How Punk Changed Berlin

Jude Rogers at The New Statesman:

When walls are built through a city, strengthened with reinforced concrete and steel, separated by a strip of land where you can be shot and left to die, you don’t expect things to break through. But radio broadcasts don’t stop at borders. Political regimes can’t stop soundwaves. They just travel.

This is revealed powerfully in Tim Mohr’s Burning Down the Haus, an exploration of how punk changed Berlin, and still defines it today, 30 years after the Wall fell. It begins in 1977, the Silver Jubilee year, with the Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen; throughout the Wall years, British stations broadcast in the West could still be heard in the East. Angry rallying cries resonated with teenagers living in a repressive state, oddly enough. The context in which they were received, though, was very different.

more here.