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.
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.
Humor is unique and universal at the same time. One of the perks of laughing besides being, well good, is its ability to unite people and nations. You could probably say that most cultures have some similar funny bones. At least we all can always agree to laugh about something, like physical comedy. Of course there are also things that maybe some cultures would laugh about more than others – because they know where the jokes emerge from. This is where humor get’s lost in translation.
Karo is not having an easy time in Berlin right now. She lost her job, her boyfriend too, and no one seems to have much sympathy for her. Much like the title of the film that she is the main character in, she feels like a Mängelexemplar, which is the quirky German word for a book that has some flaws. Don’t we all feel like this somehow? Like something is not quite right with us and that that’s the reason our life is not going as we had hoped? Karo perfectly embodies these self-doubts with her neurotic, yet charming and funny self. She is the type of girl that you just want to cry with when you feel horrible. After the jump: her 8 favorite places to cry in Berlin and the trailer for the new film that is released in cinemas today.
photo: Tobias Nielsen / CC
It’s still one of Berlin’s most mysterious abandoned places: The old CIA spy station Teufelsberg. Located on a hill that was formed by the rubble of World War II it is one of the most popular destinations for urban explorer and fans of graffiti. The spectacular building has a ghostly appearance and is covered in murals, tags and graffiti. If you haven’t been yourself, maybe this cool short video will finally convince you to go!
“I always wore at least a colored sock”
Günther Anton Krabbenhöft, the senior that got famous through a street-style photograph, is special in every way. With his elegant and colorful clothing, the 70 year old refuses to sink into the beige-grey of many elder people. He prefers to dress elegantly, yet with a touch of extravaganza. This preference is also to be found in his home.
Krabbenhöft invited Frank Bertram from wunderwerk.berlin to his home in Kreuzberg and told a little bit about his motivations and inspirations to dress well and be different.
Everything in his apartment seems to be well-chosen, from the coat hook to the table he sits on. Even the tea-pot he pours his tea out of is a designer-piece, seemingly. But make no mistake, Krabbenhöft is no hipster, as he states at the end of the video: “Hipsters”, he says, “Hipsters are different”.
See the charming video right after the jump.
The blog Abandoned Berlin is the #1 source for urban explorers as it’s the most comprehensive archive of abandoned places in and around Berlin, with detailed descriptions of how to get inside and what the dangers might be; it also has a lot of information about the history of the places. For me the most interesting part of the blog are the comments where recent visitors of each place leave their updates on the current situations regarding safety and accessibility.
The founder of the blog, Ciarán Fahey, also released a book with his favorite photographs from the blog that we reviewed a while ago. Now we stumbled across a brand-new wonderful documentary short that filmmaker Jordi Busquets shot with Ciarán. It includes footage of some of the most stunning abandoned places of Berlin such as the Teufelsberg spy station, the Spreepark amusement park, the old Children’s Hospital nicknamed Zombie Hospital, the former Tempelhof Airport (actually the only one that’s not really abandoned as it’s a huge refugee camp and public park now) and the old airport in Johannisthal. In the video Ciarán tells the story of his passion for urban exploring and how he started his blog and also some info on the history of the featured places. A great inspiration for all urban explorers. Enjoy the video after the jump.
The Berlin underground scene is one of the most diverse in the world. Makes sense – where there is a large society, there is also an underground, an anti-pole to the mainstream. If you look around the Hip Hop scene nowadays, a lot of things have changed. The subcultural character of Hip Hop seemingly vanished and slowly but steadily German Rap became mainstream. But still, Hip Hop is the voice of the unheard, an organ for the youth and a space for resistance.
Young filmmaker and and photographer Mirza Odabaşı took it upon himself to go back in time, to the origins of Berlin and German Rap culture and met up with a wide range of artists and personalities from the scene. In his documentary LeidenSchafft, a pun from the words “passion”, “misery” and “creation”, Odabaşı goes into the deep meanings of the local Rap culture, talks about identity and finding and defining yourself in and outside of the music. He met up with many icons of the scene, ranging from well-known artists like Marteria, Chefket, Eko Fresh and many more to rather Oldschool trailblazers such as Killa Hakan, Marcus Staiger or Spaiche.
In 43 minutes Odabaşı manages to get into topics such as experiences of social exclusion, some of the possible reasons to why Hip Hop is so popular amongst the alleged socially disadvantaged adolscents and portrays the people shaping the German Hip Hop scene in beautiful images in Berlin.
In that way, “LeidenSchafft” is a look back and an appraisal at the same time, bringing light to the underground. And human emotions.
See some impressions of the film and a teaser after the jump.
“We are feeling good and there’s a Späti in the neighborhood.” There is probably no better USP to Berlin than its Spätis and probably no better way to start a song. Daði Freyr and Jökull Logi from LESULA are originally from Iceland and are currently studying and making music in the capital. And the guys seem to love one aspect of the capital in particular. Their song “Reinickendorf” is a relaxed and funny hymn to the one-and-only, in their eyes underestimated beer Sternburg Export. Better known to Berliners as well-priced Sterni, you have probably drunken this liquid gold at some point. For some people it’s more like liquid Zyankali though. Depends, on your taste. But: “You know that we appreciate it” as they sing smoothly. LESULA show in their music video shot by Árný Fjóla what it means to relax in totally underrated Reinickendorf. And are very funny while doing so. Check out this funny gem and nod your head to this original capital anthem. Right after the jump.
A couple of weeks ago we showed you a fun music video with a guy dancing through the streets of Berlin. What was so special about it, was that the guy was not a young crazy party kid, but a slightly famous older gentleman: Günter Krabbenhöft. Certainly an unexpected sight, but a really enjoyable one as the success of the video shows. It was this feature that prompted yet another video submission that we received that has a related theme: it’s about an adorable couple of elderly dancers in their 70s.
Cities like Berlin are so obsessed with youth culture. It’s always about what’s young, what’s hip, what’s sexy. There seems to be some kind of ageism going on, because when it comes to the older generation things automatically become uncool. Why is that? Why can’t old people be cool, too? And why are we so afraid of aging? I think the answer is that there are not enough role models that prove wrong all the stereotypes of older people that we dread so much. We associate being old with being out of touch, being slow and sick, being opposed to any kind of change, being yesterday’s news. In a fast-paced world that is all about individualism and self-fulfillment, this really sounds like the most horrible thing that could happen to us.