’s discourse program

At the same venue a selection of related video art curated by the D’EST will be on view. D’EST: A Multi-Curatorial Online Platform for Video Art from the Former ‘East’ and ‘West’ is a project initiated by Ulrike Gerhardt with DISTRICT Berlin.  D'EST is a Berlin- based online audiovisual platform that reflects the post-socialist transformation along post- geographic, horizontal, and feminist focus topics.  

The talk is taking place in the context of the Easterndaze x Berlin event. Established in 2010, the blog Easterndaze (easterndaze.net) has explored and mapped local DIY scenes operating in Eastern and Central Europe. Founders Lucia Udvardyova and Peter Gonda travelled across the region to record interviews and collect perspectives on how contemporary artists and independent music-related initiatives operate in the region and its socio-political context. The initial result was a series of audio documentaries which then expanded to: a label (Baba Vanga); a networking initiative; radio shows (Resonance FM, Czech Radio, Berlin’s Cashmere Radio); and finally, events around the region, as well as the festival’s first two editions in Berlin (2016, 2018). As the fascination with and discourse around contemporary Eastern European culture gradually enters the mainstream, Easterndaze remains one of the pillars of these investigations nearly a decade strong.

Featured image: ZÖNOTÉKA