photo: Ole Ukena
Last night the occupation of a house at Ohlauer Straße in Kreuzberg achieved something like a bitter happy end. The solidarity and all the engagement of the people from Berlin towards the refugees of Ohlauer Straße has proven to be succesful. The 40 remaining refugees will be able to stay and meanwhile the house will be rebuilt to a proper refugee center. But still this result is not a success but more like a bitter reminder that it takes guts, will power and boldness to fight injustice. The images and stories from Ohlauer Straße seem to be from another country. Police brutality resulting in pepper spray against demonstrating teenagers and multiple fractures and damages under all the people protesting is a shameful result for the local government. The most expensive intervention of the police forces so far would have financed so much more important things in this city than this inhuman, senseless and unjust blockade. I just hope that the images from this days will stay sharp in our memories and in the consciousness of the government as well. More photos to be remembered after the jump.
Our new guest contributor and talented photographer Ole Ukena has a very unique way of exploring and viewing the world surrounding us. For iHeartBerlin.de he discovered a totally different side of Fusion Festival, far away from the big dance floors and main stages. Enjoy his captivating pictures and his thoughts.
It’s been 4 years since my last Fusion. It’s been quiet a journey with this festival which started in 1997. Like most festivals it started really small and it’s goal is to create a “parallel society” without borders, vacation communism (Ferienkommunismus) as they call it. You can dive in on many different levels, watch acrobatics, learn finnish tango, dance to techno, discover amazing bands from all parts of the world, watch art installations or just get as fucked up as possible and stumble around. The choice is yours. More pictures and thoughts after the jump.
Berlin is a hub for creative minds from all over the world and offers endless opportunities for designers, painters, actors, musicians, photographers and more. Are you a creative mind who has recently moved to Berlin and are looking for ways to connect with other artists and get involved? Figuring out how to get started can be a bit daunting.
Fortunately for you, there are already a number of local community projects here in Berlin bringing together artists of all types and connecting them with other artists as well as potential clients or collaborators. Learn more about three of them after the jump.
photo: Eduardo Magalha on ihateflash
As we already discussed in the Dating Dilemma, Berlin is quite the uphill struggle when it comes to finding a perfect soul mate. After a while of living here you will realize that getting to know somebody is crazy difficult. To sum up the reasons in a simple statistic: One third of the single population is proud to be a slut, one third is infected with love resistance and the last third (actually the one where not all the hope is lost) got their heart broken not only once or twice but at least let’s say around a dozen times (by the other two thirds).
But listen up, I am not telling you all this because I want to demotivate you. Actually I hope to inspire you to break out of the circle of fear of rejection and start flirting again. Especially in summer, flirting can be so much fun and the most unexpected pleasant encounter is waiting just at the next open air party, flea market stroll or barbecue on the rooftop. To prepare yourself for it I will teach you how to write love letters, have trust in coincidence, make use of technological advances such as the new smartphone app happn and some more ideas to restart flirting after the jump.
photo: I Hate Flash
I pronounce myself guilty for not having written a flirting in Berlin column for a quite a while. To be honest, I was not really in the flirting mood in the last months. The reasons: the classic Dating Dilemma. If you have no dates you feel empty and like nothing really exciting is happening anymore. Just if you are meeting someone, your emotions (or let’s just say my emotions) are going overboard so fucking easy that it is hard to handle all the normal things in life. The only good thing about the Dating Dilemma in Berlin: You are not the only one. Nearly all my single friends are in the same excruciating situation. Not meeting somebody is boring but meeting somebody makes your nerves go nuts. Why is it so hard in Berlin just to find the right person to be happy with?
The guys from We are now are going out on the streets of Berlin asking people about it. All of that gives no answers to the big WHY AM I STILL SINGLE question. But at least you realize that you are not alone. Everybody has the same struggles, insecurities and weird thoughts about love. But maybe learning to love is truly about that. Sharing your struggles with same-minded people and also find a way to laugh away the little fears inside you. Watch the video after the jump.
When I watch all the Instagrams and videos of the 4 remaining teams of the EcoSport Challenge and what they all had to do to stay in the competition it looks like they sure as hell had a lot of fun and they certainly know how to NOT take themselves too seriously. Dressing up as gorillas, taking care of a herd of sheep, dancing their asses off for the camera – all of that sounds like fun activities for the summer, don’t you think? I felt pretty much inspired to put together a list of the most awkward and random things to do on a sunny weekend. Have fun!
photo: James K. Adams, Professor of Biology, Dalton State College
Two weeks ago I read an article about a rare genetic disposition in which animals or insect have both male and female characteristics, evenly split, right down the middle. This results for example in spectacular and beautiful butterflies with one female and one male wing. Butterflies that are happily flying freely over flowers and grass all around the world. Nobody would think about hunting down, torturing or killing these butterflies just because they look different than their species’ companions. Would parents cover the eyes of their children if one of this rare butterflies would fly around them? Would people protest and start hate groups on Facebook to exterminate all non-symmetrical butterflies? Obviously not! Why should anybody do this? It would be simply idiotic.
Sadly, the human species is less tolerant (and also less intelligent) when it comes to behave towards the individuals of their own kind. This Saturday a singer with a face half woman and half man won an international voting contest all over Europe. Exactly like one of this rare butterflies, Conchita Wurst stood out in a music contest featuring boring mainstream entertainment and surprised everybody with an exceptional triumph. Unfortunately this message of tolerance remained not without consequences: Extremist hate groups, Russian right wing politicians and fanatic conservative forces all over the planet are now concentrating their hate on the Austrian drag queen. But also Berlin is not free of all kind of intolerance and hate crimes. Some thoughts about the current situation and what we can do to help it stop after the jump.
photo: Oliver Rath
Fashion Week is coming up and even if you are not so involved in the whole circus you must have realized by now that there are so many things going on where you can potentially meet someone unexpected. This makes Fashion Week the perfect playground for flirting if you take care of some basic fliriting rules.
First of all you should get rid of the prejudice that fashionistas are somehow an entirely different species that is just living off designer brands and beauty products. Most nice fashionable people have a lot of other interests, can discuss politics and social inequality and spend their weekends in their sweatpants just like everybody else. It’s somehow typical for people in Berlin to believe that just because somebody likes to be well groomed and dressed up it means he or she is shallow and stupid. Having that in mind my first and most important recommendation that I also give in any of my other flirting guides: Leave your narrow minded judgements on other people at home and combine a nice dose of openess with a charming outift if you want to get laid or just have a nice flirt.
So many of my friends apparently got lucky during Fashion Week that maybe you don’t even need so many instructions to enjoy all the parties and beauty. Still I think there are some flirtation Faux Pas that could/should be avoided. Read my advice after the jump.
I’m actually not really the type who would reminisce about the past. But when I look back at the year 2013 I have to admit that this year was in many ways special for me. Special because of the things I did and that happened around me, but also because of some personal realizations about myself and my life that ultimately make me a very happy guy. As you guys are somehow part of this life I would like to share these special moments along with some highlights of the blog in 2013…
photo: Lena van Ginkel
Sadly, this is the last Strange Magic story we have left for you. We would like to thank again the Sophiensaele for being such an amazing partner once again. It was pleasure to discover so many different Berlin realities through this small contest and for us it was somehow like discovering our city through a different set of eyes. On the one corner we could invest in new sexuel experiences we had never thought of like in the story Happy Kater. On the other corner there were strangers crying their eyes out like in the phone-booth. Finally in this last story we follow the protagonist while encountering a mysterious laugh. So enjoy our last story by Lena van Ginkel in the German version of this article.