Community integration is a goal we are all working towards in Berlin. The fact that our city is home to individuals from many different backgrounds is something we should cherish and never take for granted, especially given the current trends in politics. We have already written about the actions you can take against the xenophobic far right – be it taking part in demonstrations or supporting particular initiatives. Today, we want to look at things from a more positive angle and focus on the amazing ventures which have truly enriched the city and which were started by people who came to Berlin as refugees. One organization that provides an environment which genuinely fosters such projects is Give Something Back to Berlin – we spoke to them and created this list featuring five success stories.
When it comes to Berlin’s nightlife you better dress to impress – or in the case of our friends from Pornceptual: undress to impress because at their sex and body positive parties less is simply more in terms of clothing.
The club life has never been as diverse, colorful and eccentric as now and we love it! So many beautiful characters that you can encounter in the dancefloor. So much to look at, so much too admire. It’s not simply just a party anymore – it’s a ball!
With their new portrait series “Porn Ball”, Pornceptual not only introduces the theme of their upcoming party this weekend, but they also pay tribute to the beauty of the ballroom scene. These characters are not simply wearing outfits, they are wearing their LIVES! Their confidence is infectious!
Enjoy this fun photo series and make sure to come to the next Pornceptual party this Saturday.
The recent sale of dozens of iconic buildings inhabiting thousands of people along Berlin’s grand boulevard Karl-Marx-Allee by a private real estate company is symbolizing the sinister developments in the city’s housing market. But is it all just sell, sell, sell, cringe and carry on, or who has the final say here?
700 apartments in Berlin’s famous, postwar, palace-like apartment blocks along what was formerly known as GDR’s prestigious ‘Stalinallee’ change ownership. The buildings were acquired by ‘Deutsche Wohnen’ – the largest private real estate firm in the capital region, often criticized for its rigorous rental increase politics. – Oh my. I live there myself. What now?
As born and raised Neuköllner the 26-years-old photographer Hanko Ye really knows how to capture the unadorned and raw side of life in Berlin.
Any kind of daily urban situation could represent a source of inspiration. He shoots photos of the streets, U-Bahn stations or green spaces. Private or public, intimate or social, forbidden or ordinary, ugly or beautiful: every moment and every detail becomes a puzzle piece of the bigger picture that is this incredible city.
His focus is on the people around him, regardless of their age, origin, appearance or style. With a sharp eye, he finds them in those mundane, authentic moments of everyday life that would normally go unnoticed. Of course, a certain boldness and unapologetic honesty come with the territory. So it comes as no surprise that some of his photos overstep our social comfort zone. But it’s exactly those brutal truths about life in Berlin that make his images so relatable.
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.
242,000 people marched against the right-wing last Saturday. The iHeartBerlin team took part and has some pictures for you.
“Solidarity, not exclusion – for a free and liberal society,” the unifying motto of the “Unteilbar” (inseparable) initiative lead a massive crowd of people out on the streets six kilometers across the capital from Alexanderplatz to Siegessäule. “Tens of Thousands Protest Racism and Discrimination in Berlin”, “240,000 demonstrate against hate and xenophobia”, “March against far-right draws huge crowds in Berlin”, “It’s finally a united movement”, headlines like these popped up all over the world the last few days. It’s a symbol of hope during otherwise gloomy days that not only Berlin needed, but the whole world. And we want to say thank you. Thank you, Berlin. We all needed that.
photo: Sam Morris
These ten women and men aren’t afraid to expose their naked bodies to fight against stigmas around sex, gender, and sexual orientation.
It’s a struggle for freedom of expression on a slippery slope. With their work these brave ten blur the lines of art, pornography, sex work, political activism, or what’s considered “professional” work. They face the dangers that come with the openly sexual nature of their work or digital persona. Their explicit representation on and offline is not a green card to sexual consent, what sounds like a no-brainer is something many people do not understand. “I’ve found myself in some very dangerous, and uncomfortable situations,” our cover model Sam Morris told Gay Times, “I have been sexually blackmailed, assaulted, verbally harassed, and raped. These situations have involved photographers, prolific magazine editors, and other gay men I’ve met along the way.” Physical harassment, slut-shaming, and tensions in personal relationships are something all of them have encountered but they found ways to deal with these situations. For erotic filmmaker and performer Anarella Martínez-Madrid, it’s as simple as this: “If being a slut means being able to enjoy your sexual life, and get to know yourself better, then I am a slut”.
Political activism made easy: Sassy YouTuber and witty digital activist Tarik Tesfu picks five social projects against racism and xenophobia that need your financial support right now.
Tarik has been bopping around the web since 2015. As a self-proclaimed “gender-messiah” and “do-gooder” the young Berliner vlogs about gender equality, LGBTQI*rights and racism in Germany in weekly shamelessly spot on and self-ironic videos. As a German gay man of color his politically incorrect, razor-blade lingo served with a charming smile on top does, however, not only gain him fans.
Let’s just say, the comments on his YouTube-channel can get pretty ugly. Apparently, it’s: love Tarik or hate Tarik and nothing in between. Take the hate and turn it into a “Weil wir dich haten, Tarik-Heul-Mimimi-Hymne” (the “Because we hate you Tarik-Whine-Mimimi-Anthem”), is Tarik’s response to that. Even if you don’t understand German, that’s pretty hilarious.
Is your beloved busy big city life getting to you sometimes? We talked to the wonderful Rebecca Randak, experienced Yogi and Mindfulness blogger on Fuck Lucky Go Happy, on how to reduce stress induced by our busy Berlin and finding balance. Learn more about her ways of being mindful in the city, her favorite yoga studios and her introduction to a simple meditation technique that anybody can do.
Sometimes getting along with your neighbors could be more difficult than releasing your childhood traumas. So, in order to smooth this process, we squeezed through your future neighbors’ windows to chronicle their lives, and give you a sneak peek at how they might look like.
From the family that “incubates” their hardcore-punk band in their apartment to the friendly gay couple that is obsessed with their visits to the psychotherapist — here is a short guide to the family next door depending on your neighborhood.
Disclaimer: No stereotypes were harmed in the writing of this text.