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.
Darkness, silence, a locked-up room – no solution, no escape…
What sounds like a horror movie at first is the opposite of it and in fact really great fun. We’re talking about a more or less new trend that has arrived in Berlin a few years ago and is now becoming increasingly diverse. In so-called Live Escape Games you voluntarily let yourself and your friends or colleagues include in a complex of rooms and have to find a way out of the premises before the predetermined time runs out. The aim is to work together, to solve tricky puzzles and to pay enough attention to even the smallest details because they could lead you to the right solution. Each game includes a detailed story and there are many – you can take on the role of thieves and steal an exhibition object, escape from a bunker or convict a murderer.
After the jump you can get a glimpse of the game procedure.
“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.
When you look around the streets of Berlin, on the tables of people’s homes, on Instagram, we are invaded by blossoms and flowers these days. The glorious beauty of Spring I like to call it. But the warm season is not the only one giving us the bright colors of nature; London-based artist Rebecca Louise Law had her Berlin debut in the past week with her stunning sculptural work. But her material is neither paint nor paper – she uses flowers. Lot’s of them actually. For the Bikini Berlin she created a huge site-specific installation that has the visitors of the concept shopping mall marvel at the beauty of nature. Hung from the ceiling, thousands of flowers form a mesmerizing sky of blossoms that are as enchanting as the Spring itself. We spoke with Rebecca about her new work and her relationship to Berlin. Read our interview and see more photos of the installation at Bikini Berlin after the jump.
photos: Fredrik Altinell
Of all the big cities in the world, Berlin appears to be somehow mainly one thing: an alternative. Not just another option, an alternative. An alternative to the high-pressure in New York, to the expensive prices in Paris, to the suboptimal living conditions in London. Berlin in itself offers so many alternatives. Every culture has a counter culture here. You have the choice to go along with the mainstream, or to take an alternative route. You have the big Berlinale Film Festival with very few women directors, writers and producers taking part, and than there is the Feminist Film Week. You have all the big theater stages with your typical theater fair, and than there are all these small independent ones showing highly progressive and experimental pieces. You have heaps of conventional night clubs and bars, and you have those where you can appear naked or have sex in the middle of the dance floor.
And of course you have the official Berlin Fashion Week with celebrity craze and commercial labels, with its counter part being the Berlin Alternative Fashion Week that brings young, eccentric and creative designers into the limelight. Exactly this BAFW stands as a perfect example for the parallel worlds inside Berlins fashion scene. I have personally been to both, and I can tell you the audiences they attract couldn’t be further apart from each other. If you don’t believe me, believe your eyes this coming Friday and Saturday when their runway shows dedicated to recycled and avant-garde fashion, respectively, take place.