Berlin in 2018 represents Europe’s creative metropolis number one. “Berlin reminds me of what New York was like in the early ‘80s,” Honey Dijon, iconic DJ, and cultural encyclopedia, told Clash in an interview in 2017, “It hasn’t been tainted as bad. It retains its rawness and roughness, it’s really young and still somewhat affordable. So there’s a lot of young artists.” – The European city that attracts musical talent ain’t London no more. Take a look at the following list of exceptionally talented and unique artists, and you’ll see: We have entered a new era of music made in Berlin. Whether short momentum or the start of bigger things to come. Don’t miss these 12 amazing, new music videos from Berlin-based artists!
photo: Majdi Laktinah.
Censorship in digital spaces is pushing against a zeitgeist of sexual diversity and sex positivity. It establishes a dangerous moral code, especially among younger users. iHeartBerlin’s latest exhibition #UncensoredBerlin centers those representations of the human body that are affected by digital censorship and offers the participating artists a unique platform to express themselves freely.
“Your post has been removed as it doesn’t follow our community guidelines.” – For many users of social media platforms, but especially for many artists, this phrase has become a familiar foe. What kind of community restricts your right for self-expression?
The new photo book “BerlinNights” captures the surreal and other-worldly atmosphere of the cities nightlife with a candid style in intense monochrome.
Bored of his profession as a commercial web designer in the late 90’s, Christian Reister found diversion in night strolls through Berlin. He found himself in intimate moments and cinematic scenes that inspired him to pick up his camera. He wanted to try capturing this intangible atmosphere on film that comes truly alive after dark. Reister started taking images in 2001, focusing on urban streets and city life. After 10 years of working as a photographer, he turned his back on colors, adopting a grainy, experimental approach that allowed him to create even more abstract and atmospheric work.
The recent sale of dozens of iconic buildings inhabiting thousands of people along Berlin’s grand boulevard Karl-Marx-Allee by a private real estate company is symbolizing the sinister developments in the city’s housing market. But is it all just sell, sell, sell, cringe and carry on, or who has the final say here?
700 apartments in Berlin’s famous, postwar, palace-like apartment blocks along what was formerly known as GDR’s prestigious ‘Stalinallee’ change ownership. The buildings were acquired by ‘Deutsche Wohnen’ – the largest private real estate firm in the capital region, often criticized for its rigorous rental increase politics. – Oh my. I live there myself. What now?
Spyros Rennt’s intimate and voyeuristic images archive an excessive queer reality. He flashes his very personal light on brief moments in between Berlin dance floors and bedrooms, on silly fucks, hard dicks, and cold fries.
Hailing from Athens, Greece the self-taught image creator made his way to the German capital in 2011, inspired by the city’s hedonistic lifestyle, brutal architecture and, for a Greek, unusual grey skies. “Of course, Berlin has changed since the first time I visited in 2005 as a young tourist. But it still attracts interesting and open-minded people from all over the world and offers them unique creative opportunities,” Spyros explains in our interview. Coming from a background in engineering, the now 34-year-old seized these opportunities and turned his own passion for photography into a profession.
This female artist makes Berlin come to life in thick black lines and vibrant colors.
From Bogota to the Big B, after stops in Firenze Italy as a child, studies of fine arts and illustrations in Bogota and Madrid, Xuehka, or Xueh Magrini Troll, moved to Berlin to study visual communication at the Weißensee School of Art. Artistry runs in Xueh’s blood, she follows into the creative footsteps of her mother and grandmother as a female artist. Xueh, who calls legendary painter Frida Kahlo one of her biggest influences, has made the German capital the main source of inspiration for her lively cartoons, drawings, and sketches.
242,000 people marched against the right-wing last Saturday. The iHeartBerlin team took part and has some pictures for you.
“Solidarity, not exclusion – for a free and liberal society,” the unifying motto of the “Unteilbar” (inseparable) initiative lead a massive crowd of people out on the streets six kilometers across the capital from Alexanderplatz to Siegessäule. “Tens of Thousands Protest Racism and Discrimination in Berlin”, “240,000 demonstrate against hate and xenophobia”, “March against far-right draws huge crowds in Berlin”, “It’s finally a united movement”, headlines like these popped up all over the world the last few days. It’s a symbol of hope during otherwise gloomy days that not only Berlin needed, but the whole world. And we want to say thank you. Thank you, Berlin. We all needed that.
photos: Abdulsalam Ajaj
Meet the Berlin-based artist creating his own, undressed version of the BVG’s ‘Because We Love You’ campaign.
Deliberately provocative, Mischa Badasyan is known for unusual art projects in photography, film or performance art. The Russian-born multidisciplinary artist is stepping over graphic, ethical and legal lines to move his viewer to reflect the society and the politics we live in. After moving to Berlin in 2013, his project “Save The Date” (2014) put him on the critics’ map, raising the age-old question: What is art, and is this art?
During his project, in between self-experiment, performance piece, and social study, he slept with a different man every day for a year. The project dealt with the absurd ways we seem to seek a brief feeling of proximity in blind dates and one night stands, that’s only followed by painful emptiness. “Only through pain we are able to learn something truly honest,” Badasyan told MAZ during the project.
These ten women and men aren’t afraid to expose their naked bodies to fight against stigmas around sex, gender, and sexual orientation.
It’s a struggle for freedom of expression on a slippery slope. With their work these brave ten blur the lines of art, pornography, sex work, political activism, or what’s considered “professional” work. They face the dangers that come with the openly sexual nature of their work or digital persona. Their explicit representation on and offline is not a green card to sexual consent, what sounds like a no-brainer is something many people do not understand. “I’ve found myself in some very dangerous, and uncomfortable situations,” our cover model Sam Morris told Gay Times, “I have been sexually blackmailed, assaulted, verbally harassed, and raped. These situations have involved photographers, prolific magazine editors, and other gay men I’ve met along the way.” Physical harassment, slut-shaming, and tensions in personal relationships are something all of them have encountered but they found ways to deal with these situations. For erotic filmmaker and performer Anarella Martínez-Madrid, it’s as simple as this: “If being a slut means being able to enjoy your sexual life, and get to know yourself better, then I am a slut”.
Political activism made easy: Sassy YouTuber and witty digital activist Tarik Tesfu picks five social projects against racism and xenophobia that need your financial support right now.
Tarik has been bopping around the web since 2015. As a self-proclaimed “gender-messiah” and “do-gooder” the young Berliner vlogs about gender equality, LGBTQI*rights and racism in Germany in weekly shamelessly spot on and self-ironic videos. As a German gay man of color his politically incorrect, razor-blade lingo served with a charming smile on top does, however, not only gain him fans.
Let’s just say, the comments on his YouTube-channel can get pretty ugly. Apparently, it’s: love Tarik or hate Tarik and nothing in between. Take the hate and turn it into a “Weil wir dich haten, Tarik-Heul-Mimimi-Hymne” (the “Because we hate you Tarik-Whine-Mimimi-Anthem”), is Tarik’s response to that. Even if you don’t understand German, that’s pretty hilarious.