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Monday 22, April

Berlin now has a museum for insane bureaucracy

A new museum opening on April 22 aims to highlight the insanity of German bureaucracy. They've also got a BDSM room.

Photo: IMAGO / Pond5 Images

Monday, April 22

Berlin now has a museum for insane bureaucracy

A new pop-up museum in Berlin has opened up for anyone who has ever struggled to get an appointment at the Ausländerbehörde. Opening on 22 April and running until June 25, the Berlin Bureaucracy Museum will open a new file on the country’s mania for fax machines, stacks of paper and red tape.

A number of ironic artworks have been installed intended to poke fun at all this the orderly insanity. As visitors enter the 350 square metre space, they pass through a hollowed-out tree intended to represent the 52 trees that are felled each day to provide government paper. Weirdly, this exhibition also features a BDSM room where visitors can shackle themselves to a giant “§” (the typographical character for citing sections of legal code), which stands in front of a darkly illuminated wall on which the words: “Call me daddy state” are written.

The entire project seems to have been cooked up by a ThinkTank called the New Social Market Economy Initiative. This lobby organisation havs spent €500,000 to establish the museum, arguing that German bureaucracy weakens Germany’s attractiveness as a business location. Their website argues for wider political reforms such as balanced budgets, so while this museum might be against bureaucracy, they remain a bit friendlier towards propaganda…

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