Mi / 16:45 – 18:15

Cold War Drug City

Narcotic Geographies of Berlin 1945-1989

Stefan Höhne, KWI

Institute of Geography, Technical University Dresden, Hülße-Bau, HÜL/S186H
Helmholtzstraße 10, Dresden

Soon after its capitulation in 1945, Berlin became a hot-spot for new public drug cultures and a laboratory for approaches towards their regulation. Especially since the 1960s, West-Berlin emerged as a crucial hub in larger network of cities for the circulation of knowledge, people and capital intertwined with narcotic spaces.  The same holds true for East-Berlin, albeit to a lesser extent, as (in contact with the West) drug scenes developed that brought together migrants, diplomats, dissidents and students, among others.

This presentation will focus on the multi-local actor-networks, governmentalities and geographies of public drug scenes in East and West-Berlin – cultures that often under-mined the tightly controlled Iron Curtain. In doing so, this talks aims to sheds new light on the hitherto unexplored geographies of drugs in the Capital of the Cold War.