And then we took Berlin

Ballhaus Ost | Berlin
19th – 22nd of January 2017 | 8.00 p.m.
Director: Lydia Ziemke


“Eram un pic banditi! – We also were bandits. That you can write! ”

Berlin 1970 – 1989 – 2015. In 1970s East Germany the “dark thoroughbred musicians” from Romania caused great fascination. They came at the invitation of agencies, sang the hits of others and triumphed over the systems.
But with the fall of the Wall and the Romanian revolution, the time of the live cover bands had expired – today they still live the life of aged “natural talents” in Berlin, cobbling together their identities from a glorious past and their drastically changing economic situation.
‘And then we took Berlin’ is based on research and direct conversations with the musicians: Inspiration for the project is the personal story of the father of the Romanian author Peca Stefan.
In Romania, to get a visa and then to commute between laissez-passer East and West Berlin, every time was like winning the lottery. The musicians took advantage of the situation and became experts in the smuggling of instruments, fine foods and identities between all three countries. Thus they became rich and improvised a life full of superlatives: cheerful, reckless, subversive and with great interest in East German women. Most moved to West Berlin, but continued to work in the cosier East.
When in 1989 the masses started dancing to the mixed beats of DJs, their world collapsed. Today their illustrious careers and new economic lives are overshadowed by left behind families, intrigues, tiny pensions and well practiced self-deception.
In addition to the examination and representation of these unique, ambivalent musicians  the creators of the project also search for parallels to their own situation as freelance artists with more or less market-effective identities within manipulative systems and mechanisms of international cooperation.


with: Peter Becker, Roland Bonjour, Patrizia Carlucci und Jon Kiriac

Photo © Dimitri Staub