Humboldt Forum

Humboldt Forum Highlights Talk #8: Doors – Locks – Safes

Press release

Berlin, 17 April 2019

On Thursday, 9 May 2019, at 7:30 pm, as part of the Humboldt Forum Highlights season, the Humboldt Forum will host the discussion Doors –Palaces – Safes at the Tresor Berlin, Köpenicker Str. 70, 10179. Taking the Safe Door (Tresor), a Humboldt Forum Highlight, as a starting point, six experts will talk about rights of access of various kinds. The evening will be moderated by Anna-Rebekka Helmy. Admission is free of charge.

Visitors can register for the event from 2 May 2019 under Please note that there is standing room only. Representatives of the press should contact Michael Mathis, for mandatory accreditation.

The door used to secure the safe deposit boxes of one of Europe’s most magnificent department stores. Having survived war and destruction, the room behind the door remained unused for decades until, following German reunification, it became the entrance for hundreds of thousands of people crowding into one of the city’s first techno clubs: Tresor in Leipziger Straße. In 1991, this became one of the most important institutions of the East and West Berlin techno scene. To this day, the club stands for the beginning of a new musical movement and for the emergence of a vibrant cultural scene in Berlin.

Almost thirty years later, the Safe Door is coming to the Humboldt Forum as one of its Highlights. From 2020, it will be on display as part of the Berlin Exhibition as a symbol of free space for creativity and of Berlin‘s club culture, a culture that continues to attract millions of tourists from all over the world to the German capital every year, where they queue patiently alongside Berliners waiting to be let in. But not everyone is allowed in: there are codes and rules, not only for clubs like Tresor, which reopened in Köpenicker Straße in 2005. The question “Who is welcome, who has to stay outside?” is, after all, not a new one. Who was allowed into the former Berlin Palace? And who will come to the Humboldt Forum in the future? Experts will be discussing these questions from different angles.

The theme of the first discussion is the myth and reality of Berlin’s club culture. What does the club experience mean for visitors both then and now? What kind of free spaces do they find there? The founder of Tresor, Dimitri Hegemann, will discuss this question with Idil Efe, diversity manager and curator in the Berlin Exhibition team at the Humboldt Forum.

In part two of the discussion, A.R.R.M. Jordan, once a bouncer who worked the doors of Berlin’s clubs, and the lawyer and protocol expert Jürgen Hartmann will be discussing the written and unwritten rules of access. Who decides who can enter? Which codes apply? What criteria do the bouncers use to decide who to let in? Who do they favour, and who do they exclude?

Public cultural institutions like the Humboldt Forum seek to appeal to as many people as possible, making diversity an increasingly important issue. The Friedrichstadt-Palast responded to this with its campaign “Respect Each Other”. The two directors, Berndt Schmidt and Hartmut Dorgerloh, will talk about diverse audiences but also about diversity in the team.

Dimitri Hegemann is a musicologist and culture manager. In 1991, he opened Tresor in Berlin’s Leipziger Straße, where it became one of the world’s best-known techno clubs. Idil Efe is curator of the Berlin Exhibition at the Humboldt Forum. Together with Martin Düspohl, she curates the Freiraum (Free Space) section of the exhibition. She is also diversity manager and head of communications and strategy for the civic trust Bürgerstiftung Neukölln. A.R.R.M. Jordan is a business strategist, coach and musician. She has worked as a bouncer at clubs and bars like Tape or Luzia. The non-binary Afro-Berliner views the door from the perspective of cultural philosophy: as a place of social migration and as a threshold to a cultural community whose codes must be mastered. Jürgen Hartmann is author of a standard work on state ceremony. He was formerly state secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in the State of Thuringia and until 1999 general secretary of the CDU in Rhineland-Pfalz. He also served as chief of protocol and as a lecturer in Administrative Science. Hartmut Dorgerloh, an art historian and listed buildings expert, was general director of the Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg for sixteen years and was appointed general director of the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss in June 2018. After completing a doctorate in Augsburg, Berndt Schmidt worked in the fields of music, film, game development and publishing. He has been director and manager of the Friedrichstadt-Palast theatre in Berlin since 2007. With its initiatives “RespectEachOther” and “Colours of Respect”, launched by Schmidt, the Friedrichstadt-Palast stands for diversity, freedom and democracy.

Inspired by its namesakes Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt and their delight in exploring the world and comprehending it as a system linking nature and culture in myriad ways, the Humboldt Forum will establish a new venue for experience, learning and encounter in the heart of Berlin. The presentations of the various Humboldt Forum institutions will bring together a wide range of topics from science and art, nature and culture, history and society accompanied by many different perspectives from past and present, nearby and far away. As a foretaste, the Humboldt Forum is already exhibiting fifteen Highlights: eight in an exhibition on Berlin’s Museum Island and at the Kulturforum and a further selection of objects as a focus for eight discussions held at locations throughout the city. Details of all fifteen Humboldt Forum Highlights as well as the full programme can be found at

Date Thursday, 9 May 2019
Time 7:30 pm
Venue Tresor Berlin, Köpenicker Str. 70, 10179 Berlin
Language German
Admission free
Registration from 2 May 2019 under, standing room only

Participants Dimitri Hegemann, Idil Efe, A.R.R.M. Jordan, Jürgen Hartmann, Hartmut Dorgerloh, Berndt Schmidt

Moderation Anna-Rebekka Helmy

Drinks will be offered afterwards.

Organizer Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss

Participating institutions Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz with the Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kulturprojekte Berlin with Stadtmuseum Berlin, and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, with the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss at the helm.


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Press contact

Michael Mathis
Press Officer Cultural and Digital Communication
+49 151 1617 97 27, Send e-mail