Saturday, 8 December 2012

Alternative Xmas Markets in Berlin

There are dozens of Weihnachtmarkts (Christmas markets) in and around Berlin where a person can sample fine chocolates, buy luxurious doilies and perch on outdoor stools under a gas heater, sipping hot cocktails.  I am not  going to talk about any of them in this entry.  No, this entry is about the kinds of places Santa goes after a hard day of waving at tourists to dwell on more pressing themes like gentrification, greed and Guantanomo Bay, while chugging a Sterny.  There is a reason why he wears red and black after all, and it's not to make a fashion statement.

Commercial Christmas at FoodZMF, December 6-8
If you can't afford Christmas turkey dinner, the organizers of the Cult of the Personality: Commercial Christmas Special at Food/ZMF have a suggestion for you: "Eat the Rich"!  Every 'product' on offer at tonight's back-alley fashion-show/exhibit/gig/protest has been tailored to snap consumers out of their collective Crimbo-coma.  Highlights include a Gothic fashion line that will feature models "swathed in hooded draped black cloaks, boasting luxurious necklaces".  These figures are actually "replicate figures of Guantanamo bay prisoners".  There will also be a DIY Punk fashion show that will "hit the catwalk accompanied by Corpse Paint, Sternburg's, Kebab's and Cigarettes", carols Karaoke and a gig by the Mystic Knights.  These guys and girls will be serving up their stocking stuffers with a lump of coal-black humour.
Statbad Oderberg, pre-renovations
On Saturday Dec. 8th Santa's subversive spree continues with a Commercial Christmas Market, also at FoodZMF.  Stalls include upcycling and DIY collective Trial and Error,  prints by Lysergic, zines, experimental photography and plenty of Gluhwein & cakes.  After party at Brunnen 70.

Voodoo Market and Afterparty @ Urban Spree, December 8th
An arts market at Warschauer Strasse's new cultural hub, Urban Spree, which Club Alien's readers read about on this blog first.  Features Jewellery, Crafts, Nail bar, Music and DJs, gift wrapping plus a fair few of the Alien's friends and neighbours.  1,00 Euro entrance fee.

Stattmarkt Arts Market at Stattbad Wedding, December 1-16:
Stattmarkt is on until December  16th at Stattbad, the recycled swimming pool venue in Wedding.  From the pictures it looks like it is more of an art exhibit than it was last year but perhaps the 3-5 Euro entrance will still be worth it. 

Weihnachtsrodeo Arts Market:
The Weihnachtsrodeo in Prenzlauerberg's Statbad Oderberg will probably host an unholy amount of hipsters but it does offer the largest amount of art stalls - 65 or more - in an airy, trendy venue in North Berlin.

End of the World Market, December 20-23:
Christmas is just a commercialized version of the ancient pagan Solstice celebration.  That's right: the shortest day of the year was associated with death and rebirth long before Christ did his comeback from the Crucifiction!  Centuries ago, the 25th of December was the longest night of the year; people lit fires and candles in the hope that they'd encourage the sun to return to life, making the days longer again.  This year, the Solstice falls on the 21st and that ancient death/rebirth association has been amplified by the fact that the Mayan long count calendar ends on the same day. The paranoid Christian tendency has been to interpret this as meaning that the End of Days is upon us.  Maybe to mock that fact, the Villa Kuriosum in Storkower Strasse is hosting an End of the World Winter Market from Dec. 20-23.  Visitors are invited to bring anything useful, strange, rare, homemade or useless or swap.  

(If you're still feeling paranoid about the world ending, here's a thought: the word Apocalypse actually means 'the unveiling' or 'the truth is revealed'... not 'the end of the world'.  So if the apocalypse really is upon us, it's politicians and corporate tax dodgers who have to be concerned.  The rest of us can just pour another glass of Gluhwein and toast their downfall.) 

Cheers and season's greetings from S@ant@ Cl@us!

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