'Vaugahyde' Highlights Berlin's Underground Queer Scene

'Vaugahyde' Highlights Berlin's Underground Queer Scene

by Payton Dunn

Director Adam Munnings and DJ/producer ElNinoDiablo have joined forces yet again for their fifth collaboration, Vaugahyde. The short film is an ode to Berlin’s underground queer scene, one that Munnings says has been a "safe haven for queer people to come together and find a place of acceptance."

The 16mm film showcases a whole cast of wonderfully unique characters dressed from head to toe in the most lavish outfits, with the camera staying put and rolling on as the collection of bodies intimately comes together. "Sweaty bodies and open minds," disembodied voices chant. "We are sexual, not sexualized. Kinky, not your kink."

Vaugahyde is raw and honest, rooted in the liberation that the scene provides the city’s marginalized groups. "The power of the piece is all due to the cast of beautiful souls that took part," Munnings says. "I merely gave them the framework to be their true selves and it’s an honor to represent such talent in a cinematic way."

Munnings met most cast members on Berlin's "euphoric" dancefloors and in safe spaces, such as their "Lunchbox Candy" party. The director's goal is for the film to push back against mainstream narratives surrounding the queer community and represent it more accurately, straying away from cis male-centric storylines that have dominated media and culture.

Vaugahyde touches on themes of gender and sexuality, and warps them as the acid synth groove pounding away in the background morphs through dub-influenced delay and reverb, creating an open auditory space that feels like the viewer is also walking through the club.

"When I start working on new music, I follow an energetic pull rather than a specific idea that comes from thinking, planning or analyzing, and I always trust that because whatever comes out is totally unexpected and it takes me to places I could never imagine," ElNinoDiablo says, adding that "Vaugahyde" is a made-up word intended to sound "bold" and "ambiguous."

Watch the PAPER premiere of Vaugahyde, below

Photos courtesy of Adam Munnings and El Nino Diablo