illustrations: Johanna Dumet
It all started one fateful Tuesday morning as I stood in my bathroom. The previous night I’d submitted the manuscript of How to be German 2 to my publisher and I considered my German Integration project finished. I was integrated. Standing in the bathroom, I looked below the mirror to a shelf where I saw the toothpaste tubes Elmex and Aronal. They knew, that I knew, that it is wrong to use the same toothpaste for both morning and night. This is not the German way, for it is obvious that your teeth have different cleaning needs depending on the time of day. Logisch. Right? You wouldn’t use the same shampoo when showering at night, as when showering in the morning, would you? Exactly.
Photography has changed significantly over the course of the last couple of years. Instagram had a huge impact on it bringing mobile photography to the next level and new emerging technology such as the 360° cameras that entered the market and VR headsets are changing it now even more. Photography is becoming more and more participative, interactive and immersive. The viewer gets involved in the final results in a way that wasn’t possible a few years ago. You can now interact with the photos and photographers in different ways, become part of a community, experience individual pictures as a part of something larger. Especially on Instagram this has become an important part of the concept of photography. It has managed to lift mobile photography from a hobby to a profession and made photographers the new stars of our generation.
Samsung is pushing this new side of photography even further by making the world of Instagrammers accessible to their fans offline in the form of a live exhibition that is happening here in Berlin in the coming week. They teamed up with some of the most talented photographers from their Samsung Snapshooter Program to create an exhibition that was entirely shot with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. Curated by star photographer Joachim Baldauf the work of Instagrammers such as thomas_k, konaction, urbanentdecker_, loewe7, aguynamedriadh, helinbereket, juancamiloberlin, muenchmax, widenka and many more will be exhibited as beautiful prints and with the help of the Gear VR headsets the visitors will even be able to explore some of the photos as stunning virtual reality panoramas. The exhibition titled “Galaxy Gallery 360” will be open to the public from August 31 – September 5, 2016 at Bikini Berlin.
photos: Valerie-Siba Rousparast
Using something old and repurposing it for something entirely different – doesn’t this sound like something totally typical for Berlin? Just think of all the old, disused buildings close to the “death strip” back in the early nineties that were re-used by the artist and subculture scene for various new purposes, all the nightclubs in old factories and power stations. Think of all the cafes and bars fully furnished with granny’s old interior, the urban playgrounds like Holzmarkt or Klunkerkranich made of scrap wood and metal. There are countless examples here in Berlin that paint a picture of a city that constantly recycles and repurposes itself.
Stuart N. R. Wolfe is one of the creative minds in Berlin that perfectly understands the spirit of Berlin. For his project berlin-re-cycle he found one disused material that Berlin has quite a lot of: Old abandoned bikes. The streets are full of them and Stuart saw them as a great source for material. Through his work as a sculptor and furniture designer he already handled a lot of unusual materials and created new shapes in the past. With the scrap pieces of the bikes he now extended his repertoire with something quite practical: lamps.
photo: Denis Koone Kuhnert
Berlin is dynamic, Berlin loves to dance and Berlin loves to Vogue. So it comes as no surprise that the Voguing scene of Berlin is becoming more and more popular.
Originally from New York’s queer scene, Voguing is inspired by fashion runways. Exaggerated movements are being turned into fierce, strong, overacted self-presentations. The participants of the scene divide themselves into different “houses”, which are more of a family substitute than just a dance crew.
TH!NK? Festival, photo: Arvid Wünsch
For Free: One brown vintage v-neck sweater and one oversized striped H&M tank top!
Why am I giving them away? Well, let me explain…
It all began a few weeks ago when I made the two hour bus ride to Leipzig to attend the TH!NK? festival, an annual one-day techno festival located next to a beautiful lake. When I boarded my bus in my blue marbled stretchy spandex shorts and striped crop top tank, I knew I was going to have an amazing day. I had no idea, however, that life as I know it would be forever changed. Furthermore, I had no idea that as a result, I would return to Berlin a much happier, more romantic version of myself.
It’s really hard to think outside the box of cliches and stereotypes when it comes to foreign countries you have never been to. When I think of Mexico, I instantly think of the unibrow of Frida Kahlo, Aztec pyramids and hot and spicy burritos. Of course Burritos, Quesadillas, Guacamole and Tacos are the first food associations coming to everyone’s mind regarding Mexico.
But behind every set of culinary cliches there are even more unexpected and delicious surprises. We had the chance to get an exclusive tour through the new food court exhibition at KaDeWe. Presenting all kind of Mexican ingredients and delicacies this food show taught us that there is more to the Mexican taste than just hot and spicy. Vanilla, Chocolate, Agave and many more essential products were discovered and developed in Mexico and I can’t even imagine a culinary world without all these ingredients.
You can visit the food show, take part at several tastings and product presentations and shop exclusive ingredient’s until the third of September in the 6th floor of KaDeWe. Just to give you a nice preview of what you can expect from this experience we took some pictures of some of the colorful and delicious products. Taste them with your own eyes after the jump
photos: Alexander Steffen
Should you ever talk to people who have lived in Berlin for decades, there is no chance that they won’t underscore how much the city has changed through time. Unfortunately, they are not pleased with what Berlin has turned into and while each of them might have a different account of what exactly the core of the problem is and who is to blame, they would all agree that gentrification has exacerbate the situation. Without intending to initiate another debate on how to tackle this alarming phenomenon, I would like to raise awareness for a beautiful photo project by Alexander Steffen. Having grown up in West Berlin, he started the project Vanishing Berlin in 2009 by taking pictures of transient landmarks all over the city. Wastelands, storefronts and brick walls are central elements of his work. While some of the photographs seem to have been captured decades ago, they were all taken in the last seven years. Alexander’s focus doesn’t lie on the past, but on the process of change instead. His next goal through the crowdfunding campaign of Vanishing Berlin is to publish this wonderful series as a photo book.
photos: Million Motions Medienproduktion
“If walls could talk…” This was the topic of the call for submissions for a giant new mural in Berlin that initiated the creation of 396 designs from almost 60 countries around the world. Talenthouse Kreativplattform chose out of the innovative and highly diverse submitted material the work of Marcus Haas and turned it into a mural with the help of the art group Xi-Design and the artists Size Two and Mario Mankey. The mural depicts a chunk of meat being cut in two by a knife engraved with the phrase “Berlin 1961-1989¨. It, thus, tells Berlin’s most defining story. Marcus Haas clarifies that the division of the meat into two parts refers to the division of the city into East and West Berlin from the emergence of the wall in 1961 through its fall in 1989. Taking a closer look one will be able to notice the different districts of the city vaguely drafted on the meat. You will find the mural opposite the Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Straße for a limited duration of 3 months.
Having studied at another culturally forgettable -yet very beautiful in the summer – German town, I always thought that the main difference between living in the capital and living in a place, where breathing large amounts of non-polluted air almost didn’t feel right, was the night life. What differentiates Berlin from other smaller cities is not just its numerous wild parties, where the right drug combination can bring you to euphoric levels of happiness despite the insufferably monotonous beats and pull you into a life crisis the next day, while wondering how you managed to look like you already had a divorce and a few heart-attacks. Luckily, Berlin is so much more than that.
The main difference lies in the possibilities awaiting when the sunlight starts to dim and the city puts on a new outfit, less fancy but always stylish; not the let’s-have-a-reunion-at-the-cemetery-kind, but in a far more original way.
Blame it on your insomnia, your constantly unsatisfied desire to explore as many as layers of this city as possible, your biological needs, or simply your Fear Of Missing Out, Berlin is here to keep you company through the sleepless nights, when doing anything other than “sleeping, because I am working tomorrow” could feel just a little bit abnormal; to be your remedy.
photo: Valerie-Siba Rousparast
The “Berliner Schnauze” is not a term by accident. Berliners are well known all over Germany for their rough tone, their unique way of expressing their anger, antipathy and impatience. In all this verbal roughness, there is also a very honest authenticity and directness that most people come to appreciate really quick. If a Berliner tells you something nice, you can be sure that it is not out of politeness, but a true compliment.