Author Archive

A Trip to the Cutest Creatures of Brandenburg: Alpacas

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For some Berliners, Brandenburg feels like Mordor from Lord of the Rings. A dark place you are not supposed to go. But our recent discovery will make this assumption disappear even for the most sceptikal ones: An Alpaka farm with the most fluffy creatures of the world

Just one hour from Berlin by car is the little village of Börnicke near Nauen. There you will find the privately run Alpaca farm run by Nora and Joachim. Both are big fans of Alpacas who normally live in South America. They decided to build a little stable for these incredible animals next to an idyllic forest.

When we arrived we did not really know what to expect. But as soon as we stood in the middle of the field the funny animals avidly came towards us eating crispy bread from our hands and cuddling with us. We instantly got high of joy. I would have never believed it myself, but playing with these animals gives you the absolute feeling of happiness. When they look at you with their cute big brown eyes you cannot avoid feeling a deep warm sensation around your heart.

Claudio by Claudio
on December 6th, 2017
in Stories, Travel, Wellness

Freedom is a Raw Dance: Come as you are!

Come as you are # Berlin ∏ Anna Agliardi-7

photo: Anna Agliardi

The story begins like a typical Berlin fairytale: Three dancers from Syria, refugees, unwanted and threatened artist in their homeland, find a new destiny for themselves and their art in Berlin. With an Israeli choreographer that supports their dreams and helps them to find a new artistic way of expressing themselves putting their story on stage here in Berlin.

But the creative process behind Come as you are, the new piece from Nir de Volff, Medhat Aldaabal, Moufak Aldoabl and Amr Karkout, is much more complex than a fairytale. In several public rehearsals, the dancers and the choreographer invited the public to be part of the creation. A creation that was full of confrontations with the current political situation but also with deeply personal stories with little heartfelt banalities and the big big questions: What is the meaning of all this suffering? What is my body made for? And will I ever be free?

No easy answers to all of that, except maybe that dance is humanity’s most universal language and the key to understanding each other. No matter if we are German, Syrian, Jewish, Muslim, gay or straight. The dates and address and more beautiful pics by Anna Agliardi below.

Claudio by Claudio
on December 5th, 2017
in Theater

Tasting the Secrets of American Whiskey in Brandenburg

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Sponsored

Last week, we were invited to a special master class about the art and tradition of whiskey serving called Masters of American Whiskey. The two-day programme was organized by the three whiskey brands: Jack Daniels, Woodford Reserve and Gentleman Jack.  They created a unique course and competition to teach German bartenders about the art of whiskey.

For us non-bartenders, it was exciting and educational to deep-dive on such a specific topic. but for the 60 young bartenders who attended the event, it was serious business. Luckily for us, it felt merely like observing a final test of a big exam, whilst casually sipping on barrel-aged libations.

From the history of whiskey making to the ins and out of crafting good whiskey cocktails, we learned about the depth of history of this classic liquor and breadth of its aromatic qualities. The location of the event was atmospheric, to say the least- an old manor house from the 18th century, situated on a lake, just a bit outside Berlin- there was lots of  prussian flair going on.

Below we gathered some insights from the whiskey master class and photographic impression from the event.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 24th, 2017
in Bars

Rebuilding the Holocaust Memorial in front of the Home of Björn Höcke

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The Holocaust Memorial right in the center of Berlin is definitely a controversial sight. From tourist taking selfies on it for their Tinder(or Grindr)-Profiles to right-wing politicians calling it a monstrosity, the poor memorial has received quite a lot of attention for the wrong reasons. But we have to bring you a tremendous news. The Memorial is not alone anymore because since yesterday a second Holocaust Memorial was build right in front of the home of Björn Höcke. Who is the horrible right-wing politician that insulted the memorial in the first place.

In just one day the Zentrum für Politische Schönheit (Center für Political Beauty), the artist collective responsible for the idea, collected almost 80 000 EUR donation via crowdfunding to build this memorial exceeding their goal way ahead of time.

Of course, this provocation by the Berlin-based collective which is well known for its cool but always controversial art projects is already targeted by angry Nazis that want to get rid of it.  Let’s hope they won’t succeed and that the memorial stays there for quite a while. Chapeau to this funny and very disruptive way of using art for political protest.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 23rd, 2017
in Art, Videos

Be Part of the Human Chain in Berlin to Save the Whole World!

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Sometimes Berlin is such a tolerant and peaceful place to live that we tend to forget how fucked up certain things really are. I mean, of course, there are many terrible and dangerous things going on (climate change, terrorism, HIV and so on). But certain things are beyond bad. They are so bad that we can’t even believe that they actually exist and are a real threat to us. I am speaking about nuclear weapons, which became more like an abstract concept in the last 25 years of the end of the cold war (at least on European soil).

But nuclear weapons are absurdly real and in times of Trump and Kim Jong-Un they get even closer to our privileged peaceful lives. This Saturday there is an incredible opportunity to fight them here in Berlin. ICAN - the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons who won the Nobel Peace Prize this year are organizing a Human Chain between the Embassy of North Korea and the US-Embassy. I had a little chat with the Board Member of ICAN Germany, Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm, born and raised in Berlin, about the protest and why we should all show up there.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 17th, 2017
in People, Stories

Dancing in the Neon Forest – Memory of Dislocation

Dancing in the Neon Forest – Memory of Dislocation

Berlin has become the home of many performance artists from around the world that find a space, opportunities, and connections here to create their own work. I often sit in the audience of these performances, and for me it feels like a privilege to be in contact with their creators. Listening and experiencing their stories from a foreign world is a unique way of traveling – more than anything else (of course with a little help of your imagination).

The dancer and choreographer Jair Luna takes you on journey to his homeland Colombia with his new solo piece Memory of Dislocation – Exactly the same in the opposite direction. In an abstract autobiographic narrative the young performer travels with his audience through light, space and time, from a Berlin dance floor to a forest of neon lights that seems like a beautiful yet dangerous cage, just to fall back in movements and stories from his hometown and childhood. You immediately feel like you are part of his storyline. You have to give up the passiveness, walk around the stage and just follow the path of a young man into his future.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 17th, 2017
in Art, Theater

How Berlin is Redefining Masculinity

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photo: Liam Warton

No other city in the world gives us so much space to discuss and observe different gender stereotypes like Berlin. While walking down Kottbusser Damm all the way to Hermannplatz you can encounter many different types of typical Berlin men. The buff Turkish smartphone shop owner, the thin and elegant androgynous fashion design student shopping fabrics at Maybachufer, the Scandinavian exchange student with long jesus hair and beard sipping a coffee-to-go in a recyclable cup, the German punk cuddling his dog. All these men sound like cliches of course. But cliches that I actually encounter quite regularly. This is how Berlin and its citizen make you aware that there is no strict norm here on how a man should look like and behave like in other parts of the world. A city where playing with gender and identity is nothing unusual but rather the norm.

Reflecting on the softness of men my dear friend and curator Laetitia Duveau from Curated by Girls is launching a brand new exhibition called New Masculinity this Saturday. The show will feature the works of 4 artists who found each other on Instagram and teamed up to drive attention to a new and different portrayal of masculinity. Giving you a little excitement for the opening on November 11 check out a preview from the artist Annika Weertz, Joseph Barrett, Liam Warton and Phoebe Jane Barrett !

Claudio by Claudio
on November 10th, 2017
in Art

A Storm of Thoughts & Threads: Lost Words by Chiharu Shiota

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photo: Leo Seidel

Many years ago I encountered Chiharu Shiota’s work in Berlin and fell in love with her world of black wool threads.  Today I am really happy that the Berlin-based artist – even after her international success – is still exhibiting new works here in town regularly.

Inside the rather traditional St. Nicholas church museum located in the Nikoleiviertel where you would never expect to encounter her newest eye-gasmic art piece. To the occasion of the 500-year anniversary of the Reformation, Chiharu Shiota has created a spatial installation titled Lost Words transforming the whole church into a spider web of thoughts. The pages captured by her thread are the Ten Commandments in several languages. This relates to the Reformation in the sense that before that, the Bible was only read and taught in Latin which made religion only discussable and understandable for the rich and wealthy.

Even if you are not a religious type, Shiota’s work shows you the power of the written word. It shows how a simple idea, the idea of the translation of a sacred text, can have a lasting impact on the whole world as we know it. The address, more pictures, and a video of the making of the art piece after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 2nd, 2017
in Art, Mitte

A Holistic Opera Experience about Gandhi: Satyagraha by Philip Glass

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Proving once again that it’s the most forward thinking of the three Berlin Opera houses, the Komische Oper recently premiered the unique piece Satyagraha by Philip Glass.

This avant-garde opera from the 80s is all about the life of Mahatma Gandhi. For me Gandhi is one of the most controversial public figures of the last century. On the one hand being partly a leader in bringing peace, human rights and freedom to India, on the other hand also making many misogynist and racist statements that from today’s perspective are totally unacceptable.

Philip Glass’ piece of musical theater – is many things: a theater of ideas, a multimedia work of historic art, a political statement and an attempt to unite spiritual inwardness with modern enlightenment through artistic ritual. That is why this piece is not only a must-see for its music but also for the unique combination of dance and stage design. All shows this year are completely sold out. Therefore our dear readers are quite lucky that we are giving away 1×2 of the last available tickets for the show on the 5th of November 2017.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 1st, 2017
in Theater

Disrupting Urbanity: RADIKAL Contemporary Dance from Brussels

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photos: Laetitia Bica

What makes a city a radical place? Conflicts and aggression? Melting pots of cultures? Extremity and irregularities? Or a specific energy that runs through the streets of the city like blood filled with adrenaline through human veins? I have never been to Brussels so far, but I heard it’s a special city. On the one hand tons of young passionate idealistic global citizen working for NGOs and the European Union. On the other hand, old-school politicians, lobbyists and international companies doing what they do best: capitalism. In that mix performance, art, dance and theater have a powerful nourishing ground of ambivalence to get inspiration from.

Therefore we are very excited to collaborate as media partners with Radialsystem V for the upcoming dance festival RADIKAL. Featuring over 20 contemporary dancers and choreographers from over 10 countries this festival has a unique program we would like to present to you. Under the patronage of Sasha Waltz on the 3rd and 4th of November eight performances will take place in one of our favorite theater stages in town. We are giving away 1×2 Tickets for Radical Light from Salva Sanchis. More pictures, the trailer and the program after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on October 27th, 2017
in Theater