The Senate of Berlin’s Department for Culture and Europe supports the German city’s creative community with approximately €400 million per annum. About 95 per cent of that budget is spent on theatres, operas and other permanently-supported cultural institutions, while the other 5 per cent is distributed to the independent scene. This disproportionate allotment of funds has been challenged in a number ways by policymakers in the last 20 years, but there is no denying that subcultural events still receive the least financing.
With this in mind, 3hd festival will reflect on its own struggle to stay alive in an alternative music scene, which has been forced to make its own compromises in a milieu of higher living costs, stagnant wages and fixed, perhaps even decreasing public support. The “Craving Sustainability” panel examines an increasingly corporatized and conformist underground environment that has developed out of necessity, with perspectives and reflections from a number of Berlin-based, woman-run organizations on how they manage to continue operating as supportive and independent voices in leadership positions. Covering the decision-making process and allocation of government funds and how that impacts the role of groups like these ones in mainstream political discourse and practice, the event approaches the idea of sustainability from a more abstract level, to investigate the structural issues at its core.
The “Craving Sustainability” concert to follow the eponymous panel, which examines the effects of financial scarcity on independent community and marginal representation, has a particularly disruptive flow. Crossing cultural borders and musical styles, artists with ties to Cameroon, Mexico, Vienna, India, Italy, the United States, Germany, integrate their personal interests and experiences in immigration, deportation and social clichés; code-switching, eco-grief and the human relationship to the natural world, in their live performances.
First-generation Chicana producer Mya Gomez integrates her focus on self-help and dream interpretation into her deeply felt NON Worldwide EP release INMATE and a newly introduced vocal addition to her set, while AMET takes former Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah’s 1963 speech on African unification as her core inspiration. FAUNA summons the radical potential of art and music by drawing on what Diedrich Diederichsen calls the “Sound of Snowden” and UCC Harlo contemplates a ‘post-post-internet-age’ relationship to nature by bringing together the old and the new of musical influences. Petit Singe, meanwhile, takes her Eastern heritage and Adriatic sensibility to create a new shared language that carries well beyond words.