Beyond Babylon: Re-Examining Berlin in the Golden Twenties

Beyond Babylon 2300x1000 © Goethe-Institut / Ronnie Joyner

We present this programming with a warm thank-you to the Friends of the Goethe-Institut (FoGI), who have generously provided us with financial support to fund our project.

Friends of the Goethe-Institut in Washington, DC (FoGI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to promote and assist the mission of the Goethe-Institut. Through its support, FoGI enhances the activities of the Goethe-Institut in Washington, DC, and promotes these activities in the region.

"In the current boom in German TV dramas, no show has drawn more rave reviews worldwide than Babylon Berlin. Based on Volker Kutscher’s bestselling novels, the first season follows a police detective into the nightlife and political turmoil of Weimar Berlin." - Mark Thompkins, Symphony of a Great City, in 28 Parts: Babylon Berlin

Have you binged and re-binged all three seasons of Babylon Berlin? Are you patiently awaiting the December 2020 English translation of Book Five, The March Fallen (Märzgefallene), or the November 2020 German edition release of Book Eight, Olympia – or both, if you’re an eager bilingual reader? Have you watched all seven expert-led discussions of our “Watch-Klatsch” Zoom Webinar series covering the show’s first two seasons, and chatted about Book One with the Goethe Book Club? But still it’s not enough, and your Babylon Berlin kick still doesn’t feel like it should come to an end?

It doesn’t have to! Even if none of the above applies to you and you’re a curious newcomer to the entire world of Gereon Rath and Charlotte Ritter’s Berlin in the Golden Twenties, it’s never too late to dip your toe into the fandom. Join us!
In September, the Goethe-Institut Washington, with kind financial support from the Friends of the Goethe-Institut (FoGI), presents Beyond Babylon: Re-Examining Berlin in the Golden Twenties – two events that transcend the content of the novels and series, offering closer looks at some of the most fascinating, exciting, alluring, dangerous, and dynamic facets of Berlin in the Weimar Era.

Glitz & Grit – De- and Reconstructing Glamour with Le Pustra’s Kabarett der Namenlosen
On September 14, you are invited to pull back the curtain on modern Berlin’s most enchanting Weimar Republic inspired theater show, Le Pustra’s Kabarett der Namenlosen (KDN). Meet some of the numerous multi-talented artists who make up the troupe, which constructs a theatrical experience that interprets the dazzling and dark cabaret scene of the Golden Twenties – in particular, one actual Berlin cabaret of the same name, where people of all walks of life intermingled, experimented, invented, and challenged social taboos.

View stunning performances and behind-the-scenes looks at the running of a one-of-a-kind show. Join us on September 14 at 5:00pm EDT for a Zoom Webinar conversation with KDN’s concept & artistic director Le Pustra and cast members Mama Ulita, Charly Voodoo, and Bridge Markland.

“Jeder einmal in Berlin”: A Virtual Exploration of Time, Space, and Place
Available beginning the week of September 7, view a virtual walking tour with historian, Weimar Era scholar, and tour guide Arne Krasting. Experience a compelling glimpse into bygone Berlin – even as it exists today, where these gems of the past are still hidden in plain view. Accompanied by expert commentary and context, catch up-close peeks at hubs of civil society, leisure and entertainment, government, and more. Then, join us on September 18 at 5:00pm EDT for a Zoom Webinar conversation with Arne Krasting about themes including the relationships between history and space in Berlin, the invaluable medium of the walking tour (even when it’s virtual!) in engaging with and exploring connections between culture, history, and the city.

Separate registration is required for each event; each registration for each virtual event requires a purchase of a $5 ticket (service fee already included) or donation of >$5 via Eventbrite. All proceeds from Eventbrite ticketing will go to our independent Berlin-based collaborators for Beyond Babylon. We greatly appreciate your support of these very special collaborators, especially as they navigate their work in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This project has been supported by the Friends of the Goethe-Institut (FoGI).