A new book from photographer Marie Staggat and journalist Timo Stein has captured Berlin’s iconic clubbing venues during lockdown.
As the pandemic led to an involuntary silence descending on what were once the city’s loudest locations, Staggat and Stein visited 40 clubs between April and December 2020, interviewing those that keep the German capital’s club scene going: managers, bartenders, talent bookers, DJs, toilet attendants, bouncers, and janitors.
During their club quarantine tour, they encountered people who are not only struggling to keep their jobs, but also fear losing the locations closest to their hearts.
The resulting book, HUSH – Berlin Club Culture in a Time of Silence, is not just a document of clubs during the coronavirus crisis; at second glance, it’s also a book about what ‘home’ means to certain people.
In compiling the book, a selection of photos from which can be found below, Staggat and Stein met enterprising, despondent, but also resilient individuals who provided a glimpse not only into their personal situations, but also into their spaces.
They descended into old breweries, entered power plants, locations under S-Bahn arches, parking garages, single-family homes, signal towers, backyards, cellar vaults, boats, and carriage houses. Spaces created primarily in the eastern part of Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall – during a time when party pioneers were transforming derelict industrial landscapes into venues for creativity and freedom. Lost places with a history.
Marie Staggat, who started working at Tresor at the age of 21, is a renowned photographer whose work has been seen most recently at the ELECTRO exhibition at the Philharmonie de Paris, which was also on display at the Design Museum in London since 2020. She published her first book, 313ONELOVE, about Detroit’s electronic music scene, in 2016.
Timo Stein, meanwhile, most recently worked as an editor and reporter for the Swiss online news platform Watson, and has previously contributed to the music magazine Spex, Austria’s Jüdisches Echo, Germany’s Der Tagesspiegel and Rhein-Zeitung daily newspapers, and many more.
HUSH – Berlin Club Culture in a Time of Silence, will be published in early March 2021 by Parthas Verlag and will be available for purchase on the publishing company’s website www.parthasverlag.de, directly from the clubs themselves, or at leading bookstores in Germany.
Proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to support the clubs in Berlin that were involved in the project.
[Thanks to Marie for sending through the photos]