The story of Berghain being recognized as a venue that produces “work of cultural significance” and is, therefore, subject to lower taxation made it even to the Guardian a couple of weeks ago. It is impressive to say the very least; as it is the following song by Rachel Glassberg & The Disasters, which narrates an imaginary story about the famous photographer Sven Marquardt, who is also known as the notorious Berghain bouncer. Pay attention to the lyrics; they are full of grit and humor.
illustrations: Sophia Halamoda
After how many years can you say that you are a real Berliner? Five? Maybe ten? Or maybe 20? Some people even say that only the people who were born here have the right to be called “real“ Berliners. But what about if you were born in Berlin but left at the age of 10 and never came back? Would you be a real Berliner then?
I would like this nonsense about real Berliners and not real Berliners to stop once and for all. Most of the people now living in Berlin came from elsewhere and might even leave and go somewhere else after a couple of years. The Berliner-DNA is not defined by your birth certificate, your current Geo-Tag or the length of time you have spent in this city. As kitschy as its sounds, being a Berliner is a matter of your heart.
But sometimes listening to your heart is not as easy as it sounds on paper. To give you some help in discovering the (not so) secret essence of this lovable city, we joined forces with our favorite cartoon artist Sophia Halamoda. As a creative contribution of the #LiveThere exhibition by Airbnb opening tomorrow until Sunday, we created a semi-serious guide to how to become a real Berliner. Go and discover after the jump.
Berlin is generally known as an easy going, relaxed happy place to have fun and take things slow. As much as we enjoy this reputation, it’s not all roses and unicorns here after all. We have our moments of struggles as well, some are Berlin specific and some are the same as in many other big cities in the world. It’s a part of life I guess. Sometimes you just have to stay strong.
The new campaign of the yogurt drink Actimel is all about these moments when people have to bite their teeth, make the best of it and stay strong. It’s quite a relatable sentiment, but as diverse as our world is, everyone gets to these moments quite differently. So the guys from Actimel asked us: when do you have to stay strong in Berlin? The question made us immediately think of the hilarious illustrated comics of Sophia Halamoda who showed us how to get into two of the most impenetrable institutions of Berlin: the notorious Berghain night club and the feared Bürgeramt. So we extended the question to her and together we came up with a list of some typical struggles that we face here in Berlin. We’ve all been there at some point! After the jump you’ll find 7 moments when you have to stay strong in Berlin.
photo: Feel Festival
It’s officially here! Festival season has begun and with the upcoming Fusion Festival (29 of June to 3rd of July), we felt the need to tell you about other great festivals coming up this summer in, around and sort of near Berlin. From German pop to techno, house and street food in Neukölln we’ve compiled a list of festivals that are definitely worth a visit. Take a break from city life, pack your things and go to the beach or forest nearby! There will be great music, good food and art. From workshops to exhibitions, performances: you can have it all this summer – at the following festivals. See them after the jump.
I wonder if there is any other club in the world that has people so invested into getting in or not like Berghain. The notorious door policy of the famous techno club, the long lines, the much feared getting-bounced-part. All of this kind of created a whole genre of internet entertainment all dedicated to (ironic or serious) tips on how to pass the strict door men, how to dress and how to behave inside. For us old Berliners this has taken almost comical proportions, but I can’t help it, I still enjoy all of these little projects and articles about it, even though I personally haven’t gone to the club in years.
So here is yet another one, but quite interesting, as it used new technologies that I haven’t seen yet in this form. It’s a virtual Berghain trainer that simulates the door situation (minus the long cues and the actual bouncers of the club) through an interactive video…
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.
My Gallery Weekend started with an artistic installation that actually has nothing to do with the official Gallery Weekend (but has some good chances to become my favorite installation anyways). In celebration of its 20th anniversary, German record label raster-noton presents a ‘white circle’, an acoustic-architectural space designed as an audiovisual installation inside the hall of Berghain. On this occasion four of the label’s musician were invited to develop and contribute an exclusive composition: Alva Noto, Byetone, Frank Bretschneider, and Kangding Ray.
The four pieces are all very different but play with the full spectrum of light and darkness in visuals and sound. I was really impressed by the intense atmosphere this installation created. Suddenly I felt transported to a foreign galaxy where an Egyptian god of techno is ruling the world. Don’t miss to visit this place over the weekend. After the jump I created a couple of animated GIFs to give you an impression of the art piece, but of course without the sound it’s only half the experience.
Halle am Berghain, photo: iHeartBerlin
Hey guys, did you know it’s Spring now? The sun is mostly shining, the streets are filling up, and everyone is looking pretty happy. There’s no better way to enjoy the season than to hop around town from one gallery to another, and this is the weekend to do it. Tons of galleries are opening interesting exhibitions with cool receptions to stand around at; there are lots of options, so you have no excuse: Get to a vernissage and mingle! Wondering what to see? Don’t worry – we got you covered. Here are our recommendations for Gallery Weekend Berlin 2016.
I don’t know why, but in the last week I have seen so many postings on Facebook complaining about the struggle of going to the Bürgeramt (registry office / citizen center) that I felt it was such perfect timing when illustrator Sophia Halamoda sent us her latest comic: A guide on how to get an appointment at the dreaded office. Her illustrated guide on how to get into Berghain was such a huge success a couple of weeks ago that it makes a lot of sense she would do another one of the one place that is apparently even harder to get into than the infamous techno cathedral. In her guide, she once again pokes fun at all the little urban myths and cliches surrounding this special temple of German bureaucracy. Mixed in with a lot of typical bad experiences and classic missteps, she also gives some helpful advice that might make your next visit more successful Enjoy her witty new guide after the jump.
If Berlin were the solar system, Berghain would be the sun for a looooot of people. Some days it seems like everything and everybody is circulating around this place. Throughout the weekend and sometimes on Mondays, I see tons of people wandering through Friedrichshain and over Warschauer Straße, magnetically drawn to Berghain. And as mythical as the place is, as various are the myths of how to get in. In various Italian blogs I read absurd guides on how to be let in by Sven and co. One of the most common (and silly) assumptions is that you have to look gay to get in. But there are many more false assumptions about what the doormen of Berghain like and what they don’t.
A very funny and unique clarification of the myths out there is this cute guide created by talented illustrator Sophia Halamoda. In 28 drawings she presents her own tongue-in-cheek wisdom of how entering Berghain works. Enjoy the hilarious illustrations after the jump.