It must have been a billion eyes by now that have seen Berlin. Every day, millions of people experience the city in a completely different way. The uniqueness in commonality is distinguished, a city like Berlin holds up millions of different heads and hearts that pretty much want the same thing from life in a different form. They all come together in the capital, and flow like a stream up into the night, down in the morning.
For the many visitors coming to Berlin, the city must paint a completely different picture than for the locals. And also the visitor, each and every one them, is taking to the city what he previously experienced, merging it with the city and everyone in it.
photo: Danilo Sierra
The music industry has long been (and in many ways still is) a boys club, but things seem to finally become more open to women, thanks to the pioneering work of people such as The Black Madonna who’ve been especially vocal about the issues affecting women trying to become part of the music world. In Berlin, Salt + Sass is an interesting event series to check out if you want to learn more about these topics.
While our city is well-known for its electronic music scene, clubs and DJs, people tend to forget that Berlin is also home to a lively hip-hop scene, with collectives such as Broke Boys, Blunt’n'Roses, WEBOOGIE, Berries and more throwing legendary events that don’t rely on 4/4 beats. And guess what – women are representing too!
Here are 10 among our favorite Berlin-based female hip-hop DJs:
photo: Andi Weiland:
It was one of the quietest Saturday nights of my past 12 years in Berlin. Without any particular expectations a friend and I drove with the bikes from Kreuzberg to Brandenburger Tor while the sun light slowly started to decrease as the evening went on. As soon as we were there I felt my heart change in speed. The whole place was packed with men, women and kids. Some faces seemed familiar from late nights, parties and bars spend in the queer scene. Others I recognized from my everyday life in offices, cafes, bakeries or pharmacies. Does it matter who the people are who mourn for the victims in Orlando? Does is matter if they are young, old, gay, straight, black, white, trans or cis? For me it didn’t. I saw a place filled with heartfelt sorrow. With tears and cries and shattered minds, not able to understand and not able to forget the latest attack.
Nightclubs are a special place in the LGBTI world. On the first look they just seem to be a place for easy flirts, pumped bodies and shallow excitement. An arena of hedonism and a vanity fair. Where broken hearts and sucked dicks exchange numbers just to never actually call each other. But beyond the surface you might find out that nightclubs are a unique place for self exploration. Where first kisses are exchanged and drag stars are born. They offer safety and comfort under the shine of the disco lights to the ones who get discriminated and mistreated in their daily life just for not fitting in.
The shooting in Orlando hit the LGBT communities all around the world by attacking this safe haven. As Berliners we know the power and magic of nightclubs and could feel the horror on our skins, while reading the news about the deaths of the Orlando victims who just wanted to spend a night out with their friends or lovers.
On Saturday night the Brandenburger Tor for the first time in history was illuminated in the colors of the rainbow. But what matters where the radiant hearts of the Berliners that came. Under the collective mourn I felt a community that was not necessarily connected by the same experiences of discrimination or shared sex preferences. Berlin showed the world that its inhabitants are out and proud. Not afraid of hate and not afraid to love.
As the gathering slowly dissolved I felt so happy to be part of this community and at the same time so sad that it took such horrible event to bring us all together. Our impressions of the memorial after the jump.
photos: Linus Ma
Seven months in the US tore me away from the beloved city at the Spree, and showed me my very own version of the “American Dream”, although I still don’t really know what that truly means. I got dropped into the shiny swirl of the City of Angels and just thrown out again, unprepared and unarmed. Suddenly, I am back in Berlin, and what was once familiar, now seems weirdly odd. So I have to find out all over again: What makes this city desirable? Here is a story about waking up from pink dreams and falling in love with Berlin again.
In the light of recent events there was a lot of talk about the struggle of LGBT people all over the world. It seems that somehow a lot of people have forgotten how unfairly trans, lesbian, bi and gay people are still being treated. Even though on a superficial level it appears LGBT people have reached a certain level of acceptance and integration (in some places) they forget how difficult it is growing up being different (and that applies not only for LGBTs). This heart-warming short film from Berlin-based director Kai Stänicke finds a beautiful way to explain exactly that: what it means to be different.
photos: Berlin – Sounds of an Era
“The city had a jewel-like sparkle, especially at night, that didn’t exist in Paris”
Berlin in the 20′s: With the Jazz emerging and the dresses shortening, a new feeling of life entered the city, invigorating its nightlife. The time frame of the Weimar Republic might have set the tone for the capital’s later years, up until the now – including wild dancing, loud music and free spirit.
The city was in a blaze of glory – with the horror’s of the war and the cultural scene ever-changing – and it has some amazing contemporary witnesses and their music that are testaments for this unique period.
photo: Feel Festival
It’s officially here! Festival season has begun and with the upcoming Fusion Festival (29 of June to 3rd of July), we felt the need to tell you about other great festivals coming up this summer in, around and sort of near Berlin. From German pop to techno, house and street food in Neukölln we’ve compiled a list of festivals that are definitely worth a visit. Take a break from city life, pack your things and go to the beach or forest nearby! There will be great music, good food and art. From workshops to exhibitions, performances: you can have it all this summer – at the following festivals. See them after the jump.
photo: Robert Agthe / CC
The Spätis are as much of a trademark for Berlin as the TV tower or the Berliner Bear. The quirky little shops full of bottles and some often weird selection of supermarket goods are all over the city and a lot of people (mostly those too lazy or to unorganized to go to the next real supermarket) live off of these shops. Lately the beloved Spätis have been endangered by new laws that want to prohibit their Sunday opening hours and the beer benches in front of the popular late-night and after hour hang-outs. Who ever came up with these new laws: Shame on you! You are destroying one very great part of Berlin.
But here is a fun new project that celebrates the Spätis like they should be. It’s a new app developed by Clemens Morris that let’s you search the closest Späti near you. It’s really cool, especially if you are not in your own neighborhood or when you are new in town. If you walk by a Späti that hasn’t been listed yet, you can also submit one yourself or repost a closed one.
photo: Jule Müller
Every big master piece that goes on stage at one of the three opera houses in Berlin should not only be credited to the director, choreographer or main dancers and singers. Behind the scenes of these huge productions numerous people work day and night to create the temporary and therefore precious magic that only performative art on stage can bring to life. Before falling in love with contemporary dance, I was passionate about classical ballet. So being able to experience the process up close behind the creation of a ballet piece by a big company like Staatsballett is something really special on a personal level. Gladly, I can now share this experience with you readers in form of a little photographic journey inside the costume workshops of the Staatsballett and into the rehearsals of the production Jewels which premiered a couple of weeks ago.
Jewels is a three part choreography by one of the biggest Russian masters of choreography who brought neoclassical ballet to the States and made it famous all over the world. According to legend, it must have been a dark winter day in the late 1960s, on which George Balanchine was swept away by sparkling jewelry that he saw in a shop window on New York’s fancy 5th Avenue. And what did the successful choreographer do? Rather than simply buying the beautiful diamonds, rubies, and emeralds he took inspiration from their splendor and created a new ballet piece which he named “Jewels”.
The costumes I could examine up close definitely reflect this very romantic (and a slightly kitschy) story. If you want to see the jewels sparkle under the bright lights of the spotlights check out our raffle for 2×2 tickets and our photo after the jump.
This upcoming weekend is all over the radar of design. Multiple happenings lure product and fashion designers from all over the world to our beloved city. Design has become an important creative field in this city – 10 years ago, making a living in the creative industry was fairly impossible. Nowadays tons of small studios, ateliers and design manufactures build businesses in town. This weekend not only do you have the chance to visit the spaces of these small studios, but you can also discover international design coming to Berlin for the DMY fair. This and three other design highlights in our little design guide for the weekend.