Ulrich Gutmair: The First Days of Berlin

Foto: Ben de Biel


Reading, discussion and Dj-Set


1. June 2022, 21:00


Kadife Sokak No:18/A


English and Turkish


Free of charge

9 pm: reading and discussion with Ulrich Gutmair and Nükhet Polat, moderated by Pia Entenmann.
Reading in Turkish, discussion in English
Photos by Ben de Biel
10 pm: DJ set with DJ Khan of Finland

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, a utopian space opened up for a few years in the centre of Berlin. Houses were squatted, bars opened, galleries and techno clubs founded. In his book Die ersten Tage von Berlin (The First Days of Berlin), now published in Turkish by Kolektif Publishers, Ulrich Gutmair, a current resident at Tarabya Cultural Academy, lets DJs, squatters, artists, former GDR dissidents, punks and ravers have their say. He also looks at the city itself. Where did all the derelict buildings come from? How did gentrification play out?

At the Turkish book premiere at Arkaoda in Kadiköy, the editor Nükhet Polat will read short excerpts from the Turkish edition of Die ersten Tage von Berlin. Pia Entenmann will then talk to Gutmair about the book and its genesis. Afterwards, Can Oral, alias Khan of Finland, himself a leading figure in the book, will bring the spirit of 1990s Berlin to life and play house music and techno.

An event organised by Tarabya Cultural Academy in cooperation with Arkaoda and Kolektif Kitap.

Ulrich Gutmair studied history and journalism at the Free University of Berlin. He has been writing about history, pop and literature for daily newspapers and magazines for a good twenty years. Since 2007 he has been the cultural editor of the taz. In his book Die ersten Tage von Berlin. Der Sound der Wende (The First Days of Berlin. The Sound of Change), which was published by Klett-Cotta in 2018, he traced the anarchic years of the city after 1989. Gutmair lives and works in Berlin. He was a fellow of Tarabya Cultural Academy from October 2019 to January 2020, from July to August 2020 and again in May 2022.

Khan of Finland, Can “Khan” Oral, born to Turkish-Finnish parents, has been working and living in Berlin as a theatre, film and music producer, performer and visual artist since 2002. Khan moves at the interface of the digital and the real. He is interested in new subcultural behaviours that emerge from our digital interaction and shared real life. In his art, he transcends these poles. His collaborators include Diamanda Galas, Julee Cruise, Kim Gordon, Brigitte Fontaine, Kid Congo Powers, J Mascis, Little Annie, Jon Spencer, Andre Williams and Baba Zula.

Nükhet Polat was born in Günzburg, Germany, in 1978. She studied Italian philology and German language and literature at Istanbul University. Polat has worked for various publishing houses and is currently doing a PhD on contemporary German literature.

Pia Entenmann has been the artistic director of Tarabya Cultural Academy in Istanbul since 2017. She has worked for the Goethe-Institut since 2011, including in Brussels, Paris and Munich. Previously, she worked as a freelance cultural journalist for various print media during and after her studies in Romance languages, English/American studies and history at the universities of Stuttgart and Montpellier.