• BA


"The greatest cultural extravagance imaginable" (David Bowie)

“Paris is always Paris and Berlin is never Berlin” (Jack Lang, ex minister of culture, discussing how fast the city changes). An always different urban scene, one of the biggest cultural capitals in the world where nothing stays more visible than what is attempted to be cancelled: “Here events are scars on the face of history, but their evocative ability is intact” (Mattia Carzaniga, Rivista Studio). Berlin never stops growing and including as much as possible. Without a defined centre because it is constantly creating new ones, what was yesterday occupied by squatters can easily be a hangout for young families.According to Numbeo data, a worldwide database which monitors the cost of life, Berlin in fact is an incredible city accessible to everyone: much cheaper than London and Milan, here the monthly cost of a kindergarten is 56 euros (unlike the 634 in Milan) and the medium salary is 2,000 euros (in Milan it is 1,500).“Arm, aber sexy”, “Poor but sexy”, as described in 2004 by Klaus Wowereit, ex mayor of the city. Very sexy. Parties, raves, electronica. There’s no need for luxury to have fun. A wall is enough to transmit emotions. Paradise for young artists, designer, writers and musicians, what is “alternative” for us, is mainstream in Berlin. Pervaded by an inextinguishable energy, creativity and innovation, especially at night, Berlin has always been considered even during the Weimar Republic, to be the paradise of partying. Post-hipster, post-alternative, at Berghain, international temple of electronic music, the long weekend is a must stop over, even too mainstream by now.

―Here events are scars on the face of history

In a city where everything changes at such speed it isn’t easy to identify what is really underground today. The parties organised by Buttons certainly are: super select entry, staff applies stickers on phone cameras to be sure the public respects everyone’s privacy. And once in, we are submerged by the best selections of Berlin electronic music. Parties lasting from Thursday to Sunday, without stopping, in which the rule is excess in all its forms. Here, like in the whole city, each layer of society looks for its niche, to be shared with everyone else.
Even today when old punks have become fathers, squatters are social media managers, and hipsters have transformed in elegant designers, differences are still a priceless treasure in Berlin.

Alessandro Di Giacomo
All photos, courtesy Buttons Berlin: Ema Discordant photography / discordant23.tumblr.com