Image by Spyros Rennt
Berlin party Buttons have announced that they will be ending their longstanding working relationship with ://about blank, the nightclub at which they have housed their events for over 5 years. This is in light of the venue’s Pro-Israeli beliefs. “It is time that we take a clear stance against apartheid,” said Buttons in a statement released via their social media channels.
Speaking towards their history with the venue, Buttons continued: “We worked together for years to generate safer spaces, dance floors, art, income and music for queer artists in this city. But there has always been something lingering underneath the surface… And for a while, it has no longer been possible to welcome the communities into Blank we’d like to welcome given their stance on Israel and the manifestations of that stance…” Emphasising their ethos of radical liberation, the crew went on to say, “Queer liberation is fundamentally tied to the dreams of Palestinian liberation: self-determination, dignity, and the end of all systems of oppression.”
Buttons, which usually runs on the third Friday of every month, had made a home at the Friedrichshain venue since 2016. Prior to this, the party’s organisers had run events at ://about blank under the name ‘Homopatik,’ during which time a strong partnership with the club was forged. ://about blank is openly anti-Deutsch. This refers to a political movement which rejects German Nationalism but is also notoriously pro-Israel in their beliefs. This has led to the venue policing DJ’s, promoters and patrons with pro-Palestinian beliefs. In 2018, the venue severed their relationship with another resident party, Room 4 Resistance, after the party publicly supported the #DJsForPalestine campaign on social media.
This move by Buttons is also informed by a larger campaign, Berlin Nightlife Workers Against Apartheid. Promoters and organisers in Berlin were urged to read and sign on to the campaign’s open letter in solidarity with the freedom of Palestine. The letter is available to read here.
Read the full statement from Buttons below: