Skip to main content

25 years 48 Stunden Neukölln

How it all began

Around the turn of the millennium, committed Neukölln cultural workers took the initiative to correct the poor image of their district and to contrast the often exaggerated portrayal in the media with a more complex perspective. The majority of them wanted to use art and culture to contribute to more social exchange and a more livable neighborhood. The idea of founding a network found a nationally well-connected advocate and committed companion in Dr. Dorothea Kolland, then head of the cultural office.

Thus, the founding of Kulturnetzwerk Neukölln e.V. in 1995 was linked to the desire to make the many cultural venues in the district more visible and to stimulate exchange among them.

To visibly express the diversity and creativity of the people living in the district, the decentralized art festival 48 Stunden Neukölln was launched in 1999. The underlying concept of an unusual presentation of art in unusual places and in public space also makes the district itself the protagonist.

Within just a few years, the festival has become well known far beyond the borders of Berlin. This is thanks to the concept, which has lost none of its appeal and topicality to this day. This is shown by the consistently high number of visitors.

Every year in June, Nord-Neukölln becomes a lively meeting place for 48 hours. In addition to established artists, up-and-coming talents and people who do not live from their art are given the opportunity to present their artistic works.  Anyone can participate, provided that the works are related to the festival theme and do not violate the code of a non-violent, anti-racist and anti-discriminatory attitude.

In the anniversary year, the festival theme is Play(ground). A fitting theme for a festival that has provided a stage for diversity for many years. Every year, visitors can experience different artistic approaches to a theme in hundreds of events. All branches of art are represented and the artists look forward to personal exchange with an audience that is as diverse as the art scene itself.

The festival has received several awards for the fact that its choice of topics is always oriented towards current social discourse and thus stimulates discourse itself.
It received the Kulturpreis der Kulturpolitischen Gesellschaft e. V., was named Trendmarke 2009 by the causales agency, and was twice awarded the EFFE label (Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe) as one of Europe's finest festivals.

In the 25 years of 48 Stunden Neukölln, the most diverse people from the most diverse areas have organized and shaped the festival. A big thank you goes out to them in particular:  For their personal commitment, their passion and their enthusiasm for the festival with which they have won so many people for it.

Crucial to the success of the festival was also the broad support from the district. Support came, among others, from the respective acting district mayors Heinz Buschkowsy, Franziska Giffey and Martin Hikel.


  • Menschen in einer Installation
    (2014) Neukölln Arcaden, ÇIKIŞ EXIT von Carla Mercedes Hihn, Foto Dario Lehner
  • Grafik einer auf einer Toilette sitzenden Frau
    (2016) Polymedialer Ponyhof, Lillis Tagebuch von Kay Kastner, Foto Christiane Schröder
  • Schauspielerin in einem schwarzen Kleid in einem Schaufenster
    (2015) Wie unbezahlte Künstler_innen die Welt retten von Stephanie Hanna, Foto Christiane Schröder
  • Menschen schauen sich Kunst an
    (2020) Umspannwerk Collapse von Marta Djourina, Foto Tanja Schnitzler