Saturday 19.09, 6:30 pm

A panel discussion with Katja Brunkhorst, Désirée Blank, Laurena Frey and Mine Wenzel – moderated by Anita Jóri. 

The volume “Musik & Empowerment“ deals with the connection between music, business and empowerment. Empowerment is understood as the possibility of becoming visible for marginalized or relatively powerless groups. The book discusses different questions of power and exclusion in music cultures and business. How do these power relations look currently? How were they historically? Can it still be assumed that participation in group processes alone is already an essential motor for the emergence of a sense of empowerment? Or, from an individual perspective, is it more about giving individuals more control over their lives? Both aspects are highlighted by different contributions in this book and we will also discuss them at this event.

 Katja Brunkhorst will talk about how and what women in (punk)rock write (about) themselves and their experiences in such a traditionally male-dominated scene. Aside from brief fashions thanks to movements such as Riot Grrrl, female punk rock icons have been few and far between and almost always had to contend with gender stereotypes aimed at raising girls to please others rather than raising their voices, let alone get angry – that cardinal sin in a female. What needs to be done today to challenge and change that status quo towards true empowerment? Which voices do we need to hear more of to redress the imbalance of heteronormativity, misogyny and racism that pervades heavier music genres still? 

 Désirée Blank and Laurena Frey will demonstrate a survey that examines the perception of gender equality of employees, musicians and other members of the German music industry. To that, students of music and music business studies were invited to participate as well to get a deeper understanding of the differences in awareness between them and experienced professionals. Their analysis is the first step in acquiring a broader picture of gender (in-)equality in the industry. They also deliver new approaches that can be reviewed in future examinations.

 Mine Wenzel will dig into the potentials of techno and club cultural scenes for queer, especially trans*identification and life realities. Mine, a trans*nonbinary person themselves, understands her*self as part of the research and offers an inside perspective as musician* and consumer*, by including their own records of recollection as well as interviews with fellow queer participants of the researched scene. Their presentation prevents a breakdown of contemporary, anti-diagnostic, self-determined definitions of gender, sex and gender identity and looks for points of resonance for these lived realities within techno-based music scenes. This happens via an analysis of the musical parameters of techno music, the modes of perception, and the social constitution that can be found in electronic music and club cultures. 

The panel discussion will take place outside in the Hard Wax backyard, where there is enough space to keep the required distance between us. Please note that there’s no seats. Drinks will be available at the courtyard. 

The event is organized by the GMM (Gesellschaft für Musikwirtschafts- und Musikkulturforschung). Please send an email to if you would like to take part in the event.