Street Culture

Love it or hate it, Berlin is a place where street culture flourishes. From the boulevards of Charlottenburg to the back alleys of Kreuzburg, the city is awash with creative industry, political ideology and a Do – It – Yourself attitude that pervades art, music literature and food. Its innovative energy can be taken as […]

Love it or hate it, Berlin is a place where street culture flourishes. From the boulevards of Charlottenburg to the back alleys of Kreuzburg, the city is awash with creative industry, political ideology and a Do – It – Yourself attitude that pervades art, music literature and food. Its innovative energy can be taken as an act of open defiance against a century of war, division and strife. Berlin’s street culture is a legacy of the anarchists, punks and pacifists who flocked to West Berlin in the early 1970’s to avoid conscription into the US army. With little resistance from the Government, they formed squats, opened business and used the bare walls as a canvas for their ideologies and beliefs.

During the chaos of Reunification, this crowd of street artists, performance poets and political satirists joined forces with their East German counterparts. Together, they created a wave of creativity so strong that it continues to permeate. But what is Street Culture ? Can it be defined ? Street Culture draws on such a wide variety of genres that it is difficult to capture. It is born of punk and hip-hop, of skateboarding and BMX, of political activism and defiance of the establishment. By its very nature, it is Do – It -Yourself and make your own rules.

This chapter merely scratches the surface and gives a brief glimpse into the treasure trove that Berlin has to offer. We would encourage you to read it and, in keeping with the theme, go out and chase it for yourself..find out more Travel Writing Berlin

Feature ALIAS: For a chance to see how its urban surroundings can bring a piece of street art to life, keep an eye out for the works of ALIAS, which are often but not exclusively found at a low level on walls and buildings. ALIAS works are diverse and nearly always ac­companied by his distinc­tive signature. Some of his more distinguishable campaigns include the portrayal of hoodie-clad teenagers in various de­pictions of despair and estrangement. His haun­ting representations of disaffected and vulne­rable youth take on a new dimension of vulne­rability when they do not reach further than your knees. Add to this the harsh brickwork that ALIAS chooses for his stencils and the more traditional tagging that often ends up surroun­ding it, and you really get a sense of the defen­celessness that ALIAS is illustrating. With no for­mal training to recom­mend him, it is an even bigger accolade that ALIAS’ work has made it into galleries across Ger­many, into Italy, Turkey and the UK. Despite this acclaim, however, ALIAS seems to be in no rush to abandon the streets of Berlin so keep an eye out for his latest installa­tions.

Team Curso/CTR Berlin
Cate Hopkins

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