If you think Berlin’s Mitte district is cool nowadays then by golly you should have seen it just after the wall came down.
Though I wasn’t there personally for the fun and games, judging by this new book from Gestalten the entire area became a cross between Mad Max and the Wild Style for most of the nineties. Once the wall came down and David Hasselhof pissed off back to Malibu this area was a pretty anarchic, anything goes kind of place, attracting all manner of creative nutters from all over the world. Though now full of super cool shops selling dead expensive jeans/coffee/absinthe, back then the crumbling buildings of the Mitte district played host to far more subcultural shenanigans where expressionist exhibitions, pounding techno raves, avant garde galleries and all manner of forward thinking, revolutionary type stuff (occasionally carried out in the nude) sprang up. In my eyes this scene is somewhat reminiscent of what was happening around Hulme in Manchester at the same time but perhaps without all the gangsters and SPG vans ruining the party. So if you’re a fan of modern Berlin (and frankly who isn’t, it’s ace) then this book with it’s 200 plus photographs provides a handy visual explanation as to just where it got it’s unique vibe from.
Buy it HERE.