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.
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.
photos: Thai Hoang
Over the weekend I stumbled across an awesome photo series by Thai Hoang that I want to share with you today. Some of you might also know the young photographer from his Instagram account loewe7 that was also part of our #berlin exhibition last year. As part of the monthly Instameet #CamerasAndDancers organized by Jacob Jonas The Company Thai had the opportunity to follow a group of five dancers through Berlin and capture them in stunning formations in various iconic Berlin backgrounds. I love the idea of this Instameet, I love the guys from the group and I love the results of this photo shoot!
photos: Carrie Schneider
Nudity is nothing a Berliner is particularly shocked about. In contrary, I think that Berlin is the city with the most public nakedness in the world if you consider all the nude beaches and public sex parties. It is also a different nakedness than in a tropical or Mediterranean city because the weather is not actually inviting to take off your close. The Berlin nudity is a public statement to the liberation of the human body from all the social, political and gender oppressions. At least that is what I like to read into it, even though I doubt that all of the half naked 19year old kids at the Pornceptual parties would agree.
But I am losing track here. Let’s discuss Berlin’s political intentions on nudity another time… I actually just wanted to recommend a damn sexy contemporary dance festival starting today: Tanz im August. Scrolling through the pics I saw some naked flesh popping up in the press folder and I was wondering if a conservative audience would claim that the dance world needs sex to get more attention from the younger audience. This could not be more wrong. Dance is not automatically sexy when the bodies on stage are naked.
But there is an element of contemporary dance that I find extremely sexy (which is why I also used this alluring headline). It is the intensity and the ability to control, perform and present yourself and your body that intrigues the spectator. A contemporary performer is always in a constant dialogue between his own body and the audience and is within this dialogue able to create tension and persuasion. From my point of view, most of the times the nakedness of a performer is actually not erotic but rather a narration of intimacy and disclosure.
We selected several dance pieces from the festival taking places in some of our favorite theaters including Sophiensaele, Hau and Volksbühne, that we think are promising and worth visiting. Our recommendations after the jump.
photo: Hara Katsiki
As mundane as it may sound, Berlin is the very definition of a melting pot. It has always reminded me of an immense theater stage, where all countries take their position and as soon as the lights start to dim, they begin interacting with each other; they fight, they love, they live, but most of all they constantly try to make their stories get heard as loud as possible. There is one thing they have always in common: they are fully in sync with their multicultural environment and in the case of Greece miles away from the picture drawn by Nia Vardalos’ Big Fat – filled with stereotypes, yet utterly entertaining – Greek Wedding.
Several Greek places around the world – cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, concerts etc. – have always made me feel like Alice in Wonderland, but to a more twisted and disturbing extent than Lewis Carroll’s bizarre universe. It is mostly the image of people being lost in their Greek microcosm, fully ignorant of the overwhelming benefits life abroad has to offer, that brings discontent to me. And it is then, when you realize that for some coming from the same place has developed into the one and only criterion of socializing with people.
However, this story is about those who have become citizens of the world and their Greek identity represents a part of it and not vice versa. Here a few examples of Greek businesses and artists active in Berlin who choose to work and live through the aforementioned identity.
From video games (e.g. Prison Architect, Star Citizen) to software (e.g. Augur, DigixDAO) and from financial aid (e.g. Greek Bailout Fund) to films (e.g. Veronica Mars) crowdfunding has consistently represented a broad platform, where ideas and wishful thinking have the potential to become reality with the financial help of their staunch advocates. Innovation and creativity stand as synonyms to a myriad of projects, several of which are found in the soon-to-be-too-cold Berlin. We chose a couple of our favorite ones that are currently seeking support and deserve your attention.
photos: Stas / CC
Being superficial isn’t normally something to be proud of. Walking the streets of Berlin, it can make sense though, since the architectural surfaces of the urban space can be fascinating. Even the most banal things can be inspiring and beautiful, if seen from the right perspective. Someone, who has an eye for beautiful details is photographer Stas. Under this nickname, he shares his pictures of Berlin. We are especially fond of his series of doors of Berlin, because you never know, what awaits you behind them. Those ugly and pretty doors also tell a lot about the history of the city, about long gone trends in architecture, design and art. Have a look!
photo: Kristian van Kuijk
Trying to perfect the art of dating in Berlin, I’ve met different, recurring types of men and fell for them over and over again. One of them being the hedonist. You might have come across this beautiful creature as well. What makes him special is his way of not just being a stranger until your paths cross, but instead staying one until after you have had an intense encounter. Soaked up by the colors, lights, the music and parties, influenced by drugs and a never ending fear of missing out, he is feeling driven, always feeling the urge to experience more, more more. The hedonist came to Berlin to indulge life, to consume it. For him you will never be enough. Not because you are insufficient, or because he doesn’t care enough about you, but simply, because he wants so much, he wants it all. All the feelings, the euphoria of the first touch, the pain of hurting each other, the violence, the intense sex, the heartbreak and the comfort. By never giving you everything or entirely opening up, he will always leave you wanting more, giving you an inside into his emotional distress.
Sad news for urban explorers of Berlin. One of the most beloved abandoned places of the city has vanished. In the night of July 22nd 2016 the former public swimming pool and water park Blub in Neukölln burned down. The place was a popular spot for explorers, photographers and Instagrammers alike for years now, especially since it was one of the more easier ones to get into. Many abandoned places are heavily sealed off, or guarded by righteous neighbors or even security. But here you could basically just stroll in through an open fence.
I went there last year with a friend who is a born and raised Berliner and he still remembers going there to have some fun in the water as a kid. He was shocked to see the place abandoned, so vandalized and full of graffiti. Of course places that are so easily accessible also attract all kinds of shady people that want to let out some steam. There had been several fires over the past year, but the last one took down the main wooden constructions and tower which makes the place completely inaccessible and unsafe. It’s probably going to be torn down entirely soon now and new buildings are already planned to be constructed in its place. Such a shame, not just that this fun water park had to shut down business many years ago, but also that this amazing ruin is also vanishing now. Of course with the development of Berlin there is a lack of space, so all of our beloved abandoned places are endangered to but torn down for new constructions. Let’s hope we can keep a few of them as our urban playgrounds.