The creator behind the Facebook page Just Berghain Things recently started a highly controversial Instagram account that publishes photos from inside Berghain.
Dubbed "illegal berghain pics," the account has so far posted a few semi-identifiable photos from inside the club, along with a few memes, and a Photoshopped image that superimposes Berghain's name over Muhammad's (below), comparing zealous support of the club to that of religious zealots.
If you've not yet heard of Just Berghain Things, it's basically an anonymously run page that occasionally posts memes status updates that poke lighthearted fun at Berghain and club culture in general, which for the most part everyone seems to enjoy.
Well, not everyone. The public backlash against the Illegal Berghain Photos has been swift and fierce, with comments rolling in calling the account "a direct attack against our culture," while others have said it's "definitely not ok" and ask "What's your beef?"
We wanted to know too, so we caught up with the account's creator via email (who will remain anonymous for obvious reasons) to find out.
What made you start the “illegal berghain pics” Instagram account?
Someone on Instagram had posted a screenshot of a scene from a Game Of Thrones episode and jokingly captioned it with a reference to Berghain. This triggered an immediate response by some Berghain PR person who requested the picture to be taken down.
I found this hilarious––not only that they apparently don’t know what their own club looks like, but also the fact that they apparently pay someone to go through Instagram and tell people to delete their pictures. I then decided to make a parody account about the whole ordeal. It kind a blew up after I posted it on Facebook.
Many people are very upset about it, calling the page a “disgrace” and an attack on what the club stands for. Do you think that’s fair?
It’s weird how incredibly serious people are about that nightclub. It really is cult-like behavior. The Instagram page is literally some pictures I found on Google and a picture of a sofa someone sent me and people are really, really angry about that. I thought the club stands for good music on a good sound system with a good door policy, but apparently, for a lot of people, the club stands for being really arrogant about knowing what clothes to wear to get in and not allowing any lighthearted jokes to be made about it.
I can’t believe people still think Berghain is underground or secret or anything like that. No one got angry when Berghain hosted Popkultur Festival last year, which is literally sponsored by Berlin’s Touristic Marketing Company be Berlin, the EU’s regional development fund and “INP” ( innovation potential in the culture), which promotes “innovative Initiatives in Marketing” to promote “Cultural Tourism”.
That’s what Berghain is and what it stands for. I don’t think there’s much left for me to destroy anyways, and if there is, I don’t think a few pictures on Instagram are able to do it.
Do you think publicising photos from inside the club will encourage others to take more photos?
No. I hope not. The joke is not about the policy itself, which I think is completely fair, but about the weird obsession the club’s management has with controlling their public image. And the seriousness of the club’s fans. It’s like they’re defending their prophet from being made fun of.
Has the club contacted you about the account? If so, what did they say?
No, not yet. I think they will, they don’t seem to be very open to humour.
Are you a Berghain regular?
I was for quite a while. I still go from time to time.
Does the club’s exclusivity bother you?
I understand that a door policy is important to keep certain people out of the club to ensure a nice atmosphere inside. It’s a necessary evil in a way. What bothers me is how arrogant people become after having been there a few times. It’s a fucking nightclub, knowing what to wear how to get in is not a great achievement to be proud of. Having the time and money to go there a lot isn’t either. It’s the most famous club in the world and people treat it like an underground secret. That’s kind of hilarious, but also a bit annoying.
Do you think you’ll take the Instagram account down if people get upset enough about it?
I think the joke is over already, I made the right people angry and got my daily dose of attention, which is something I crave.