Berlin has a new paradise for magazine lovers: Soda Books. Perfectly located right at Rosenthaler Platz at Weinbergsweg the elegant and minimalistic store opened earlier this year with an exquisite selection of the best magazines and books in the genres of design, fashion, lifestyle, art, travel, interior, food and so much more. You’ll find international classics such as The Gentlewoman, Dazed & Confused, Metal, Purple Fashion and Another Magazine, but also new and more rare titles such as the travel and lifestyle magazine Cereal, Le Petite Voyeur, Toilet Paper and Das Wetter, and of course also local publications such as OE Magazines, Sleek and 032c. You can tell that the people behind this place have an admiration for magazines already by the store design as the titles are presented like pieces of art in a gallery. Some impressions and the details after the jump.
When is someone truly German? In “Past Present Tense,” filmmaker Christa Joo Hyun D’Angelo creates a discourse on racism that provokes us to examine the question of German identity and its relationship to racism of the past and present. Through the years of social and political transitions, Germany’s identity has been shaped into the contemporary society we know. This film encourages the audience to analyze their perception of class, race and privilege on a national scale, though I couldn’t help but notice how prevalent the issue was in Berlin alone. Through the intimate stories told from the perspectives of Germans of minority descent, I found both solace and frustration in hearing about their experiences and opinions, much of which often go unheard and unseen in Berlin, as topics like racial discrimination may be too fragile for conversation when our society has been working to repress the past. So are we still infatuated with past ideals? Click on to examine the question of racism in contemporary Berlin and see some of the film highlights.
photos: Philipp J. Bösel & Burkhard Maus
In 1984 the photographers Philipp J. Bösel and Burkhard Maus had a funny idea: Let’s go to West Berlin and photograph the entire 18 km of the Berlin Wall as seen from the West! The result was a stunning series of 1144 black and white photos that would make up a huge panorama if you would line them up next to each other. This is probably the most detailed documentation of the exterior of the Berlin Wall that was taken before it got torn down in 1989. In these photos you see a lot of funny graffitis my favorite one being the one above that reads “What the fuck are you looking at, never seen a damn wall before?” in dry German words.
25 years later this photo series was turned into a beautiful photobook published by Verlag Kettler. It’s an amazing documentation of one of the most significant periods of Berlin’s history and now one of the must-have Berlin books for every Berlin lover. There are only 1144 copies available of this limited edition, so you better hurry up to get yours. Some previews after the jump.
As you know big cities like Berlin can be confusing places and with lots of indecipherable street names and uncharted territories. It’s so easy to go wrong here and that’s why people invented maps. Obviously for the people in Berlin a regular old map won’t do, it needs to be artsy and designy. Luckily with so many talented graphic designers in town (and passing through) that doesn’t come as much of a problem. There are heaps of cool maps that will please the eye and even prove practical for navigating through the city. We selected our favorite ones, including accurate and imaginary, as well as practical and decorative ones. Enjoy our little collection of design maps of Berlin.
Berlin has always been a place for new beginnings. Many people come here to start a new life. Berlin becomes their personal clean slate.
“Neuanfang” is a photo project that wants to show the everyday life of four “Wahlberliner” (Berliners by choice). With my camera I follow them to their favorite places, in particular the places where they can “breathe” their new beginning in the German capital. It’s all about “change” – change as a new way of life that is completely different from the lives in their respective hometowns.
Trying to catch their thoughts is an inspiring process for me because this topic touches me deeply. I am a Wahlberliner, too. I share their feelings and even if I think that we are all very different, this magical feeling of a new beginning simply connects us.
photo: Yonca Cavus
Tonight you’ll get a taste of fresh indie pop from Hamburg live at the Berghain Kantine. The three guys from Pool have made a few rounds at several festivals in the past years including Melt!, South by Southwest, Fusion and the Reeperbahn Festival and now they are finally releasing their debut album Snacks & Supplies on April 24, 2015 which is gonna be a perfect soundtrack for the upcoming summer. The upbeat record is showing guitar pop from Germany at its best with catchy tunes and a down-to-earth attitude. The new video for the first single State of Mind is a little short film with a modern day Bonnie and Clyde story. Too bad the boys from the band are not in it because they are quite the eye candy. Let’s look at some photos of them and enjoy the video after the jump. And go check them out tonight live at Berghain Kantine!
Photo: Giovanni De Angelis
In Berlin everybody – tourist and locals alike – are celebrating the nightlife as if it were the best thing on the planet. Actually, there is almost an absurd cult around certain clubs, parties and DJs that makes you wonder why people are so obsessed with it. Very often you hear people say: Berlin has the best nightlife all around the world. Nowhere else can you experience so much sexual and personal freedom while going out as in Berlin. With the large amount of abandoned and unused space Berlin has a fertile ground for unconventional locations where amazing nightclubs were born.
But to be honest, I think that the attitude around the Berlin nightlife has somehow began to annoy me. No one will argue that Berlin might have a great nightlife, but this doesn’t mean that every party is going to be great and that everybody you will meet at a party will be great. I sometimes feel that the “fame” the Berlin nightlife has gained over the years is taking away its most important component: The down to earth and relaxed attitude Berlin always used to have.
With this in mind I am always quite enthusiastic when I discover amazing parties in other cities. A couple of years ago I found a great one in Sao Paulo already, and now I stumbled over an amazing club in Rome that I really want to share with you.
Rome is probably not the city you go to for partying if you are a foreigner, but rather for extreme sightseeing. But since I hate sightseeing I was quite happy about my discovery: La Rampa is a cultural center in Rome with several artist studios and cultural associations. It was built as a storage for the Opera, was later repurposed as a school and is now a multidisciplinary art center. I had the chance to go to one of the amazing parties happening in the cellar of the space and was completely in love with the impressive location. You had to go deep down inside the earth to enter the club but could still see the stars above you. The thing that made the party night perfect was the amazing crowd celebrating there and the good attitude of the organizers, door men and people involved. I guess you don’t need somebody mean at the door to make your point about how good your party is. Fortunately, I met talented photographer Giovanni De Angelis at the party from L-Ektrica who agreed on sharing his photos of that night with you. Check out his impressions after the jump.
For the longest time of my life in Berlin the appearance of street musicians made me want to change the car of the subway or the side of the street. For some reason only the least talented people on the planet seemed to be the ones who decided to play live in public here. But in the past few years this has changed. A lot. Now all of a sudden I find myself amazed by the quality of the music that we get to hear now in the U-Bahn stations. I guess the influx of people coming to Berlin in recent time also brought some talent.
The Busker Diaries is a new video series dedicated to the most talented street musicians. The term Busker itself is pretty new to me, I guess it’s a a shorter and more sexy way to describe that you play music in the streets and make a living from the donations of the people and self-produced CD sales. Of the three episodes that have been released so far we like the first one the most with the blue-haired Katie O’Connor who makes really good folk music. Enjoy the film after the jump!
For the upcoming Berlin Festival and the Re:Publica conference the makers of the Busker Diaries are hosting open stages that still have some available slots for musicians. If you are interested you can contact them through their Facebook page.
Rae Morris is one of these women that make me wonder why on Earth British female pop singers are so much cooler than American ones who can merely be accounted for being guilty pleasures. But the British (and Irish) women of pop just seem to be made of cool without dressing like prostitutes and acting like teenagers. Think of Bat For Lashes, Roisin Murphy, Lilly Allen, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, hell even Kylie Minogue is one cool little nugget.
Rae Morris is probably more on the left field of pop music with her gorgeous debut album Unguarded. The first comparison that comes to mind is Bat For Lashes, but Rae’s music is a little more down to Earth I think. Songs like Skin, Closer, Cold and Do You Even Know? are the type that you will instantly fall in love with because they are so memorable with great lyrics. But what makes them even more enjoyable are the stunning videos directed by the equally talented Nadia Marquard Otzen. Check them out after the jump!
UPDATE: The tour dates have changed. On June 10, 2015 Rae Morris will play live at Privatclub starting at 20h. Don’t miss this talented young lady!
Normal. What is that? A word, whose meaning is different to everyone. It includes and excludes. Everything that is different, not normal, should change. To become normal. Therefore, we strive to be different. Better, more beautiful, richer. Individual. Different, not like the others. In a word, normal.
Because if we are all equal, nobody is special anymore. But if everybody is special, then everybody is equal. We want to be special, but we want to be treated normally. We want to love and be loved. We want to live. We want health, comfort, happiness. And at least a smile each day.