TrashEra is coming back to Berlin with its flamboyant and outrageous revolutionary party. In a progressive city where everything has happened and everything has already been seen, there is still a hunger for creativity and expression. And of course, rebellion, which turns the club scene into a social experiment. We spoke with the co-founder Geovane Pedro de Bortoli about his vision for the future of TrashEra as well as his experience behind this project that promises to deliver an unforgettable night full of indulgence on Friday, September 23rd.
TrashEra has become a recurrent event in Berlin. How was TrashEra formed?
TrashEra was formed amongst friends. It started both as a vibe and a drive to create a common ground for us to be ourselves, no matter what, without limiting ourselves to being judged by others. This was the feeling behind being a TrashEra. We spread this around Berlin and it took us at least a year and a half before our first event. After some time we got an invitation to be part of an art event at the old installations of Neu West Berlin in partnership with Zerstört. It was phenomenal and a huge happening in Berlin.
What has been its evolvement since its inception?
The evolvement has been a little irregular since we lost our first location. It's now a beautiful one-room luxury apartment building in Mitte. It took us a while to figure out what to do in Berlin. First, we went to South America to get some fresh air and in 2016 our project came back and it’s re-establishing its status here. The idea is to become a platform for artists: Agencies, labels and events, working as an engine to produce art and music and be a presence worldwide. The website has already been developed and is being launched in 2017 for our two year anniversary.
Berlin has many nightclubs and parties, what makes TrashEra different?
TrashEra is not a club, and is not a party. It's a full experience. Besides music and art, it involves the real crowd of Berlin: the local artists who breathe and feed themselves with this culture and environment. They are Berlin’s underground culture. The idea is get people who are moving here, or who lived here all their lives to express their visions, mixing with a party scenario and to create a shelter for our souls and minds. TrashEra occurs only twice a year, so this becomes an awaited experience. In my vision it makes it more special.
TrashEra was launched internationally in other cities such as Santiago de Chile and Sao Paulo. Berlin’s freedom is something you can export abroad?
Well, you can definitely try to export. The way it can be received by the others, especially in the south (territory of huge discriminatory processes) it's another question. In São Paulo, Brazil there is a scene that is already much forward, almost like Berlin in many terms but not sexually speaking. This topic is still a taboo and will be for many more years. People are free in more other ways, though. In Chile the experience was very intense, also a much smaller event, but very welcoming. Jorge Benavides invited me to bring TrashEra to Santiago as he is originally from Chile. We got a nice crowd who properly understood the concept and loved it. They are already asking when is the next one, but it's a totally different proportion and I am sure it will be hard work to imprint and bring it to another level considering the vast freedom we have in Berlin. This is unique!
I like the incorporation of Eduardo de la Calle in your next program. What will be TrashEra's music course in future editions?
Great, I am glad! The idea is to bring it up to the next level every time hand in hand with music, and to set a specific style, from dirty-electro to Detroit-techno as well as wandering through others styles. My experience as a booker is just starting, so I hope we can manage to build up something very nice and cohesive in terms of sound and art in future editions. It's the kind of event that allows you do it.
What is your drive when planning a new edition of TrashEra?
One word defines it: PASSION! Of course I am learning many other things to make it happen. Sometimes passion is not enough, managing people is essential and definitely promotion, which is my former profession and is currently in development. To build up something for the scene, for the people to grow and exchange, to create a platform for experimentation without having many boundaries and rules is to allow people to be themselves freely. I would say that this is what drives me, and also drives me crazy, because it's a lot of work, but I have a great support team and I am very content with it.
A unique feature of TrashEra is the distinctive communication approach that involves the art direction and promotional images for the upcoming events. How do you envision this?
It's easy to come up with huge shooting projects. It has been a fun and nice challenge always. The inspiration comes from my closest friends who are the real TrashEras. Honestly, they are the main reason that we started this project and that's why they are pictured as the face of each event. Our vision was to tear down the image of trash: trash is not garbage. Instead, glamorize the notion of trash and make it accepted and desired. We want to be trash and we love it. Afterwards, we had different ideas to keep this same language through great photographers who are part of our TrashEra community and keeping the quality high, but specially having fun ourselves. We always have fun doing this. The current promotional image (shot in U-Bahn stations) was a little bit more different than others. We wanted to highlight Berlin more because it is the place where we live and create and then so bring the characters to the image of the event. It was an exhausting seven days of shooting in very early hours of the mornings, but it was worth it. It's always a pleasure to photo-shoot amazing people of Berlin.
Do you intend TrashEra to become a community of people with certain affinities ranging from musical to sexuality into a common lifestyle?
DEFINITELY. It is already! This is the central point of all this.
RA published an article on the influence of the gay community in the evolution of culture and dance clubs*. I agree that this development would not have been possible otherwise. However, there still exists a division within the gay community, as it appears quite segmented in their taste. There are countless parties in highly touristic places such as Ibiza and Mykonos that are far from being interesting. How do you conceive the gay influence on parties like TrashEra or other similar events sharing this concept?
The gay community is for sure a big influence, but not just in music and parties. For TrashEra the gay community is essential because it brings the queer vibes and tolerance as well. We are not a gay intended sexual event, but we are gay! We are all, even the straights – in the way of thinking, living and respecting each other's choices. This is beautiful. Let's not label it: let's just be.
Fabric in London is closing, being the most important club today in the British capital after 17 years in business. Nowadays, restrictions and measures in clubs threaten to end the ethos of clubbing. Do you think that sooner or later this wave of vigilance and extreme security over freedom will affect Berlin?
I can’t compare London to Berlin because I've never lived there. But in my opinion London was always a great city and a very capitalistic center as well, focused in progress and control. Berlin is different. The history behind this city is very progressive and the people who live here as well. Techno and the electronic music were important in the reconstruction of Berlin. After the falling of the wall and the exodus of people from the East, art and music made this city shine again. The roots here are a little deeper than London. Every bar and restaurant in Berlin is playing electronic music. It's insane! Of course, the scene is changing too, and many things will never be the same anymore, but Berlin city breathes it and lives it (Berlin has more than 300 clubs registered at the Club Commission). And if one day it shall die, it will be a big fight, and probably Berlin will suffer another exodus of people. Not sure if this will be good for the soul and energy of this intense city. A vortex for real!
For more information about TrashEra visit www.facebook.com/trasheraparty/?fref=ts
* Luis-Manuel Garcia “An Alternate History of Sexuality in Club Culture.” Resident Advisor, 28 Jan. 2014.
"Trashera - The Warp Movie" credit: Stasys Žak