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  • Johannesburg 24: corporate slumworld


Johannesburg 24: corporate slumworld

What does Africa stand for? Hmm... wild animals? Oh yes, of course – shantytowns! So, to get as close to the World Cup as 10,000 km permits, why not build a slum-style fun park?

Image for Johannesburg 24: corporate slumworld
Photo by Tobi Jochum

What does Africa stand for? Let’s think: wild animals, naked savages dancing to tribal bongos and, yes, of course, let’s not forget – shantytowns! So, to get as close to the 2010 World Cup as 10,000 km permits, why not build a slum-look-alike fun park? And since we’re too cool to really bother about intellectual integrity – and remember that we’ve been fighting loud and hard against Big Capital embodied by Mediaspree – let’s get our slum sponsored by… ADIDAS!

That’s arguably what went through the übercreative brains of the unterprincipled Bar 25 people when they sat together with their sporty mega-corp partner: Johannesburg 24 was born (and such a smart name!). They traipsed around the city’s junkyards to scavenge the usual slum ingredients (cardboard, rusty containers, old car wheels and lots of corrugated iron) and deposited them on the Spree riverbank right next to Bar 25’s HQ, banged it all together as a rickety shantytown-style building complete with cool paintings of black people, and topped it off with a huge Adidas sign. And since no one really wants to sit in a real slum to watch soccer, the rest of Johannesburg 24 offers pretty much everything its mother business does: Sekt on the rocks for €5, long queues and, when Germany scores, lots of Bar 25’s signature confetti in the air.

If you can stomach the €3 entrance fee in a city where most football public viewing spots are free, and get over the irritating marriage of the alternative “Spreeufer für Alle” claim and total sell-out to a multinational company, the atmosphere here is great during games, Deutschlandflaggen density pleasantly low, and, well, the setting on the sunny banks of the Spree is priceless. So go play in Berlin’s one and only township amusement park. It’s not gonna stay forever. What’s planned next? Spa 25 – for off-duty executives…