A newly established foundation is seeking to combat the Clubsterben – or, “death of clubs” — in Germany and abroad.
Tresor and Kraftwerk Berlin founder Dimitri Hegemann has shared that his vision for the Tresor Foundation Berlin is essentially seek to gain national landmark status for iconic German nightclubs such as the ones he owns. He explained the purpose of the organization in detail in a recent Facebook post.
“The real estate markets are boiling over; gentrification is causing the displacement of the socially disadvantaged, the traditional social mix of neighborhoods is disappearing and with it the presence of cultural and creative spaces in the center of cities,” wrote Hegemann in the post.
“The Tresor Foundation Berlin therefore aims to appropriate real estate for the realization of charitable purposes (e.g. acquisition and further development of the Kraftwerk building on Köpenicker Strasse 70 in Berlin-Mitte) and thus to withdraw it from speculation and secure it permanently,” he continued. Real estate owned by the foundation will remain the property of the foundation. This aim will be achieved exclusively by means of public welfare-oriented and forward-looking measures.”
In the years since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991, organizers like Hegemann were able to fashion nightclubs and social spaces in old industrial buildings with very little government intervention. Since then, newer developments have forced those club owners and organizers out of their spaces, displacing them or forcing them to fold entirely.
Emily Dust explored that history and the current state of Clubsterben in Germany in her documentary, “Berlin’s Nightlife” on BBC‘s Art Of Now. Hegemann’s newly formed foundation will combat the Clubsterben, and preserve precious sociocultural spaces like Kraftwerk Berlin, whose future is even more dubious after the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a comment on his Facebook post, Dimitri Hegemann elaborated that the Tresor Foundation Berlin will begin work after obtaining its certificates, and that a website will be launched soon. No further details have been released at the time of writing.