Self Burn: Berliners’ Worst Habits, Illustrated by Josefine Aspvik

Cartoonist Josefine Aspvik sheds a humorous light on the most ridiculous facets of Berlin culture

Finnish illustrator Josefine Aspvik has for knack turning Berliner’s bad habits into good art. Drawing her inspiration from Berlin nightlife, she creates comics with frank text and razor-sharp lines that aesthetically embody the city they respond to. The humor of the comics lies not in satire, but in their brutally honest characterisation of the style, sound and rituals of Berlin youth culture and its powerful draw.

Aspvik’s comics illustrate a hedonistic world that to outsiders may seem upside-down — where the best parties are on Monday mornings, “broke” people can always afford club entry, and mullets are taken seriously. They remind us that Berlin’s dance floors, filled with communists in Vetements and artists that make no art, were the birthplace a community which celebrates its ability to contradict itself. With each of Aspvik’s characters inspired by an actual person, the drawings maintain an undeniable sense of familiarity to anyone well acquainted with the party circuit. Weekly raver or not, the drive to self-destruct is all too relatable.

We worked with Josefine to identify the funniest contradictions that fan the flames of Berlin nightlife, and the bad habits Berliners can’t seem to kick.

Spending Money We Don’t Have On Outrageous Clubbing Outfits We Don’t Need

Taking Ourselves Way Too Seriously, Despite Our Very Un-Serious Passtimes

Scoffing At Mainstream Fashion Trends Whilst Over-Hyping Our Own

Being Able to Maintain House Plants, But Being Unable to Maintain a Job

Considering French Fries & Sternis To Be A Balanced Diet

Sleeping Until Thursday So We Can Party Until Tuesday

Naively Believing Month After Month We Can Pay Our Rent With Our Art

Denouncing Corporations — But Worshipping a Select Few

Clocking Far More Hours In the Berghain Queue Than In The Office

Pretending “Freelancing” and “Unemployed” Are Synonyms

Breaking Our Veganism Every Time We Walk Past Burgermeister

Swearing to Ourselves We’ll Stay In This Weekend, But Then Breaking Our Own Personal Record For “Hours Spent In the Club”

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