Wir Bleiben Alle which roughly translates to We Are All Staying is a punk anarchist squat, bar and multi-level music venue. It’s an integral part of the modern resistance movement in Berlin which protests against the rising rents and gentrification of suburbs Prenzlauerberg and Kruezberg. This is where artists, writers and bohemian types used to live but now these people have been forced out, the buildings renovated and turned into premium condos. There have been protests and passive forms of resistance like this for decades which are captured in powerful detail in the street art of Berlin.
I found the whole concept of anarchist squats captivating. The ability of people to take over buildings and repurpose them for their own needs seemed post-apocalyptic, an experiment in the creative energies of humankind. Indeed inside of the squat there are bombed out stairwells and broken lift shafts coated with layers of thick graffiti and a microcosm of characters you will meet in there that you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. Inside there is an eerie futuristic subterranean world.
At night someone projects Weimar era silent films onto the vacant buildings nearby and at the back there is a beer garden and scrap metal yard that’s infiltrated by weeds and fake palm trees. Each night on each level of the building you will find techno, hip-hop and post-punk being thrashed out of huge speakers into the darkness. And of course you don’t need to pay to get in. In side rooms people hang out on bean bags. Although a word to the wise – there is no plumbing, fresh water or toilets here, so plan ahead if you’re partying here.
With developers increasingly adding pressure as the value of the land and buildings skyrockets in Berlin, it’s only a matter of time before places like this sadly don’t exist anymore.