You don’t need to be political. But…
You don’t need to be political. This is a fact. But, you see, if you start thinking about what being political means, within the club culture social environment, you may find out you can enjoy your clubbing experience even more. Recently two big events have been on a spotlight, in a way that goes far beyond the “who’s playing, who’s the top dj, who’s the top event” routine: Bassiani, described by Resident Advisor as “the focal point of Tbilisi’s thriving dance scene”, has been shut down by the local Georgian authorities. Not the first and unluckily not even the last club shut down by authorities, but this time there was a difference: this thing was clearly political, as Bassiani activism for LGBT rights and, generally speaking, freedom of expression was barely tolerated by the Georgian Interior Minister Giorgi Giakhaira, who ordered the raid against the Tbilisi club. Bassiani was the symbol of a society that the far-right wing of the Georgian political scenario didn’t want to accept or tolerate; it became a sort of symbol. And because it was a symbol indeed, the reaction to the shutting down of the club was overwhelming. You may see down here what happened, no words needed.
At the end, the club was re-opened. A very special Boiler Room night has been hosted a few days ago, just for instance.
Now, let’s go to Berlin. Once again, it’s the 27th of May: more than 70,000 people have gathered through the streets of the German capital. AfD wegbassen – Reclaim Club Culture against Nazis was the reason. You may have an explanation here: “The suit-and-tie-Nazis of the AfD and the German Bratwursts of Pegida are planning a big march in the center of Berlin on Sunday, May 27th. The Berlin community is rising against this – and among it the clubs and open air scene. No dancefloor for Nazis. The Berlin club culture is everything that Nazis are not. And everything they hate. We are progressive, queer, feminist, anti-racist, inclusive, colourful and we have unicorns. On our dancefloors people from all backgrounds unite, with diverse desires, changing identities and good taste. In contrast the AfD and Pegida embody a repressive, hetero-normative, anti-feminist and racist image of society. Their goals are ethnic affiliation, the reconstitution of national homogenic states and the stigmatization of everybody they do not want to belong. On May 27th they want to rally for their inhumane ideology at the Kanzlerinnenamt in order to keep up and increase pressure from the right. Visible symptoms of this strategy are tightening government policies against refugees, increasing so-called “security measures” and the climax of tastelessness – the Heimatministerium. We cannot dance to this state of things. Our party will crash their march. We are inviting the Berlin party scene to the after hour – bass away the AfD march. Come to Berlin-Mitte on May 27th or do your own thing – with or without a sound system”.
Follow us carefully, now. It’s not a matter of who you vote. It’s not a matter that you have to be left-oriented, or the opposite, to properly enjoy a clubbing experience. It’s not about that. Say it again: it’s not about that. Actually, it’s merely about the fact that freedom of expression has to be granted and yes, it’s definitely welcome. It’s not about left or right: it’s about who’s aware of how important it is to let people express their feelings, orientations and emotions, if they do no harm to anyone. You have all the freedom to believe in what you want to believe, but imposing your personal political and social views&habits to other people makes a difference. You have to be aware of that. As you may constantly remember that one day, sooner or later, it sure could happen that you have the power to impose your personal political and social views&habits, yes it could, but it could happen the very same thing – but the opposite way. And that’s not pleasant: imagine you are denied to see your best friends, to listen to the music you love the most, to walk freely outside in the streets, to attend events you’d love to attend. Even If it’s clear and blatant that all you do makes no harm to anyone.
It’s not a matter of who you vote. It’s not a matter that you have to be left-oriented, or the opposite, to properly enjoy a clubbing experience
These denials, well, they happen all around the world. So many times a day. In so many places. Continuously. We know that. We’re not naïve. “Peace, unity, love & having fun” is, by now, more of a smart quote from a brilliant Afrika Bambaataa and James Brown tune than an actually running and sustainable reality. But if you’re here, if you’re listening to Soundzrise, if you’re reading these words, we guess you’re familiar with clubbing. We guess you love hanging out at your favourite dancing spot, or travelling to Ibiza, enjoying some of the most brilliant sounds and feelings house, techno and generally speaking electronic music have generated through the years (and you’ve been graced by).
Where that all comes from? It comes from an environment that was embracing diversities, that treated everyone as equal, that had no problems with whatsoever kind of sexual orientation, that refused the “day @ work / night @ home sleeping” routine. It comes from an environment that broke several rules: musical, social, behavioural. It comes from an environment that hardly drives into hatred, aggression, violence (and if it ever happened, it happened later and it happened thanks to wrong people being in the wrong place with the wrong attitude). All these came through struggles and hard times. Today we take partying until late (or until dawn) with some good house or techno music for granted, but it’s not. It’s something a bunch of people have conquered, step by step, in opposition with individuals and institutions claiming it wasn’t decent habits and settings and cultural means. House, techno and the whole clubbing thing were a revolution, when they came into play.
So, if you really want to enjoy your clubbing experience, you should be aware of these roots. Deeply aware. If you’re not, we’re not intending to kick you out, not at all, it’s not about that: just let us remind you that you lose a part of the charm and, therefore, there’s a lack of depth in your enjoyment and your experience. You happen to miss something. And that’s a pity.
You don’t need to be political, when it’s about clubbing. But…