Official Press Release

The Detroit Berlin Connection aims to give the city of Detroit a new cultural center. The location; former Fisher Body 21 plant in Detroit, an industrial building designed by Albert Kahn in 1921 and closed in 1994.

The Detroit Berlin Connection, was started in late 2013 by Berlin social/cultural entrepreneur Dimitri Hegemann – with the aim of assisting in the regeneration and renewal of Detroit.

The concept and the vision of the Fisher Body 21 project corresponds to city’s personality: the raw, imperfect, unfinished framing, the clash of old and new and quiet and loud – yet huge potential.

The project aims to incentivize community growth in Detroit. Through art, music, discourse, food, and a community focused development – the Detroit Berlin Connection wants to help to establish Detroit as creative lighthouse and a platform for cultural experimentation for the young and creative.

“What we did in Berlin became the most important cultural movement and economic force in Europe over the past 25 years. The strategic use of art and alternative culture for redevelopment and revitalization has reshaped Berlin. Together with Detroit volunteers and partners I want to imagine a similar, yet individual development for Detroit, a place we love and respect.” Says Hegemann. Continue reading

RA Exchange : Dimitri Hegemann talks to Resident Advisor about Berlin and Detroit

July 27, 2014

Though he keeps a pretty low profile, Dimitri Hegemann is one of the most important figures in the history of techno. Most know him as the founder of Tresor, the legendary club that kickstarted Berlin’s techno scene and established the city’s creative dialogue with Detroit. But by the time Tresor opened in 1991, Hegemann was already an accomplished promoter. Starting in 1981, he ran a festival called Atonal, which played host to everyone from Throbbing Gristle and Einsturzende Neubauten to early electronic acts like 808 State. Like Tresor, Atonal pushed Berlin’s music scene forward and demonstrated Hegemann’s peerless vision as a curator. These days Atonal is in the midst of a comeback—last year the festival was held for the first time in more than two decades at Kraftwerk Berlin, a breathtakingly enormous space in the same building as Tresor. As he and his team prepare for this year’s edition, we invited Hegemann to RA’s Berlin office to reflect on his career in the city’s music scene.

Model D Recap

June 3, 2014

MODEL D RECAP by Walter Wasacz

Itself a bold experiment in social innovation that brought creative souls together across thousands of miles of land, ocean, and pesky barriers of culture and language, the Detroit-Berlin Connection conference is near-impossible to recap. As a speaker series, that is.

The better way to see this is not as a five-hour “event” on a single day in May at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), but as a weeklong learning experience based in Detroit with potential to be much longer — even lifelong. Put some italics around experience in Detroit. That’s what we’re talking about here.

Continue reading