The Berlin Sense of Humor: So Many Reasons to Laugh about Ourselves

The Berlin Sense of Humor: So Many Reasons to Laugh about Ourselves

You know Berlin is a place of contrasts. It’s the buzzing startup hub that’s also been referred to as retirement center for freelancers in their 30s. Fashion weeks are organized here biannually and yet the most prevalent look on Berlin’s hippest streets is along the lines of a scruffy grunge musician. It’s hailed as the city where people can search for themselves, but many seem to get distracted along the way and end up losing their mind. All these dynamics can make everyday life in the city that we still truly heart slightly absurd. Below, we’ve chosen our favorite examples of people channeling Berlin’s flaws into anecdotes that will most likely ring true to you as well.

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To be an Artist is to Fail: A Comedy Show about Berlin’s Creative Expats

To be an Artist is to Fail: A Comedy Show about Berlin’s Creative Expats

To be an artist is to fail. These famous words by Marcel Proust introduce the Berlin-based web series “Big Heads”.  As much appreciation as there is for Berlin’s international creative community, plenty of well-known stereotypes of artists have formed over the years. They persistently keep poking fun at those dreamful expats who come to Berlin to fulfill their desires of becoming an artist.

Producer and author Marlene Melchior and Alex Forge quickly picked up on this joke that is going around town on behalf of Berlin’s creative expat community and decided to start a mini web series about the dark hassle in the life of an aspiring artist in Berlin. The award-winning show is called Big Heads and documents the life of Anjuna Pashnani, a British girl in her quarter-life crises who moved to Berlin to become a writer of any kind, in search of a writing career she wants to pursue, the artsy characters she meets along the way and the typical challenges she faces to feel accomplished and arrived in Berlin.

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The iHeartBerlin Show #01 with Daniel-Ryan Spaulding

The iHeartBerlin Show #01 with Daniel-Ryan Spaulding

As iHeartBerlin grows and spreads its metaphorical wings to encompass more platforms, we are delighted to present you with the iHeartBerlin Show, our new online video show where we’ll have the chance to talk all about Berlin with prominent figures of this amazing city.

And our project couldn’t have started stronger, as the first episode hosts the magnificent Daniel Ryan Spaulding, the Canadian standup comedian who became viral through his series “It’s Berlin!” where he satirizes Berlin’s techno and hipster culture in a way we all find relatable.

Our excitement to have him was big, and we didn’t miss the opportunity to ask him as many things as possible: what inspires him, his favorite spots in Berlin, how his sexuality connects to his comedy, and lots more.

Watch the full episode to learn more about this gifted human, and come out to watch his stand-up show on August 11th at the English Theatre Berlin; the venue is almost sold out, so hurry to secure a seat! It’s a guaranteed blast and of course, we’ll be there too!

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Who was this Christopher Street Guy? – My Sister’s First Pride Parade

Who was this Christopher Street Guy? – My Sister’s First Pride Parade

Berlin is a crazy bubble in terms of diversity. Nowhere else in Germany are there so many different spaces, places and outlets for the members of the LGBTQI Community. Of course Berlin is not perfect in terms of safety for the said community. We still have harassments of transsexuals on a monthly basis, and I would not always dare to kiss a man at Kotti at night because you never know how the surroundings might react. Despite that, I am more than happy to call Berlin my home, since I feel that no other place in Germany has the same amount of freedom, tollerance and possibilities for people of different sexual orientations or gender identities.

The biggest celebration of this diversity is definitely the annual Christopher Street Pride Parade. Since I came to Berlin at the age of 18, I have been visiting the parade regularly. Some years I remember as stressful because of the heat and too many drinks. Or I felt that the event had turned too commercial, so I decided I’d rather visit an alternative demonstration instead. Other years the weather was a bit tricky. But nonetheless every parade has had its highlights and stolen kisses to tell of afterwards.

My personal highlight of this year was to bring along my little sister to Pride. It was her first big Pride parade and as I wanted to make the experience as memorable as possible, I showed her all the typical Pride rituals.

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A Guide to the Portuguese Community in Berlin

A Guide to the Portuguese Community in Berlin

Berlin wouldn’t be the melting pot brimming with inspiration that we love if it wasn’t for the international influences from expats that never cease to shape the city with their artistic vision. The time has come to highlight the creative masterminds in the Portuguese community in Berlin. Get ready to meet a diverse crew of uninhibited artists – photographers, writers, digital illustrators, musicians – who aren’t afraid to experiment and venture beyond the conventions. By the way, we’ve asked around and got the top recommendations on where to get Portuguese wine and their famous Pastel de Nata – make sure you scroll to the bottom!

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Berlin Childhoods: Conserving the City’s History Through Personal Stories

Berlin Childhoods: Conserving the City’s History Through Personal Stories

With all of us being so busy with keeping up with our lives and this super fast moving digital society it is awfully easy to forget to take the focus off ourselves and onto others. An old friend of my parents said to me the other day: “You should really ask your mother about your childhood and also her childhood. When she isn’t here anymore, both of your stories will be lost. I have no one to ask about it anymore.” It was a harsh truth that I honestly never considered before. We need to conserve the childhood stories of us, our parents and grandparents, to keep them from disappearing like they never happened.

That exact thought moved educationist Johannes Zillhardt, when his lovely 80-year-old neighbor Waldtraud Gasche, used every opportunity to have a chat with Johannes. Of course only because “the TV isn’t working”, or “the heater makes strange noises”, but all she truly wanted was to talk about her childhood to someone. That heartfelt connection started Johannes idea to meet people from Berlin at any age and write up the stories of their past to keep them alive.

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The Era of Avant-Garde Porn

The Era of Avant-Garde Porn

The girls and guys from Pornceptual never cease to stimulate us with their creative erotic output – no matter if it’s with the photos on their blog, their magazines or the videos for their parties. They’ve given us flowers in spring, Mad Max futurism, surrealism, and horror porn. Now they’ve opened their Avant-Garde era with a new photo series by Yu-Liang Liu and a video by Pornceptual co-founder Chris Phillips.

With fashion having borrowed heavily from the aesthetics of pornography and fetish wear, it was a matter of time until the exchange of genres also happened in the opposite direction with porn integrating elements of design and fashion into its aesthetic. The new works from Pornceptual are just a few examples of that. It was about time that porn also exists with a sense of style – it’s all the more stimulating!

Don’t miss the Avant-Garde edition of the Pornceptual party this Saturday June 16th 2018 at Alte Münze.

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History Phone: The 20s Guide to Naughty & Queer Berlin

History Phone: The 20s Guide to Naughty & Queer Berlin

It’s safe to say that when I arrived in Berlin at 19, I knew very little in general. In the two years I’ve spent here, there have been times when I fooled myself I’ve obtained some general knowledge I could apply to reality – and time after time found myself utterly perplexed at yet another of life’s intricacies that Berlin exists to accentuate. And then it dawned on me – the only certainty I’ve experienced is the love for this city.  The History Phone is my attempt to pay it forward – join us for a journey to discover a few of the lesser known facts from Berlin’s past that will add some sparkle to your everyday walk though familiar streets.

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The Story of the Strongest Man of Berlin

The Story of the Strongest Man of Berlin

This is the story of an extraordinary Berliner. His childhood in a completely destroyed Post World War II Berlin definitely shaped him. In that period Wolfgang Sadowski made of, at first, simple and seemingly insignificant actions, like helping his mother cook a hot meal, an act of rebellion against the misery and decay that surrounded him. Because, in the end, our little victories will help us make it through the day. Maybe that’s why he grew up unwilling to retreat and with the ambition to conquer every moment of his life.

This passionate man whose commitment and love for sports and, especially, weight lifting has made him maintain a positive attitude throughout his life and kept him young and vital until today. Weight lifting is presented to us as a metaphor for survival, persistence and overcoming the toughest times. And accompanying the strong visuals a beautiful and delicate soundtrack that allows us to immerse ourselves in the narration and that guides us through the daily life of Wolfgang.

But this is not my story to tell. This is Wolfgang Sadowski’s story. So grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage and let yourself enjoy this short film made by Felix and Isabella Hoffmann about Wolfgang Sadowski, the strongest man of Berlin.

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