When you think back to the 1920s Berlin pretty much had a reputation for debauchery. For decades the world thought of Berlin as this sexually free and wild place where everything is possible and no phantasy was forbidden. But the time of the separation of the city changed things. Other things were more important to rebel against. There was still always a highly sexualized underground scene, but it was not really in the center of attention anymore.
In recent years this changed. Nightlife in Berlin is embracing its wild, naughty and sexually liberating side again with parties such as Pornceptual, Gegen and The House of Red Door. Debauchery is back and more excessive and scandalous than ever!
photos: Raving Iran / Susanne Regina Meures
A bass, darkness, strobing light. Waving arms, dancing people, glimpses of the night, a techno beat. We are not in Berghain or any other dark place in Berlin. We are in the Iranian desert with Anoosh and Arash. The two friends and musicians are having a – not only illegal – but highly dangerous party with some friends in the outback of the desert. If they get caught, they will go to jail at least. Just one of the many inconveniences they have to endure to be young and a little bit free in Iran. The documentary Raving Iran by Susanne Regina Meures is telling a little piece of their story. It just premiered in Berlin at Volksbühne. Find out more and see the trailer after the jump.
photo: Berliner Stage Company e.V.
I think one of the most peculiar symptoms of this digital era of self-representation are flash mobs. It does not matter how talented in acting, dancing, and singing the performers are. From the moment on they are willing to sacrifice their last bit of integrity to perform to an involuntary audience we can not stop watching. It’s like being the spectator of an incredible stunt that could turn every moment into a horrible (and by horrible I mean horribly embarrassing) accident.
A favorite place for those public flash mobs (or flash tortures) is the Berlin subway or train stations. I guess the idea is to turn an everyday boring situation like a subway ride into a magical eye opening experience. Sometimes the results are close to that description. But it can also happen to be a deadly trap for the poor innocent Berlin souls who just wanted to have a chill ride to their workplace.
After the jump I collected some of the funniest and some of the weirdest U-Bahn flash mobs that you can find on Youtube for your amusement.
We know them all, those numerous tourist buses, that drive from Unter den Linden through Berlin’s most important attractions, all the way to the shopping street Kurfürstendamm, where most of the tours end. They are very practical, especially when one wants to enjoy Berlin’s most important sights all at once. The Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Victory Column, the Bellevue Palace, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church are only some of the sights you should definitely see while visiting Berlin.
Since last week and until October 11th there is a new bus under way driving along the aforementioned route and beyond, but all in black it seems rather mysterious. It is the Priceless® Berlin Bus by Mastercard which goes on tour four times a day between 12 and 18h. What is special about this bus is that the tour does not only include a part of the popular route full of Berlin highlights, but also explores some quite hidden neighborhoods that only a Berlin insider would know. On this tour, therefore, one can have the deluxe version of Berlin: the well-known sights of the city in combination with the unknown parts, that actually constitute the real Berlin magic.
photos: Dietmar Eckell
Continuing our article series on forbidden and forgotten places around the world, whether they are underground or way above ground, all these pictures have one thing in common: they showcase parts of the world we would rarely discover on our own and they demonstrate the love of the respective photographers for their art, that makes them defy any danger or challenge that comes along with such an adventurous endeavor.
“Before you think, music makes you feel” states Pedro Carneiro Silva at the beginning of his beautiful video shot on a Berliner roof. Watching the sun go down along with the view over the city makes it impossible to argue against that, as one is instantly overwhelmed by the Brazilian’s heart-warming piano melody. The concrete of the roof in combination with the bricks, the clear sky, his music and voice in the background showcase a different aspect of the German capital: calm, creative, cordial; away from its well-known untameable wildness.
Food culture is nothing you are supposed to take lightly. Especially when you have Italian origins. Food is love, passion, dedication and joy. There is no better way to get closer to other human beings than sharing a meal and a good drink. When I was younger and living in a smaller town (in East Germany) a good meal was something I could only enjoyed at home (because restaurants in East Germany pretty much failed at that). When I moved to Berlin I discovered the diversity of the gastronomy here and I was especially surprised that I could enjoy so many authentic Italian meals so far away from the land of my origin (now I sound like a grandpa).
But let’s face the facts. Berlin is also full of places that are not authentic and not the best. Our friends and food lovers from Berlino Magazine did not stand the fact that there are so many wannabe Italian restaurants only serving the mediocre cliche dishes (Pizza, Pasta, Lasagne, you name it) and so many Berliners did not get to enjoy the real authentic and special recipes only Italians know and like. Italian food culture has such a variety of amazing dishes that deserve to be known and appreciated that they started the 72hrs True Italian Food Festival. Starting this Thursday September 22nd at 19h until Sunday evening September 25th, 47 Italian restaurants, pizzerias, wineries, bakeries and bars will offer their own specialties to all Berliners for just 6 EUR.
photo: Ilsa Hellman
There are moments, when Berlin gets too fast, too hectic, too tense and you need to get rid of all that built-up stress in your mind and body. Finnish videographer Ilsa Hellman and Yoga teacher Katri Aalto produced a short movie that reminds you of the fact that you don’t need a specific time or place to relax and let go. Actually it’s even healthier, when you learn to integrate calmness into your daily life, create space and make time for quiet moments. No matter, who is watching.
The duo shot a film that shows Yoga in Berlin’s underground. The interaction between the Yoga teacher’s flowing movement and the geometrical architecture of the U-Bahn stations to a minimalized soundtrack, reminds you of keeping your balance, because that is what life’s basically all about. If it is about work-life balance or keeping it equal between social stress and alone-time. We suppose most of us know the struggles of keeping a balance in life.
The Lollapalooza festival had its second Berlin edition this past weekend and it was quite spectacular. I hadn’t been to the one last year in Tempelhof, but this year there were a few acts that I didn’t want to miss so I took Absolut up on their invitation to join them, and I’m so glad I did.
This was probably the biggest festival I have ever been to (I admit I haven’t been to that many) and being surrounded by that many celebrating people is quite the thrill. Especially at the two main stages the crowd was so massive and to see them move and cheer with the performances is really powerful.
Between concerts I checked in with Absolut as often as I could. They had a big set-up that was part of the Fun Fair of Lollapalooza, which was a big playground to hang out in and goof around between installations and vintage circus tents.
photos: Manuel Moncayo
There are these moments, where all you want is simply to pause your life, take a deep breath, clear your head from all the annoying and time-consuming distractions that you let govern you and just exist without thinking that you are running late on your schedule. All that is needed is just these few minutes, where you get to really think about what you are doing and/or what you have become, not necessarily in an existential or an overanalysing way, but in the fashion that suits you best. How often do we even stop for a moment to observe our surroundings, appreciate what we have and realize that the majority of what we like to call “problems” are very insignificant considering we only live just a couple of decades? While pausing your life might not be possible, escaping from its worries just for a bit might prove just as rewarding.