Berlin is always there – A Weekend in Deauville

photo: Kristine Thiemann

The days are getting shorter, it’s cold outside and we are facing at least three months of Berlin winter.

So a few weeks back, I jumped to the opportunity of a little getaway weekend in France. A couple of days in Paris and a few relaxing nights in Deauville near the ocean sounded simply perfect. Little did I know about all the extravaganza the tiny village had in store for me, even a piece of Berlin crossed my path on the nomadic coast…

photo: Philippe Ramette

photo: Rinko Kawauchi

Having read that Deauville had some 4000 inhabitants I never thought it would have so much to offer. It has an amazing beach and promenade alongside it,  a famous hippodrome (horse race course), a casino, impressive five star luxury hotels, a fantastic Olympic swimming pool, multiple cinemas and of course fabulous restaurants and Cafés with everything you might long for on a weekend away. It’s a fairytale little town, that feels like Disneyland at times and is certainly a getaway from big city life.

photo: Camille Picquot

photo: Yana Wernicke

What makes Deauville really special however isn’t the Hermes Shop or the beach promenade, but that the town makes great art available. They host the renown American Film Festivals as well as an Asian Film and a Classical Music Festival and many other cultural events. The weekend I spent there was the weekend of the opening of the annual photography festival Planche(s) Contact.

Artistic Director Patrick Remy is a funny man who lives in Paris, but comes out to do the festival. Each year he invites selected photographers to spend some time in Deauville and then show their view of the city in the festival. It’s a great idea and gives the city an amazing portfolio of images created here. Sarah Moon and Rinko Kawauchi were my personal favourites, but I also liked the student exhibition, which included work from Aras Gökten and Yana Wernicke, students of our very own Ostkreuzschule.

photo: Sarah Moon

photo: Thierry Dreyfus

In big cities festivals struggle to really make an impact and create a little network of it’s visitors. This was so very different in Deauville! The exhibition grounds were scattered across town from gorgeous old ruins to beautiful sea front pavilions the entire village was buzzing with festival crowds. When at Potsdamer Platz during the Berlinale feels like my neighbourhood, Deauville really felt like my home. We met people again and again, had great conversations, were invited to a spontaneous aperitif at the Mayors house and simply found a home away from home for a few days.

photo: Aras Goekten

photo: Maia Izzo Foulquier

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