When I saw the oversized artworks of Katharina Grosse for the first time back in 2014 at the St. Agnes church a.k.a. König Gallery I was so impressed that she instantly became my favorite Berlin artist. The intricate layering of colors was so spectacular, that you were just standing in awe in front of the large canvases.
With her new solo exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof, that just re-opened after the lockdown this past weekend, she is going a size up and a step further. When you enter the main hall of the building you see a 3dimensional explosion of colors. It’s almost like a 3D animated glitch of reality. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.
photos: Red Rubber Road.
Today we want to share a photo series with you, that is a bit of the opposite of our Finally Together Again series from yesterday that celebrated a physical togetherness and how meaningful it can be in these trying times. What was possible for our team where all members live in Berlin, is not the same for those collaborators, friends, families, lovers that don’t live in the same country during the pandemic. The artist duo AnaHell and Nathalie Dreier where one of those that were separated by the quarantine measures of different countries. We published their Quarantine series at the beginning of the lockdown and it really hit a nerve. That series was actually produced way before in another context, but it perfectly captured the bizarre atmosphere of the early stages of the pandemic measures.
photos: Lovis Ostenrik.
What an unusual time it has been. I feel excited and uneasy, that we can with absolute certainty say, that this year has truly not been like any other year of our lives. Staying inside and not being able to see our friends and family for an uncertain amount of time was a tough new challenge.
Never before have I missed human connection as deeply as I have during these past months. I can’t imagine the consequences this will have on human interaction for years to come. To now be able to finally meet people again actually brings my heart rate up. It made me realize how important a sense of togetherness is, more than I ever thought possible.
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.
Summer is here and we could not be more excited to finally go out again and enjoy what the city has to offer. This year everything is different and we kinda have to rethink the way we spend our time. But we’re up for the challenge and ready to get creative.
Having lived in Berlin for 20 years you would think I’ve been everywhere in town. Well, I have not! And I’m kinda glad Berlin is so large there still remain some places that I hadn’t heard of before or never managed to visit. One of these corners of Berlin is Köpenick. It’s in the B zone, so it’s technically part of the city, but it pretty much feels like a separate little town, much like Potsdam, but smaller. And there are quite a few things there to discover, so a couple of friends and I decided to embark on a bike tour there.
Now that Corona has thrown all our annual plans completely over the edge, after an understandable phase of disorientation and a pinch of healthy self-pity, it is time for a new orientation.
Since long trips, festivals and clubbing are canceled for the summer, we have to get creative with what is left for us to do. After endless weeks locked down in our own four walls, most of us are drawn outside into nature, far away from our well-known quarantine station. We want to get away, get out, and experience something new. So we have been thinking about how you can make this year’s weekends a little more exciting.
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.
photo: Birgit & Bier.
Our fingers are itching. After months of staring at the woodchip wallpaper of our Berlin flats, we have “BOCK” as we like to say in German (which means to be very much in the mood for something). Bock, to go out again. Bock to sway to smooth electronic or raging techno beats while moving our bodies, sipping on a cold beer. Normally the Berlin crowd is used to completely different circumstances at the start of the summer party season when the painful question is, what party to attend, instead of none at all.
This year everything is different. Or least we thought so. After Berlin’s motivated party crowd heavy heartedly accepted the no-clubbing-corona-rules for 2020, there now appears to be hope. Little by little the bigger clubs with an outside area are opening their gardens! At first only for gastronomy purposes with strict “no dancing” rules, but that’s enough to give our grieving party community a glimmer of hope.
Note: Please consult the corresponding social media pages of each club for any changes in regards to their opening times. These might change according to the weather and the current situation.