The Ballhaus Naunynstraße in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin has become a focal point for artists predominantly from first or second generation immigrant backgrounds since its re-opening in 2008. The quest for new aesthetics and content in the Ballhaus initiated a discourse about post-migrant cultural production that has had lasting effect on the German-speaking theatrical landscape. The artistic director Wagner Carvalho is a pioneer of this field of art production and is committed to the continuation and expansion of its aesthetic and thematic perspectives. Alongside updating post-migrant histories, the Ballhaus is also committed to supporting the younger generation and creating a space for experimentation.
The productions investigate the social, working and living conditions of people in an intercultural and transcultural society. The adventurous, multidisciplinary work establishes a theatre that radiates aesthetically and politically into society at large. The team at the Ballhaus Naunynstraße regularly collaborates with an established network of artists and curators. The repertoire comprises theatre, dance, film, music, public debates and interdisciplinary festivals.
Ballhaus Naunynstraße was built as a dance hall as part of a representative second empire building in 1863 and was used until the end of the 1930s for private functions. During the Second World War, the Nazis took over the building and used it to house forced labourers. Shortly after the war it returned to its use as a music and dance hall before being used for storage from the 60s. The building was saved from being torn down in the 1970s by architectural conservationists and after extensive renovation, it became the property of the city borough of Kreuzberg and has been used as an official cultural centre ever since.