Kinky Creativity: Learn the Art of Shibari Bondage in Berlin

Kinky Creativity: Learn the Art of Shibari Bondage in Berlin

Shibari Study, photo: Viktor Herak

Berlin is known for a lot of different things: the history and the wall, Berghain and techno, döner and currywurst, just to name a few. But two elements central to the culture in the capital are sex and art. These two intriguing aspects of life in Berlin perfectly unite in Shibari, a type of Japanese bondage that focuses on the aesthetics of the bound body. Although we’re in the middle of a pandemic and sex clubs and museums are closed, Shibari is a great way to satisfy your craving for something both kinky and creative. There are a number of organizations and instructors still offering workshops and courses about the art of Shibari during the pandemic.

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Discover GlogauAIR’s Virtual Open Studios Online

Discover GlogauAIR’s Virtual Open Studios Online

photo: MiCKi CHOMiCKi. 

This week I went to an art exhibition like no other at GlogauAIR. It was a physical exhibition that won’t open to the public, at least not physically. GlogauAIR is a non-profit art space and residency located in Kreuzberg that offers 13 studios to international artists to live and create for three months at a time. During the coronavirus pandemic, artist residency and exhibition looks very different. Although each of the artists began by creating analog artwork, the exhibition this year is virtual, so all of the pieces had to be translated online. Some chose to simply photograph their work while others completely changed their media to reflect the virtual format. One of the residents is even a “virtual resident” creating art from far away and joining the community of artists through a screen.

I had the pleasure and privilege to be invited to visit the space during their Open Studios Exhibition. I spoke with each of the artists about their artwork and their time in Berlin during the pandemic. Here’s what each of them had to say:

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Support Small Businesses With Your Gift Shopping this Holiday Season

Support Small Businesses With Your Gift Shopping this Holiday Season

illustration: Berk Karaoglu. 

With this cursed year coming to a close, Berlin descends into one of the most magical times of the year: the holidays. Normally complete with Glühwein, freezing cold, and Christmas markets, this winter is going to feel far from normal (except the freezing cold). Although the holidays may be a bit different this year, it’s still the season to give back to the people you love and the city we all love. We’ve compiled this gifting guide featuring small businesses from Berlin if you’re looking for an alternative to Amazon. All the businesses listed in the following guides are small, ethical, locally owned, and sure to make your loved ones (and their owners) smile.

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A Complete Guide to Take-Away Breakfast in Berlin

A Complete Guide to Take-Away Breakfast in Berlin

photo: Benedict Berlin. 

There’s nothing better than waking up, walking out the door and sitting down for a delicious breakfast, usually with a mimosa in hand, in one of Berlin’s many cafes. But with lockdown 2.0 extended at least until January 10th, it’ll be a while until we can meet up for breakfast again. To cure your cravings for eggs benny, pancakes, bacon and hot coffee we’ve compiled this list of breakfast spots that are offering take away during the pandemic.

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Berlin’s Finest Clubwear Brands

Berlin’s Finest Clubwear Brands

photo: IVY Berlin. 

It only takes one look around the dance floor to know that Berlin is a city of absolutely fire clubwear. Harnesses, latex, collars, ass-less chaps, platform shoes, and fishnets are a Berliner’s bread and butter. And it’s not just the people in Berlin who wear these clothes, but designers, labels, and shops craft and sell these unique pieces that are handmade and often from sustainable materials.

Here are iHeartBerlin’s top picks for the best spots to update your techno wardrobe in Berlin.

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You Can Get a Rapid Corona Test at KitKatClub Starting this Week

You Can Get a Rapid Corona Test at KitKatClub Starting this Week

photo: KitKatClub. 

According to a Facebook and Instagram post, the legendary Berlin fetish club KitKat will be offering rapid corona tests starting this Friday the 4th of December for only 25 euros. Rapid corona tests are basically impossible to get in Berlin and COVID tests usually cost around 150 euros. In line with the club’s hedonistic reputation, the post asked guests to “come naked and wild,” but quickly amended that admitting that although it would be funny, a line of naked people around the block would probably lead to legal action against the club because of suspected illegal parties. The post indicated that KitKat thought rapid tests would be extremely important for the reopening of nightlife despite a vaccine on the horizon. All the tests will be administered by medical professionals.

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How to be Funny in German: A Guide

How to be Funny in German: A Guide

After living in Berlin for eight years, I finally started consuming German mass media because of my work. A few months ago, I got a job as a subtitler; I essentially binge-watch German movies and write subtitles in English. While I enjoy my job because I get to sit around, watch TV and write all day, I can’t help but notice a trend in all the German content I watch; it’s seriously lacking comic relief that I can relate to as an American. However, it is also witty in its own unique way that I, as a native English speaker, can’t entirely grasp.

There’s this extremely prevalent stereotype: “German’s can’t take a joke; Germans have no humor” bla bla bla. But this doesn’t really match up with the German people I know and love, many of whom are absolutely hilarious.

I decided to unpack some of the intricacies of German humor through a few conversations and an internet deep dive. Here’s what I found:

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Virtual Gallery New Dawn Explores the Future of Experiencing Art

Virtual Gallery New Dawn Explores the Future of Experiencing Art

Each year, as the temperature drops and the days grow shorter, gloves become increasingly important. Even on my five-minute bike ride to work my knuckles freeze, dry, and crack without the pair I picked up at a flea market in Amsterdam last year (soft suede and obnoxiously leopard print because I can never pass up an opportunity to be as extra as humanly possible). Gloves are functional, beautiful, and provide another layer of the self. They wrap around the human shape but are not constrained by it; I may not be a leopard but with my gloves, my hands are.

If the frigid Berlin weather doesn’t offer enough glove appreciation for you, there is another remedy. NEW DAWN | Tools to Touch in Times Ahead, a virtual-reality gallery experience uses the glove as its focal point. The multi-media display features 33 artists who explore the glove through photography, CGI, animation, graphic design, dance, performance, sound design, and curatorial practices as a “device for enabling holistic experiences in a discursive, material, and visual speculative future.” And to experience it you don’t have to leave the comfort of your screen.

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How Americans in Berlin Experienced the 2020 Election

How Americans in Berlin Experienced the 2020 Election

Caitlin Hardee, an American who’s lived in Berlin for almost 10 years, slept badly beside her laptop on Tuesday night awaiting results she knew would not come by morning. With the presidential election still undecided until Saturday, Americans in Berlin haven’t slept much at all last week.

Because Donald Trump hinted he would declare victory before all mail-in ballots were counted, Democrats Abroad, the overseas chapter of the Democratic Party, organized a “Rally in Berlin for free and fair elections in the United States” in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday to demand all votes be counted. Around 50 people attended the rally with little commotion, but police were present to ensure social distancing measures were followed. Emily Lines, the vice-chair for Democrats Abroad, said that only two counter-protesters came to the rally. One of the counter-protesters was not an American, but still chose to support Trump and was not wearing a mask.

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A Glimpse of Berlin’s Future in the next 50 Years

A Glimpse of Berlin’s Future in the next 50 Years

Berlin is a city of reinvention at every level—individuals come here to reinvent themselves and the city itself is always reinventing itself. With a constant influx of people coming to Berlin every year to discover its rich history, plentiful parties or simply political safety, the future of the city could go in many directions. Will housing become even more competitive? Will the city find ways to become more environmentally friendly? Will the coronavirus force the city to stagnate or will creativity continue to flourish? Right now, Berlin seems to be on the brink of another phase of reinvention.

100 Years Berlin – Unfinished Metropolis, a free exhibition at the Kronprinzenpalais that is still open until February 2021 but currently closed due to the lockdown in November, seeks to answer some of these questions by examining the last century. Unfinished Metropolis celebrates the centennial of the conglomeration of Berlin and asks the visitor to examine the past to look forward. The exhibition reviews urban planning successes and failures of the last 100 years in Berlin and also features winning entries from the International Urban Design Ideas Competition for Berlin-Brandenburg 2070. These entries provide an idea of what the city may look like in 50 years. Here’s what those winning entries propose.

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