The living situation in many countries is bad, dangerous and daily life becomes a struggle for survival. For many, fleeing to Germany and coming to Berlin is the only way, to get a chance of a new life in safety and peace. But arriving here isn’t always easy. The journey is often a very traumatic experience for most refugees, who not only leave behind their homes, but often family members, friends and everything that they are used to without knowing what to expect. Also fleeing a country is often extremely dangerous which is why projects like Jugend Rettet e.V. have been created. This project is sending volunteers to regions where many refugees are crossing the sea. Patrolling on boats and rescuing people from open waters is the kind of intense help that is needed.
Help for refugees has many different faces in diverse Berlin. In the past year we came across projects that amazed us with their positive attitude, their empowering ideas and practical ways of integrating and assisting refugees. We want to share our excitement about some of those projects with you, which is why we have collected a small number of them here.
The best thing about Berlin is, how it consists of cultural pieces from every part of the world. Some further some closer. Italian culture is most definitely one of the most established ones here. Our friends from Berlino Magazine, a Blog run by – and written for Italians in Berlin, decided to create an event that lets you enjoy the wonders of italian cuisine and culture for 72 hours, which is called True Italian. We got inspired by this and thought it is about time, we created a guide to true Italian lifestyle in Berlin just for you.
There is so much more to it than Pizza and Pasta (don’t get us wrong, they will always be our best friends). Find your way into art, music, food and fashion from Italy in Berlin.
Last week we had the pleasure to experience the launch of the brand new Men’s Magazine by AXE at the temporary AXE Kiosk in Neukölln. With the event AXE fully embraced the style of the district and made the party inside (and of course in front of) a Späti. Instead of a fancy bar you could just get your drinks from the coolers, and instead of a fancy flying buffet they had typical Späti candy and what we Germans like to call “Stullen”.
The event also brought together a lot of the creative people involved in making the magazine: Albino model Shawn Ross came over from New York, Dressedlikemachines blogger Willy Iffland who is one of the cover models, as well as best-selling author Michael Nast. The magazine is exactly about these type of guys, those that do their own thing no matter what, and you will see photo stories, portraits and interviews with them and a couple more.
On Wednesday this year’s Instagram exhibition by Samsung opened in Bikini Berlin; this time with the theme “360°” which was reflected in various forms. The works of 20 talented German Instagrammers can be admired here until the 5th of September 2016. The theme 360° is recognizable in all images. The Samsung Snapshooters were free to interpret it however they wanted to, so they the theme was treated in quite diverse ways in the photos. For four works there are also 360° videos available, which you can watch with the Gear VR headset; they demonstrate how the respective photos were taken.
During the exhibition that was curated by Joachim Baldauf, we talked with two of the exhibited Instagrammers about the new 360° technology and the Instagram community. Some of the impressions we got from the Galaxy Gallery 360 Exhibition and our interview with Konrad Langer (@konaction) and Thomas Kakareko (@thomas_k) can be found below.
From video games (e.g. Prison Architect, Star Citizen) to software (e.g. Augur, DigixDAO) and from financial aid (e.g. Greek Bailout Fund) to films (e.g. Veronica Mars) crowdfunding has consistently represented a broad platform, where ideas and wishful thinking have the potential to become reality with the financial help of their staunch advocates. Innovation and creativity stand as synonyms to a myriad of projects, several of which are found in the soon-to-be-too-cold Berlin. We chose a couple of our favorite ones that are currently seeking support and deserve your attention.
photo: The Drummer
I always like to refer to Berlin as a playground for grown-ups. Here you can easily try out new things, start new projects and experiment with crazy ideas. You will find lots of enthusiastic people willing to get involved, the resources are amazing and diverse and since Berliners are so curious to discover new things you will quickly find a willing and attentive audience. People here have a certain understanding that some things are a work in progress. Some experiments will thrive, others might not work out, but you won’t fall very hard, because the playground has a very soft floor made of sand.
Last week I met one man here, that totally takes advantage of the playfulness of Berlin and its curious audience. He woke up one day with the dream that he wanted to be a drummer. He was often involved with musicians and rock bands, spending time with them backstage, but in terms of his own musical skills he is a complete novice. Let’s face it: Playing the drums is really difficult to learn. But he saw it as a challenge and decided to make a project about it: The Drummer was born. The Drummer is not simply a nickname for him, it’s also the quest of learning this instrument in only one and a half years, and it’s going to be the name of his band that he is about to form.
White hair, a long beard shaking to the beat. Attached to it: A man dancing to techno music, making bubbles, glowing with good energy. This is Komet Bernhard, a living legend in Berlin. If you’ve been out and about the last years in Berlin, you must have heard of him or seen him by now. Like a nightlife mascot (and I mean this in the best way possible) Bernhard is always there, where you wouldn’t expect him, dancing amidst youngsters, having the time of his life. Often, in the gloom of nighttime party banter, it’s not possible to get to know the person behind a glimpse of what you might grasp.
Which is why the makers of freshmilk decided to get to know the raving legend a bit better: In a 25 min documentary. Starting in his apartment of 13 years, the filmmakers follow Bernhard through one of his many wanderings through Berlin by night. And get to know him more with every step.
You can tell: The world is a big wonder for the 67 year old, who seems to have kept a youthful mind and big eyes: “I am dancing for my life – If I wouldn’t dance, I wouldn’t be here anymore” says Komet Bernhard. And in this documentary you might just find out why.
photos: Katja Hentschel
There was a time when street style was totally a thing. Every major city had a street style blog (or many) and of course also Berlin. But the trend had faded over the years a bit and many blogs stopped posting or changed their editorial concepts. Thanks to Instagram and success projects such as Humans of New York (and other cities that followed) street portraits totally had a comeback!
Glamcanyon used to be one of the major street style blogs (and to me personally the most beautiful one) in the early days of fashion blogs in Germany, but the flow of new styles dried up a bit a few years ago. Back then the blogger behind it, photographer Katja Hentschel, shifted her focus to other projects such as her follow-up blogs Travelettes and Glowbus. But a few months ago her passion for street portraits came back to life and she decided to revitalize Glamcanyon. Now you can again regularly find her beautiful photos of beautiful people from Berlin and other cities that she comes to. But with the new photos you can see how the eye of the photographer has developed over the years. Now it’s not anymore purely about the looks, it’s also about the personality of the portrayed person and the moment they had with the photographer. Absolutely charming! We selected some of our favorites from Berlin for you today.
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:
photos: Ilsa Hellman
Berlin is not only your home, your playground, your friend, your lover, your nightmare. It can also your teacher, if you let it. We all came here at one point, with different backgrounds, different experiences. And unless we were born and grew up here and have never lived in another city we all made the discovery that Berlin is different, it tells you a different story, it shapes your life in a different way. We can learn so much from it, if we are smart enough to pay attention, because some lessons can only be read between the lines.
Finnish photographer Ilsa Hellman submitted her portrait project Neu in Berlin to us a while ago and beside the beautiful photos that she takes of New Berliners what fascinated me about the project were the stories that the portrayed people where sharing. Regardless if they had just arrived or lived here for many years, almost everyone seemed to have received some sort of lesson or wisdom from the city and we would like to share some of those with you along with Ilsa’s photos.