Berlin has produced so many musical bigwigs and this city is brimming with secret gems here and there that are trying to find their place in the spotlight. A band you regularly see playing at Mauerpark on Sundays might be the next international breakthrough and your favorite U-Bahn musician might become a global sensation one day. I personally can name at least ten friends who are DJs. They are all working hard to reach the success they wish for and we don’t want to spare the support. This is why we took it upon ourselves to give you the newest and the best music videos from Berlin to save you from those dreary and repetitive playlists.
If there is one thing we have all learned in the last year it is that many things we were used to had to be completely rethought and reinvented. This rings especially true for the culture and arts scene that was completely shut down for so long with very few alternatives.
The operas and theatres had some of the most invasive restrictions during the few months they were allowed to open reducing audience capacities and cutting the seasons short. So they were very few opportunities to see anything on stage, only a few people got lucky with tickets and that’s still a reality today.
If we can’t dance in Berlin clubs, at least we can watch a documentary about clubbing there, right? With the corona regulations operating a club has become really difficult and this is threatening the one thing that has put Berlin on the map worldwide in the last couple of decades. While everything is back open again after the endless lockdown, clubs are still the one type of place that is still not allowed to open. It’s not that that is not understandable – but it doesn’t make it any better or fair for the people behind it.
The new documentary Clubkultur by filmmakers Leonie Gerner and Andrea Schumacher for Hauptstadt.tv shines a light on the importance of the Berlin club scene with various interviews with club owners, nightlife artists, DJs, and musicians, but also politicians and the Berlin Clubcommission. We also get to see a lot of footage from some wild Berlin nights that make us super nostalgic and that feel like they are from a distant time decades in the past.
photos: Gili Shani.
After Berlin clubs closed their doors to their worshippers during the ongoing global pandemic, many kink lovers who found their refuge in these sanctuaries had to get more creative to maintain their inner desires. The legendary KitKat pool had to be replaced by our bathtubs and our music in compliance with the Hausordnung. The nascent lockdown rules were getting tougher and the end of the tunnel was getting more blurry along the way.
During this difficult time, Gili Shani, the only person who was allowed to take photos at KitKat Club, photographed 250 people in their houses, who were willing to show their kink for his book Voyeur. Berlin. Kinky. He drove all around Berlin to capture these intimate moments inspired by the pre-pandemic kink scene. With a sexually suggestive front cover of a lower front tattoo that says “fuck”, the book is already promising. Through Shani’s lens, these domestic shots reflect nothing different from a moment in KitKat; a man in a harness kneeling before the camera and a domina ready to spank someone in another photo. After all, you can get the Berliner out of the club but you can not get the kink out of Berliners.
The new production of Puccini’s opera “La Fanciulla del West” at Staatsoper Berlin is giving us some real Wild Wild West vibes. What a piece to start the season with after this endless lockdown! The premiere on Sunday, June 13th, is actually already sold out, but because the demand was expected to be high after such a long time with closed stages, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden together with their long-term sponsor BMW came up with the idea of creating a drive-in cinema experience where viewers can enjoy a live stream of the premiere from the comfort of their car. As a special treat, we are giving away 5 tickets for the spectacle!
When you read the synopsis of “La Fanciulla del West” you probably ask yourself, wait, how is this supposed to be an Italian opera from the one and only Puccini? It goes a little something like that: “California, at the heyday of the Gold Rush: the place of people’s dreams turns out to be an inexorable wasteland, governed by the law of the jungle. Minnie’s bar is the only place where people live in peaceful coexistence. It is revered by gold seekers and fiercely presided over by the gruff Sheriff Rance. But when Minnie falls in love with a stranger who turns out to be the notorious bandit Johnson, the fragile community is turned upside down.”
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.
photo: ARD Degeto/Andrea Hansen.
When I look around the TV landscape of recent years I feel quite happy that there are so many shows right now representing LGBTQIA+ people and issues, and that they are no longer just minor storylines of side characters but they’ve also become the center of attention. When I grew up the only show there was Queer As Folk and not much else in the decades after, so no matter if you liked it or not, it was a must-watch and highlight for gay guys at the time.
To see a fully gay show as the first thing on the main page of the ARD Mediathek (German’s major public TV channel) felt really good today, I have to say. I was half expecting they would hide it somewhere in the archive and you would have to search for it, but no, it’s pretty in your face. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think All You Need really is the first German TV show exclusively dealing with gay men as the main characters and getting such a prime spot. And I think the show really deserves to be put in the limelight – it’s a great-looking show, with likable characters and a solid story. A lot of the people involved have done a really good job and a warmly recommend watching.
A great way to support your local artist community and look smart at the same time is investing in some books! In this post, you’ll find an assortment of recent publications from or about Berlin, representing all kinds of genres – some will broaden your knowledge about the city, while others are simply too fun to miss. Prepare to impress your visitors with a cool Berlin book on your shelf (once dinner parties are a thing again!).
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.
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.