Berlin Kultur

Strippers during the pandemic

Katja Hippopotamus is an Australian born dancer and performance artist who is currently based in Berlin. She is of mixed race, mixed personalities and a mix of quiet accomplishment and extroverted insanity.

By that time, you have not been able to work for 1 year now. How are you dealing with the situation?
Lockdowns have wreaked havoc on the entertainment industry. I am one of the few lucky people who have been able to transition all of my work online. Although I feel as if financially, I am stagnating, this time has provided new opportunities to properly explore my creative side. I’ve done more photo shootings in the past six months than I have in the past two year combined. I’ve also had a lot more time to focus on my heath, both mental and physical, and have strengthened friendships.

Katja Hippopotamus  dancer stripper
Photo: Timo Frank

Have there been any new projects in the last year?
Thankfully yes! I am part of a performance group called ‘Playgirls Stripper Wars’, it is the brain child of a close friend Mercy, we are a Sex Worker collective and perform online shows via Zoom where we wrestle against each other in various substances… the last one was ketchup. Frankly, this has been a lifesaver for me, being around other creatives and strippers has really opened up my third in terms of creative inspiration. In addition to that I get to wrestle and slide around in a swimming pool full of hot women… who wouldn’t want that?

Because of strict Covid regulations in Berlin indoor shootings have been limited so 90% of the photoshoots I’ve been involved in have been held outdoors. This is something that I will definitely explore more even once regulations have been lifted.

Is there a digital alternative to strip clubs?
Not really, but OnlyFans is an alternative to in person sex work. Unlike traditional porn sites you can speak to the creator, see her naked daily and if you’re in the mood for a strip tease then that can also be arranged… for a price of course.

How is the situation in Berlin in general?
I can’t speak for an entire city but the mood at the moment is pretty grim. There is a housing crisis so it’s near impossible to find affordable long-term accommodation, unemployment is through the roof, wages are low and the main thing that gives this city its life, the nightclubs, have been closed for over a year. There is a general mood of exhaustion and depression that is only exacerbated by a complete lack of empathetic government policy.

I think that once clubs open up people will be much, much happier and the city will return to its former hedonistic state.

Katja Hippopotamus Stripper

How do you spend your time? What do you enjoy doing?
I try and live a pretty healthy lifestyle, I work out three time a week, read, cook and occasionally go on a three-day drinking bender with friends. I’m also an avid hunter. Keeping my mind active and stimulated is imperative to me staying sane so I am studying for my „Jagdschein“ at the moment. It’s not an easy feat especially in a language that is not my mother tongue. I absolutely love the outdoors so perhaps in a few years once I’ve hung up my stripper heels, you’ll find me in the forest instead.

stripper Katja Hippopotamus
Photo: David Paul Larson

On your amazon wish list I discovered a Chinese Traditional Tai Chi Uniform. Are you interested in combat sports?
You know that it’s illegal to look at my Amazon Wishlist and not buy me something right? The costume is for a photoshoot, I would never buy martial arts material from Amazon. To answer your question, yes, before lockdown I took Krav Maga classes and can’t wait to continue once things open up again. This is just another way for me to stay active and to take care of my body, I am far from an expert on the topic.

What do you wish for the future?
I wish for a return to normality and 10 million euros wouldn’t hurt either.

Katja Hippopotamus –