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.
On Saturday, on a taxi ride in Buenos Aires with a few strangers, I had a conversation about my recent trip to Rio, which quickly led to the topic of the Brazilian carnival, and then over to the one in Venice and Cologne. The conversation had almost switched to another topic when it struck me: We have a carnival in Berlin too! How could I forget! And it usually takes place in… oh, it’s this weekend! In contrast to the ones in Brazil, Cologne and Venice, our Berlin carnival is not specifically about one nation, but about all of them – or at least quite a big bunch. As the title “carnival of the cultures” suggests, different countries come together here with their traditions, dance and food. It became this huge thing here over the years with a big parade and food market. People either love it or hate it, but regardless, it’s a big spectacle with a lot of fanfare and the poor streets of the city that have hardly recovered from the mayhem of May Day are again littered with the cultural confetti of the next big street fair.
Photographer Alexander Niklass captured the event through his dark, urban lens; the results present the carnival in quite different light than what we are all used to. Enjoy the amazing photo series after the jump and for more photos by Alex follow him on Instagram.
photo: Christian Werner
Independent print magazine projects seem like a relic from another era. Of course print magazines look great as accessories on Instagram pictures and on our coffee tables. But is there still the habit of READING things on paper? Well maybe the habits are changing but the curiosity and the openness to a diversity of experiences is not. So even though I think more and more people will read and consume all kinds of content on digital surfaces, others will still cherish the experience of reading on paper. Maybe it is the crisis of print publishing that pushes journalists and makers to think of magazine concepts that dare more than ever and explore new possibilities.
aviv is a new magazine made in Berlin that dares with something really unconventional. Printed in Hebrew and German, the bilingual print-magazine focuses on literature and the arts and wants to renew the relationship between the two languages and cultures. For me, having been in love with languages and their power of identification all my life, this project is a good example of building creative bridges. Publishing from a young and autonomous perspective, the founder Hanno Hauenstein and his co-editor Itamar Gov focus on less illuminated content between these languages, and highlights the underlying historical and political complexities. I think that especially here in Berlin such a project is very important to create a dialogue between Israelis and Germans living here.
Tonight on Mai 13th aviv is celebrating the launch party of their first Issue at Berghain Kantine with numerous acts, dance performances and a reading. Don’t miss it. Some impressions of the magazine and the two creators after the jump.
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.
photos: Guney Cuceloglu
In most major cities of the world the activity of simply “hanging out” is pretty much a luxury that only tourists and maybe less ambitious students can enjoy. The rest of the inhabitants have to hustle the entire day either because it’s necessary to make ends meet or because being busy is a status symbol. In Berlin that’s quite different. Here hanging out is a highly valued part of the life style of the people. It’s embedded into the days of the inhabitants in the same way that late hours at work and strict gym schedules are in other cities. Berliners feel no shame in self-indulgence and being laid back. What other city people might consider as laziness is considered a benefit of this wonderful city.
Photographer Guney Cuceloglu who you might remember from the charming portraits of female and male cyclists went to some of the most popular leisure spots in the city to observe and document how Berliners expertly turn hanging out into an art form. Enjoy his collections of photos after the jump.
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!
photo: Stas / CC
Look up into the sky, draw a circle of trust – the city is coming out of the dust. You can feel the air getting warm around you, building up contentment inside you. Let it culminate, come out of you – burst into laughter, come through.
Berlin is back, was never gone, we know that winter’s beautiful on its own. But no one can deny this side, the city’s warmer, happier smile. With all the gloom and seriousness, how bright can your smile really get? Pretty bright and very wide – just try to laugh about, smile! From ear to ear your teeth should show, how life is getting you to glow!
So laugh away the darker things, smile right into your little wings and fly away into the blue – the city is smiling and so should you.
photo: Anže Kokalj
We all need a little saving sometimes. Someone to grab us by our shoulders, reassuring it’s gonna be okay. In a city like Berlin, accidents happen. With so many people living next to and with each other, bruises are inevitable. In cars, on bicycles or walking on the street, with hearts falling on the floor, shattering to pieces: Every day, someone is out there, needing a pick-me-up.
Luckily, there is almost always help just around the corner to mend that heart and come to the rescue. Just like the other day, when an ADAC (automobile club) chopper landed in the middle of the street of Kottbusser Damm. Who knows, who needed saving that day – it’s good someone was there.
Photographer Anže Kokalj captured this unusual moment of a helicopter landing in the middle of Kreuzberg. You can find more pictures on his Instagram.
Twingpigs, photo: Daniel Müller
For our latest guide we have once again teamed up with the lovely Laura Le Marchand from Down by Retro and Neukölln Shopping Nacht to give you the best of her favorite district: Neukölln. After we extensively covered all the shops and cafes in our previous collaborations we thought we’d give you something different this time: A nightlife guide including some of the hottest bars, parties and clubs of the popular district. All of these serve as perfect spots to drink and dance after an evening full of shopping and mingling at the Neukölln Shopping Night, which goes into its 6th edition this coming Saturday (May 7, 2016). Once again all the trendy spots in various neighborhoods of Neukölln will be open until 22h and offer some kind of special or mini event in their stores. More infos on the event and our new Neukölln Nightlife Guide curated by Laura after the jump.
photo: Eylül Aslan
Berlin might be a disaster when it comes to airports but at least we have an overabundance of low-cost-airlines to choose from. And while hundreds of people come to Berlin to get their rocks off every weekend, I prefer to travel and, as some of you might remember my column on the terrible truth about the German man, I have reason enough.