When did Gegen start? Do you remember the first night you slept?
The first Gegen was back on January 8, 2011, at MIKZ-Club in Revaler Straße. I remember the guests were pretty much the same ones who came to Sabotage, an event I had organized up to a year before, but they were mixed together in this intertwining of connections that the collaboration with my partners at the time , war bear and Thomas Hemstad, had created.
The underground rave and punk scene that I was part of suddenly clashed with the Warbear scene, a more mature, fetish and bear audience, and the Thomas scene, which was characterized by an esoteric and experimental crowd. . This rapprochement has made Gegen Berlin the Alexanderplatz of the queer scene, a crossroads of bodies and identities from different worlds.
Why is it necessary for Gegen to exist? Why did you create the collective?
Because it still offers a neutral and safe(r) space for all this multitude of identities to encounter and explore different realities that normally would never intersect in the everyday world. When we started this collective, this part was missing from the scene, there were gay parties, women only parties and punk parties. Our community was very fragmented and divided and there was no common playing field for all those creatures that didn’t conform to those groups.
What sets you apart from the rest of Berlin nightlife?
Gegen isn’t just a party, it’s a tool we use to convey social issues and raise awareness for gender equality and inclusion. Each of our events is followed by a concept in which we criticize or question a fact that is often obvious to us, breaking it down and listing its various nuances whether positive or negative, or simply raising awareness of this what it actually represents.
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Where does the name come from?
The name comes from a semantic conflict. In German, the word takes on a very strict meaning of “against”, but when it comes to time, it means “around”. This antithesis of two meanings perfectly embodies the essence of our party, which wants to contradict all that is prejudice and, at the same time, show you a new reality that you will have to assimilate and normalize.