Whether you just moved here yesterday or have been settled for several years, we are all well familiar with the joys of flat hunting in Berlin. I’m sure we’ve all heard the horror stories, scamming stories, funny stories, and even the nudist stories.
And now this collective flat search experience has been transformed into a hilariously cathartic online game known as Berlin Flat Quest.
Created by Bastien, the man who runs the Settle in Berlin blog, Berlin Flat Quest commemorates this rite of passage by combining people’s flat search stories gathered from the Facebook group berlin EXPATS.
Yayoi Kusama at Gropius Bau 2021, photo: Luca Girardini.
Once again Berlin’s museums and cultural venues have had to close their doors due to lockdown restrictions. However, there are still a few hidden gems around for us to continue exploring the artistic side of the city and get inspired in a safe way.
Gallery Weekend took place a couple of weeks ago and many of the participating galleries are still open to the public as long as you contact them in advance and have a negative COVID test. You can check out Gallery Weekend’s website for a full list of participating galleries and artists.
Additionally, we can look forward to some larger exhibitions that have unfortunately had to close for now, but it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye out for when tickets will be available for purchase again.
Here is a list of some fantastic exhibitions – some that you can currently check out, including participants of Gallery Weekend, and some to visit in the (hopefully) near future!
Weird, strange, freaky, magical, playful – I think many of us living in Berlin can agree that such words perfectly describe some of the unique personalities that inhabit this city. This sentiment is also captured in 26-year-old artist Olga Ivanova’s rendition of the map of Berlin.
Ivanova’s alternative map is populated with mysterious little creatures enjoying themselves throughout the city. Looking at the map, I’m sure many of us will recognize our own Berlin adventures whether it’s queuing up for Berghain, enjoying a coffee with a friend, hanging out with some fellow weirdos you just met at Hermannplatz or skating along Tempelhofer Feld.
Rice and Shine, photo: Valerie Siba Rousparas.
Following the tragic shooting in Atlanta, Georgia that killed 8 Asian-Americans on March 16, 2021 the topic of anti-Asian racism has been in the spotlight around the globe, an issue that does not exclude our very own Berlin.
Especially due to the pandemic with phrases like “Kung Flu” and “China virus” being thrown around, Asian communities have become wary of increased anti-Asian racism. For myself, this past year has forced me to be aware of my Asianness more than ever, leaving me to wonder if the person who just moved away from me on the U-Bahn only did so because of my almond-shaped eyes smiling at them from behind my mask.
While COVID-19 has exacerbated the situation, racism towards Asians has been around long before the pandemic. Here in Berlin, I have had men fetishize my “exotic oriental beauty” and “ching chong” gibberish shouted at me on the street, just to name a few mild remarks. Attention needs to be brought to such experiences not to complain of our beloved Berlin, but because we care about this city and want to help make it feel safer for the communities that make this place so special.
A glittering river in the sky, luminous shapes with a life of their own, playful distortions of light dancing to electronic music in black rooms – this is the world of Dark Matter, an audiovisual exhibition that aims to transport its visitors away from the outside world and into their senses.
The mastermind behind this multi-dimensional experience is light artist Christopher Bauder and his design studio WHITEvoid who also brought us DEEP WEB and SKALAR at Kraftwerk Berlin. In 2014, Bauder and WHITEvoid also marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with LICHTGRENZE where they presented 8,000 luminescent balloons across the city where the wall once stood.
Bauder describes Dark Matter as a kind of history exhibition of the studio’s creations over the years, featuring seven installations going as far back as 20 years ago and as recently as this year.
Pornceptual is launching its fourth magazine issue FUCK 2020 – a sentiment many of us can relate to – bringing us inclusive pornographic artwork by over 100 contributors from 33 countries and 5 continents.
Without a doubt, the pandemic has had a profound impact on our relationship with intimacy, human touch, and sex this past year. Through the lens of pornography and art, FUCK 2020 explores such topics by providing a platform to artists whose voices are not always heard, especially as the threat of online censorship continues to grow.
“Although turbulent, last year was historic, but sex was not always part of the narrative,” wrote the Pornceptual editorial team. “We can’t let these stories be forgotten, in particular the ones of marginalized sexualities.
photo: Lindsey LaMont.
Growing up, the meaning of March 8th has changed a lot for me over the years. When I was younger, Women’s Day was simply when my father would bring home flowers for my mother, myself and my sister, a Soviet tradition my parents had brought with them from Kazakhstan.
Later as a teen, it was to feel a sense of sisterhood as I texted my best girlfriends “Happy Women’s Day!” and exchanged with them words of encouragement after yet another day of navigating high school sexism from boys in our class.
Now today as an adult, March 8th reminds me to take a moment to reflect on women’s issues I care about, whether personal or systemic, while also celebrating myself and the women around me.
La Case Paulette. photo: Vitaly Soroka.
Celebrating and empowering Black communities should not just be limited to Black History month, but this is a good time for us to reflect on how we as individuals can help dismantle institutionalized racism in the spaces we occupy.
To keep the conversations surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement from 2020 alive, it’s important to continue to do our part in uplifting BIPOC communities going forward. One way you can do so from your own home is by supporting Black-owned businesses and donating to community organizations. Needless to say, any contribution is particularly valuable during these times due to the negative financial impact of the ongoing pandemic.
To get you started, here is our curated list of Black-owned shops, restaurants, and organizations for you to get to know. Make a donation, share their pages on your social networks, enjoy a delicious takeaway meal or find your next favorite clothing item from our guide below.