Author Archive

5 Films that Capture the Sound of Berlin in Different Decades

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Over the last 100 years, Berlin has changed into several drastic shapes like no other city in Germany. Every time a shift happened not only the urban aesthetic of Berlin evolved but also the layer that lies beneath our everyday routines: Sound!

For the next chapter of Audi Zeitgeist Projects, a unique commitment of the automotive brand to support German Avantgarde-music, this unique sound of Berlin will be presented in a completely new way. Several well-known musicians like Gudrun Gut and Modeselektor came together to compose a Symphony of Now – merging the sound of Berlin with a spectacular movie being released next week just before Berlinale. For this film, we are exclusively raffling off 2×2 Tickets for the upcoming shows next week.

On the occasion of the upcoming premiere of Symphony of Now we decided to have a deeper look into Berlin’s movie history and we found several films that portray the sound of Berlin in different decades perfectly.

Claudio by
on February 8th, 2018
in Movies, Music

Skalar – A Stunning Audio-Visual Experience at Kraftwerk Berlin

There is no final explanation why we humans connect our emotions to certain sounds and colors. Some say it’s evolution that made red the color of anger, other say it’s our civilization and culture that tells us certain sounds feel sad.

Either way, art and music are the sublime keys to our emotions and gifted are the ones who know how to combine these keys with mastery. On the occasion of the CTM Festival and Transmediale, the artist Christoph Bauder and the electronic music composer Kaending Ray created a new full-scale art piece inside Kraftwerk Berlin following the success of Deep Web from 2016. Named Skalar, like the element defining a vector space, this art piece is a journey inside the deepest darkest corners of human emotions.

Claudio by
on January 29th, 2018
in Art

Yoga While You Wait – The Funniest Book About Yoga in the City

photos: Markus Abele

I totally get that Yoga is not for everybody. Sometimes when I am sitting there, in one of those hardcore Jivamukti classes where they sing all together and talk about important life lessons I try to imagine the face of my grandmother when the yoga teacher says: “You are a beautiful flower. And now please spread your legs and hips wide to let the deep emotions in. Like the sunshine is entering with its beams into your inner flower”.

My secret method to enjoy these kinds of situations is taking it with a sense of humor. It’s like a free live episode of one of your favorite comedy shows and you build muscles and flexibility while watching it. I call it a win-win! But that does not mean that I don’t take yoga seriously. Actually, it’s one of the few things in my weekly routine that helped me in many situations of life for the past 8 years.

Claudio by
on January 23rd, 2018
in Books, Wellness

The Art of Intuitive Archery in Berlin Kreuzberg

Both my parents studied German Philosophy at University.  The hallway of our home was an entire library filled with old books showcasing the Stars of this particular scene. From Kant to Nietzsche, we had them all year around us and our lives. One day I discovered one particular book that was called “Zen and the Art of Archery”. Little did I know as a teenager that this book was a tremendous bestseller back in the days when German philosophy was really hip and cool. It’s about a German professor going to Japan to learn more about Zen. On top of getting philosophy lessons the old Japanese master also teaches him archery.

Now, nearly 15 years after discovering this book I am going to my first intuitive archery lesson here in Berlin. On Kottbusser Damm I am looking for a Dojo called BerlinAikido where I am meeting my teacher Latifa Rothacker.

Claudio by
on December 21st, 2017
in Stories

A Trip to the Cutest Creatures of Brandenburg: Alpacas

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

Freedom is a Raw Dance: Come as you are!

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
on December 5th, 2017
in Theater

Tasting the Secrets of American Whiskey in Brandenburg

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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
on November 24th, 2017
in Bars

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

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
on November 23rd, 2017
in Art, Videos

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

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
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
on November 17th, 2017
in Art, Theater