The fall of the Berlin Wall on the 9th of November of 1989 was one of the most drastic changes in the history of Berlin. The reunification of the divided city was not only a political and social change but also the beginning of a new economic perspective for Berlin. Since then a lot has changed. Start-ups and young small companies have settled down in Berlin because of its fertile and creative ground. These changes not only bring new jobs for the inhabitants but also a more positive spirit for the future of the city.
One new project of the Berlin administration wants to focus on the creative and innovative people behind all the great companies settling in Berlin. Therefore 25 business will get a lot of positive attention in a city-wide countdown. You have a small business here or are working for a company which is positively connected to Berlin? Then you should definitely apply until July 31 to take part in this unique campaign. You only need to fill in this online questionnaire and inspire with your personal business story. You can find all the details about the project here.
I have a really distinct memory from my first night at Cookies. I was 19, fresh in Berlin and doing some crazy art projects for the gender class of my university. We were a small group of three people on the project. One of them was my best friend and the other one was my secret crush. We were working on the concept of our project until late in the night and got really drunk while doing so. It was a Tuesday night and we had nowhere to be on the next day, so we decided to go out. Venturing out for clubbing on a Tuesday night was something quite spectacular for me being a new Berlin citizen. So we went to the much talked about Cookies for the first time and I remember being really impressed by the dark chandeliers, the music, the people, the unisex toilets and everything going on in there. Unfortunately, my best friend and my crush were really drunk and out of control. At one point they even started kissing each other, which maybe is the reason why the night is still very present in my memories. Of course I was a good friend and stayed there and helped them to get into a cab (they were so drunk that they had trouble standing). Actually, I was a more sad that the night was ruined and abruptly ended by the alcohol than about the kissing itself (I really don`t know why I was so Zen that night, I was not even doing Yoga or anything).
Anyway, Cookies remained in my memories as great place to be. Now, nearly 10 years after this story, the Cookies club closes for good (while the restaurant Cookies Cream will remain open). Therefore we asked them to look into their archives to find pictures from the first parties happening there. After the jump, we would love to present to you a short retrospective from Cookies best places and nights of its 20 year old history.
Berlin has proven to be a city where technology innovations of all kinds find an interested audience. The blooming and booming start-up scene has created various new jobs and economic perspectives. Finally people that have finished university here have a proper chance to get a job without moving to Munich or Hamburg. Any new development has of course also a bunch of new enemies. Not everyone thinks that the start-ups can create economic stability for a city which such a huge amount of financial problems. Often I noticed that people who are not very fond of start-ups have never actually been in touch with any of that. I have a great amount of friends who started a small business with their ideas and I like supporting all of them as much as I can. Either you are a big fan or a big disapprover I recommend you to visit the Tech Open Air – Unconference this Wednessday and the satellite events this Thursday.
On one of this events I am taking part in a panel to speak with Alexander Görlach (Chief Editor, The European) and Lukas Kircher (CEO, KircherBurkhardt) about the future of journalism. The event is at the Supermarkt at Brunnenstrasse in Wedding and it is free like most of the other satellite events. The discussion will be in German. Check it out here and say hello to me if you like. After the jump, some nice pictures of the location of the Unconference and the details about the panel.
Fashion trade shows are obviously focused on the future of fashion. New designs, colors, cuts and materials are presented to vendors and press so that they can decide which brands are making it in the race of the next big shit, or which brands will stay on their traditional pathway. Therefore I was more than surprised to receive an invitation to the Vintage Circus at the Bread & Butter fair. Fifty of the best vintage fashion and vintage furniture retailers of Berlin had the possibility to present themselves with a little sale booth. After the success of Toast and Jam the last seasons at the Columbia club it is actually a nice idea to connect the giant fashion monster Bread & Butter with this little exclusive circle of vintage sellers. Only the weather was not in favor of this cooperation. Several times the sellers were nearly drowned by the masses of rain storming over the city. Finally they had to close the circus because of storm warnings on Wednesday much earlier. But in any case I could get some nice and inspirational photographic impressions of the event. And the best part of it? Most of the nice sellers have an online or a real boutique in town so that you can always feel free to stop by. My favorite ones are Garments, Mayflower Vintage, Pane e Vintage and Veist Kleidergeschichten. But you can check out all of them on their websites. Enjoy the photos after the jump.
photo: Ole Ukena
Last night the occupation of a house at Ohlauer Straße in Kreuzberg achieved something like a bitter happy end. The solidarity and all the engagement of the people from Berlin towards the refugees of Ohlauer Straße has proven to be succesful. The 40 remaining refugees will be able to stay and meanwhile the house will be rebuilt to a proper refugee center. But still this result is not a success but more like a bitter reminder that it takes guts, will power and boldness to fight injustice. The images and stories from Ohlauer Straße seem to be from another country. Police brutality resulting in pepper spray against demonstrating teenagers and multiple fractures and damages under all the people protesting is a shameful result for the local government. The most expensive intervention of the police forces so far would have financed so much more important things in this city than this inhuman, senseless and unjust blockade. I just hope that the images from this days will stay sharp in our memories and in the consciousness of the government as well. More photos to be remembered after the jump.
photo: Gabriel Zucca
After the Boris Charmatz perfomance last weekend another incredible dance highlight is waiting for you to be discovered this week. From the courtly idyll that sets the scene to the clean, spare vision of a perfect world, the Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter creates a frenetic abandon combined with the unbend power of moving chaos. With its powerful, virtuoso choreography, the production touches the dark sides not only of bygone colonial times, but also of our own. An expanded company of 14 dancers is accompanied by an eclectic soundtrack that includes original music by Shechter himself. The Foreign Affairs Festival brings us this master piece of modern dance, which should not be missed by dance enthusiast and theater lovers. After the jump you find the trailer, the dates and more pictures.
On a cloudy Saturday afternoon I took my new bike to the Sowjet Monument of Honor at Treptower Park. This time not for a normal bike trip though. The Foreign Affairs Festival is in town and celebrates the arts of music dance and theater bringing rare pearls of contemporary culture from all over the world to Berlin.
One chapter of the festival is contributed by Boris Charmatz and his Dancing Museum. This artistic association tries to document, preserve and work with art history in an unusual way. Questioning the potential of remembering the historic background, the dancers and the essentials of the choreography itself, Charmatz created a diverse parcours across 20th century dance history. The dances ranging from Meyerhold’s biomechanics, folk dance and Vogueing to contemporary dance where shown and explained by the dancers themselves. This way they became art pieces, curators and museum guides in one person. Impression from the dancers and some short thoughts after the jump.
photo: Eduardo Magalha on ihateflash
As we already discussed in the Dating Dilemma, Berlin is quite the uphill struggle when it comes to finding a perfect soul mate. After a while of living here you will realize that getting to know somebody is crazy difficult. To sum up the reasons in a simple statistic: One third of the single population is proud to be a slut, one third is infected with love resistance and the last third (actually the one where not all the hope is lost) got their heart broken not only once or twice but at least let’s say around a dozen times (by the other two thirds).
But listen up, I am not telling you all this because I want to demotivate you. Actually I hope to inspire you to break out of the circle of fear of rejection and start flirting again. Especially in summer, flirting can be so much fun and the most unexpected pleasant encounter is waiting just at the next open air party, flea market stroll or barbecue on the rooftop. To prepare yourself for it I will teach you how to write love letters, have trust in coincidence, make use of technological advances such as the new smartphone app happn and some more ideas to restart flirting after the jump.
photos: Thomas Aurin
There are some theater and dance companies that make me wish to have pursuit other career options. Since I am way too old to become a dancer I have to limit myself to watching their incredible perfomance and perhaps review them. One special company which is such a pain to watch because they are so incredibly good that you wish you could be on stage with them is the Costanza Macras ensemble Dorky Park. If you never heard of them and wish to experience my unbareable craving to be involved, they are playing again their great piece Megalopolis this weekend at Schaubühne. More photos, a trailer, a summary and details after the jump.
Fashion in Berlin comes and goes. One day you dress unconventionally chic, the next day you have to get your gym outfit ready for a party because sportswear became the new avant-garde and today we are constantly underdressed (people call it Normcore, but I think it’s just a new way of being lazy).
But for some characters of the Berlin nightlife underdressing ist not an option. Because their style is not only a fashion statement but more a moral attitude. Drag Queens are always sitting in the front row because of their privilege of diversity. With their elegant and daring extravaganza they are questioning mainstream society and protesting conservative gender stereotypes. Fair enough, they were always a role model in the LGBT community and should always be treated with respect and devotion. As I mentioned before here, being a proud and sparkling butterfly not only makes the Earth a little bit brighter and more colorful, but also reassures us hat we have to dare to be ourselves, however strange and bold that self may prove to be.
For this pride week we wanted to celebrate the beauty and talent of the Grand Dames of the local Drag Queen scene. For that our skilled photographer Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert visited the Dragrace party at Südblock where each screening of the latest episode of Ru Paul’s Dragrace was followed by hilarious and spectacular stage performances by drag queen PANSY and her favorite girls. Enjoy the photos of this incredible Birds of Paradise after the jump.