photos: Roger Sabaté.
Hannah Joy Graves has a magnetic presence which I have first registered when I showed up for a tattoo appointment at AKA, a Neukölln studio that she managed at the time. With Berlin being more of a village than its map might suggest, our paths crossed again when I found out that Hannah, introducing herself to the world as Cult Mother, began offering tarot readings – a practice that can only grow more relevant as reality becomes increasingly uncertain. As Cult Mother put it: “People are feeling disconnected and disorientated and are discovering that tarot is a great tool for navigating confusion and uncertainty.”
But there’s more to this interview than cards. Hannah told us about finding her way into spirituality, how she envisions tarot as part of Berlin’s nightlife, and why the city continues to inspire her after she got sober.
With our previous guides about the cultural contributions of Brazilian, Syrian, and Vietnamese creative people living in Berlin (and many others) we have already shed some light on the benefits of living in a city that embraces its international community. With this new feature, we are drawing a wider circle by highlighting some extraordinary talents from Europe’s black diaspora that will come together these days for the poesiefestival Berlin.
In a time like now, it becomes abundantly clear that we urgently need to listen more to Black voices. And what better voices to listen to, than those of poets and thinkers. The online edition of the 21st poesiefestival in Berlin that will be celebrating its opening night today has a beautifully diverse program with talents from all around the world. But one event has especially caught our attention.
Congolese poet Fiston Mwanza Mujila has been mapping the poetry of poets of African origin in Europe for some time now, as he found that black poets are not represented enough in the European poetry circuit. He found a lot of powerful texts that need to be heard, experiences from Africa and Europe that need to be shared. For the event “Unheard Poetry: Europe’s Black Diaspora” he is bringing some of the Black poets he found together, and I think it’s really important we listen to them.
In this feature, we want to introduce you to the talented Black poets that will present their work in this special event, as well as a few other events from the program of the festival. With each poet, we included a link to the event they participate in where you can watch the live stream, or a recording later on. Now it’s up to you, to listen.
You know it’s the 21st century when few things give you so much sense of belonging as memes. That’s definitely the case with Berlin Ausländer Memes – an ironic social commentary that just couldn’t be any more relatable.
You must have seen them around already: the widespread appeal of Berlin Ausländer Memes unites virtually all expats, and earns the appreciation of Germans and even Urberliners with a sense of self-irony. The memes are impossible to miss with their eclectic aesthetic featuring Spice Girls and stock images. They’ll eventually make you laugh, but not before brutally confronting you with the unglamorous reality of the expat’s lot.
While Berlin’s weather is too unpredictable to count on it, at least you don’t have to worry about always having to find the appropriate outfit for the current circumstances. Berliners tend to be quite liberal as far as putting together a look goes. Or taking a look apart, for that matter: showing some skin is often a viable option. At the first glance, it might look like they’re just throwing on random stuff they just picked up at Humana, but there’s a logic to this aesthetic madness.
Together with the illustrator Sophia Halamoda, we’ve analyzed some of the most prevailing Hauptstadt fashion trends for our book Like A Berliner (available here) and extracted some advice for you on how to get the Berlin look from the chapter Look Like A Berliner!
From June 5th to June 11th, Berlin’s poesiefestival will take place already for the 21st time. Instead of canceling or postponing the event due to the lockdown, the organizers went to great lengths to make it happen virtually. And we can all feel lucky that they did, as this festival is a must for everyone with an appreciation for words and a curiosity for foreign languages and cultures.
The poesiefestival Berlin has been a constant source of inspiration for Berlin’s literary landscape since 2000. This year, its organizers were forced to restructure the program, but many event formats known from previous editions are still going to take place, including the opening event Weltklang – Night of Poetry (featuring an international array of poets performing in their native languages), as well as the translation workshop VERSschmuggel/reVERSible.
Now that the quarantine rules seem to be easing down and more and more people start to brave the outdoors, we’re all turning our attention to the surrounding environment that some of us tried to avoid for many days. The art project Claude is making this experience more inspiring by placing artworks in the urban space for all of us to discover.
The project Claude is devoted to creating unconventional encounters between art and audiences. Rather than rescheduling their program of events due to the pandemic, the creators behind the project decided to tackle the challenge in a creative way and did not fail to bring the art ”closer to the people”.
illustrations: Berk Karaoglu.
Berlin without its nightlife is like a bath with no bubbles. In other words, we won’t stand for it. And since nocturnal establishments of all kinds have been closed for weeks now, one just has to get creative. But what else can you do to channel that party animal other than perfecting your dance moves to a United We Stream DJ set? Well, aren’t we glad you asked!
photos: Roger Sabaté.
Like countless others in early March, I certainly didn’t expect the extent of the impending pandemic. Fearing it would interfere with my long-awaited vacation, I actually stayed in denial of it for as long as I could. But the ominous news screens incessantly broadcasting Corona updates which had followed me across San Francisco ultimately proved fateful as I ended up booking an emergency flight back to Berlin.
Coming back in times of a worldwide pandemic made me consider Berlin home more than ever before. Having been here for over four years now, I’d already mused on the reechoing metaphor of Berlin as a lover and even written on staying committed to the city over time. As I was coming back, I’d ask myself whether experiencing Berlin in this bizarre Corona edition will affect my love for it. Certainly, I’d never seen the city like that: with deserted streets, sealed off clubs, and a ban on gatherings.
photos: Kseniya Apresyan.
This photography series by Kseniya Apresyan showcases one characteristic Berlin is a paragon of – the freedom that for many is almost synonymous with the city’s kinky nightlife. But don’t expect sneaky snapshots from the dancefloor – this project brings the partygoers back into reality, creating intriguing images of their respective lifestyles.
Previously on iHeartBerlin, you could learn some unique German words of happiness, get your casual German on fleek, delve into the charming world of German insults and even pimp up your Deutscher dirty talk. But as we’ve realized, we haven’t published any new installments of this series ever since we’ve issued these four articles in our Learn Deutsch with iHeartBerlin book! And because we’ve really missed this format, here goes the brand new edition of our German lessons: 10 German Terms that Describe Complex Personalities in One Word!
Do you know the saying that a picture can be worth a thousand words? Well, as it turns out, a specific German word can sometimes convey a thousand words of another language. Here’s a list of 10 German terms used to describe complex personalities that less efficient and imaginative languages could only dream of.