photo: Wojtek Mejor
Blogs like ours, as well as those of many of our dear colleagues such as Berlin Loves You, Finding Berlin, Stil in Berlin, Mit Vergnügen, überlin, Pieces of Berlin and the Berlin newsletter Sugarhigh are all about praising Berlin in all of its glory. We think Berlin is a great city worth all the praise and we won’t listen to the haters. But they are out there, those who despise our city and like to criticize every little bit of it and the people inside it. They like to blame us Berlin bloggers for accelerating the gentrification, for bringing in “the wrong people”, for inevitable changes in the city and for the general downfall of the Western civilization. We wondered, how would their blog bookmarks look like. If all the Berlin loving blogs were doing quite the opposite, how would that look like? Check out our imaginary list of despicable Berlin blogs after the jump…
I think it’s pretty obvious that you have to speak German when you want to live in Germany. But Berlin is not Germany. Berlin is a state of mind. And in this state of mind of total freedom people often think that they don’t need to speak German when they start living and working here. I know quite some people who are annoyed by the English speaking expats, but for me as a German I find it actually pretty great that I can practice my English with a lot of native speakers without even leaving my neighborhood. But for the new people who arrive in Berlin and who try learning German it’s really difficult to practice because everybody automatically switches to English as soon they hear a foreign accent.
I know for a fact that without a certain knowledge of German (and an understanding of the culture and mentality of the Germans) some doors (business and private ones) will never open for the new Berliners who plan to make a life here. That sounds a bit dramatic, but I just wish that new Berliners have less fear of the German language and maybe a bit more enthusiasm for learning it.
While I just typed the word “enthusiasm” I had to imagine the shocked faces of several of my non-German speaking friends. And probably quite a lot of my non-German speaking readers think that I have gone insane right now. But honestly: German is a beautiful and precise language with a lot of creative freedom and abundance of neologism that makes the language alive. I don’t want to bother you much more with my love for the German. That’s why I would like to let this photography project convince you to at least try to spark your enthusiasm. The amazing photo tumblr Days of Deutsch that I discovered a couple of days ago, helps you to learn German with photographs of Berlin. More about this beautiful project after the jump.
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.
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: 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.
All photos: Maria Silvano
The new arriving people see Berlin as a promise, as a forest of stories sometimes open and sometimes inpenetrable. The migration dynamics of a Europe without borders are not fundamentally very different from those of the previous century: there are the same dreams of luck and prosperity, the same desire for a better life and a longing for what has been left behind that -it is known- is exacerbated with time.
“Ramificazioni” (Ramifications) is Maria Silvano’s point of view on her new city, Berlin. She took portraits and gathered the voices of fellow Italian migrants who moved to the German capital during the last years. They spoke about their deep and faraway roots, their desires and wishes to see their hopes bloom. Looking into the eyes of this hopeful young men and women involved in amazing projects you hope that they will find a fertile ground in Berlin.
The work consists of 13 photos and is accompanied by a soundtrack in which the voices of the photographed subjects overlap each other: problems of pronunciation and inflections language can be composed to create a forest of voices. Enjoy the pictures after the jump and find out the dates of the exhibition.
Berlin is a city with a complicated history that left it with many scars. It was destroyed in the war, for a long time divided by a wall and since than struggling with a weak economy that sets it back compared to the rest of Germany. The scars are all over the city – some of them physical and you can touch them like cracks in the concrete, others are invisible, but you can feel them in the hearts and minds of the inhabitants of the city.
Jozef Ibarr is trying to draw a parallel between the scars of the city and the scars of the people who live in it with his new photo series. He has been fascinated with scars and the stories behind them for a while now, but since he came to Berlin his interest in the topic has grown even more. For his series he collects real physical scars in the streets and their human counterparts in the flesh of the people he meets here. He is still looking for more scars here, so if you have one that you would like to share a story about, get in touch with him. After a jump a few scars from his series.
photos: Thomas Knights
If you haven’t heard of it, red is the new black. Well, in the world of men admiration at least it seems. For the longest time redheads have had a tough time but now it seems they have become objects of desire for many people and I think that’s great. We live in a time where more and more people seem to appreciate and enjoy the diversity of human kind. I hope this development continues and than we can finally put things like discrimination against people who are different into the history books. Everyone is different in the end.
The British photographer Thomas Knights belongs to one of the many admirers and supporters of red heads and he is hugely successful with it. His portrait series RED HOT has been celebrated in many exhibitions and is widely covered in the media. Berlin-based publisher Bruno Gmünder has now turned the series into a book titled Red Hot 100 that has sold out its first couple of editions as quick as bananas in East Germany. To promote the book they created a huge exhibition with even more than 100 sexy redheads that is traveling around the world and has now reached Berlin. Tomorrow it will open at a gallery space inside the first floor of the Bikini Berlin. They will obviously sell signed copies of the awesome book and you will be able to meet a couple of the hot guys from the book. Enjoy some excerpts from the book after the jump.
photo: Yulia Belousova
Yesterday the streetfood temple Neue Heimat celebrated their summer Season Opening. Thanks to all the great visitors the place is going to be open from Thursdays to Sundays from now on – that means finally during the week as well! This add-on was and still is celebrated with lots of highlights during the Easter weekend.
The kick-off was made by Dutch singer Qeaux Qeaux Joans who presented her second album “The Ritual” being accompanied by the Berliner Camerata.The combination of classic, pop and electronic elements paired with her voice created a great atmosphere among the audience sitting and standing around her. Just as the little orchestra helped her sometimes similar voice to Banks or Leslie Clio creating new worlds of sound. Once again food lovers could indulge at the wine or oyster bar, as well as at one of the many great food-stalls. Afterwards Natalia Escobar and Adeline provided the appropriate beats at the turntables. We definetly recommend you to stop by during the Easter weekend to enjoy the special program they have put together.
photos: Alicia Kassebohm
Last Saturday the Berlin Alternative Fashion Week took its second spin. The focus of this fashion event outside the regular international fashion week schedule is on fashion that break the restrictions of wearability. Our guest author and photographer Alicia Kassebohm took a few impressions from the shows of Ivana Pilja, Field of Ponies, Bas Kosters Studio und Roman Ermakov as well as some backstage images. Discover the unconventional side of fashion after the click.