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.
Summer is slowly awakening Berlin from the long winter sleep and many people miss the long nights out with their friends in their favorite clubs. While many clubs are now proposing outdoor beer garden concepts, this might not be the perfect solution for the passionate raver and dancer among us.
It’s not a surprise that the amount of illegal raves at Hasenheide and in the forests surrounding the city has increased dramatically over the last weeks. Many might not feel comfortable with the idea of throwing themselves into a big crowd of strangers. Others can’t suppress their desire anymore for a night out with music and dancing. It feels a bit twisted that something so natural like dancing together has to be postponed to an unknown future. Yet the Pandemic is not over and the international development of numbers shows that the world is still in a fragile state.
We get it, Berlin has gotten boring without the clubs, concerts, and festivals that you are usually on to get yourself busy during the summer. Since corona has made us re-appreciate time spend outside and in nature, we thought about quenching your thirst for nature and giving you guys some ideas what to do on your weekends, in order to get out of Berlin and do something new and exciting. Stay tuned!
photo: Spyrosdrakopoulos / CC BY-SA.
YAAM, the unique cultural venue at the banks of the Spree by Ostbahnhof providing a space for BPoCs living in Berlin, was forced to vacate its premises this week – no matter its legal background or intentions, there has never been a worse time in history for public officials to suddenly close a black venue!
The stability of the bank wall, the venue is built on, would no longer be guaranteed – an official static report stated. While legal justifications might make things sound a lil cuter – closing a club space on a more than lucrative real estate property… we all will assume just one thing, won’t we? – however, the timing of these events almost seems like a fairly bad joke. Like – whoever gave the instruction to make representatives of YAAM clear its indoor spaces – “You do read the news, right?!”
photo: Jubal Battisti.
At the end of August, the operas and theaters of Berlin will be able to reopen again after the lockdown. We are really happy about this but it’s not going to be the same with a lot of restrictions on stage and behind the scenes, as well as way fewer seats in the audience room. A lot of the new productions we were looking forward to were scrapped because they either didn’t comply with distance rules or could simply not be rehearsed due to the restrictions.
For a few months now the dancers of Staatsballett Berlin were not able to perform nor practice together. In an earlier stage of the lockdown, we already shared a really wonderful video initiated and edited by Principal Dancer Ksenia Ovsyanick that showed the dancers performing in their homes and gardens during self-isolation. Now, a few months later, the dancers were able to leave their houses and practice again, but still not together like they were used to. Following the big success of the first video, they now released two more videos that we want to share with you here.
Installation view Lee Mingwei: 禮 Li, Gifts and Rituals, Gropius Bau, Berlin, 2020, photo: Laura Fiorio.
The lockdown hit the cultural scene very hard. I am working in the art scene, so it made me particularly sad about not being able to visit exhibitions and museums. On the one hand, I’m amazed at how diverse the program is online: how close you can suddenly get to artists, museums, and galleries. Everything has become very personal and we can take a look behind the scenes. On the other hand, experiencing art on-site – the closeness to the work of art, the dimensions clearly in front of me – cannot be replaced.
All the happier I was finally being able to visit an exhibition: The first thing I chose was Martin-Gropius-Bau and Lee Mingwei’s exhibition: 禮 Li, gifts, and rituals (until July 12, 2020). Lee Mingwei is a Taiwanese-American, contemporary artist who dedicates himself to the rituals of giving and receiving gifts.
How do you show unity and togetherness in times of social distancing? Berlin’s queer community ventures into virtual spaces to find answers.
2020 has been rough so far – for all of us, but especially for the global queer community. With Hungary trying to strip trans people of their current rights to legally change their gender, the UK and US just recently attacking vital anti-discrimination laws against queer people and Poland declaring one-third of the country a “so-called” LGBT-free zone”, institutionalized homophobia has arrived right at Berlin’s doorstep.
Now, more than ever, queer people need to show resilience and celebrate a month of pride, resistance and solidarity – yet we find ourselves in the midst of the biggest pandemic of the last century.
The days are heating up again, the evenings are getting longer and the desire to share a cool aperitif with friends is pulling many Berliners out of their homes. The streets are filling up again with lively people, craving to catch up on the latest news from their friends, seeking the next delicious glass of Aperol Spritz. To give you some ideas on how to start the upcoming warm summer nights, we would like to introduce you to some great aperitif bars in Berlin.
photos: Roger Sabaté.
Close your eyes for a second.
Imagine a 28-year-old who just moved to Berlin. She lived here a while ago, but was unable to find a proper job and returned to the country of origin. She promised herself that one day she will be back and conquer the city.
Five years later, she’s here again, this time not as a cleaner but as a project manager. She feels immune to any job market crisis, she has a strong game plan and some money to spend. New shoes? Sure! Techno party every weekend? Bam! Eating outside all week? No problem!
Now pause for a minute. Or maybe pause forever. Can you? Can you pause it forever for me, please? Cause what’s coming next is the infamous “Contagion” reenactment which washed away all my dreams and hopes. Yes, this careless adult was me, stuck so much in my capitalist privileges, that being laid off completely crushed my world.
A luscious jungle without any tourists in it? An empty underground train wagon and a super high up rooftop without any spectators? Yes, these places really are in Berlin and not part of a dystopian fantasy. And they are waiting for you to take your picture with them!
Leipziger Platz, the little brother of Potsdamer Platz, now has a new attraction to show off – the Studio of Wonders. The Selfie Paradise follows in the footsteps of a new wave of Selfie Galleries that have emerged as an ongoing trend worldwide. Born from Instagram’s ideal to constantly deliver new exciting photographs to show off to an online audience, the Studio of Wonders helps his curious visitors to create new content with 20 different dreamy and unusual scenes on 500 spacious square meters.