photos: Maxime Ballesteros
Ever since the French photographer Maxime Ballesteros got his first camera when he was a teenager, he hasn’t stopped taking pictures. Carrying a camera always with him, in order to be ready for when he sees something interesting to him, rather than documenting everything, Ballesteros uses photography as a tool to visualize his own subjective view of the world. His first monograph, Les Absents was released this month by Hantje Cantz Publishing, and produced in cooperation with the visionary culture and fashion network Sang Bleu in London, including various texts and poems by the artist himself. It takes us on a strong, emphatically physical, and a bit surreal journey into the artist’s world.
His photographs show a section of the world where day and night, dream and nightmare, the subjective and the objective are of equal importance. He compares his conception of his photography to the way our brain keeps both reality as well as dreams and nightmares in the same space; the same way, the artist’s imagination takes shape and comes into existence through the camera, making it real. He shoots in the moment, following his protagonists to wild parties, private apartments, and the beach at dawn—shimmering and excessive, sharp and always in style. Read on…
photo: Philipp von Recklinghausen / bobsairport
The true difference a book can make, in a time when it’s pretty much all said and done, is have a clear, authentic voice, and this is exactly what ‘Berlin Heartbeats’ has. ‘Berlin Heartbeats’ is a collection of intense photo stories and essays, of people who experienced the 90’s in Berlin and the time right after the wall fell until the early 2000s, and a new reality revealed itself to them; “old structures dissolved giving space for improvisation and experiment”. Frank, genuine perspectives and testimonies, not of a romanticized Berlin, but of a city as experienced by them, giving raw, simple, but magical accounts. You see the abandoned and run-down areas of the once divided city, you see revolts in the streets, the crazy underground art and music scene, alternative living projects, street parades and so much more.
Have you ever been in the situation where somebody told you they really liked your nose, or your neck or your hair and you thought: “WHAT? It’s the part I actually dislike most about my body.”
We have a certain perception of ourselves and our appearance. Influenced by our biography, our family and friends and also by the city we lived in. For example, I did not like my skin color until the day I moved to Berlin. While growing up in a city in the east of Germany, my skin tone was always standing out in a crowd. And most of the time not in a positive way. In Berlin on the other hand, strangers, friends, and lovers did not seem to mind my color. Not at all.
This perception of ourselves influences of course also the choice we make in the photography that should represent us. Especially in online dating, pics are the crucial part of storytelling. And even if you don’t want to upload pictures of yourself that look completely fake, you also want to show the best part(s) of you. Making the choice of the perfect picture always a bit tricky.
Friend and Berlin-based Turkish photographer Eylül Aslan was fascinated by how our picture selection for our online profiles is influenced by our self-image. For her book Trompe L’oeil she met over 40 men through Tinder and asked them what part of their body they liked and what they disliked most. After that, they had to ask her the same questions regarding her own body. The result of this social experiment is a book colored in all kinds of flesh and skin and full of physical intimacy between strangers. Read on…
photo: Marlen Müller
Lina Jachmann’s new book Einfach Leben, the title meaning live simply, is a lifestyle guide that escapes the usual traps of this kind of literature: it’s neither about fast trends nor is it pretentious or preachy. On the other hand, it provides you with a lot of practical insights into the minimalist lifestyle based on portraits of (extra)ordinary people who have found ways to incorporate this philosophy into their everyday lives to make them more sustainable. Since quite a few of them are somehow linked to Berlin, we’re introducing them and their alternative habits we could all learn from below!
photo: Make Your Own Sign
Spring is the time to expand your boundaries, expose yourself to new experiences and maybe take up a new hobby. In Berlin, we’re blessed to enjoy a wide range of all kinds of workshops that will enable you to do all these things and also to meet new inspiring people. Check out our suggestions and hurry if you want to register – some of the workshops are starting this weekend!
There are some art concepts that could only be transformed into reality in Berlin. The people that really make this city are indeed characterized by a certain tolerance to all things wild and free, regardless of how weird or inappropriate they may be at the same time.
On his arrival in Berlin, the Czech artist Martin Gabriel Pavel set out to explore the city and its colorful people. But although this still sounds pretty usual, I’d venture to say he made a little more of an impact in this field than you or me. The photography project he started out could only succeed under some very particular circumstance, the most vital one of them being that people would allow others to take picture of them naked, which will result in hundreds of such portrayals getting back to Pavel.
photos: The Gentle Temper
So much is happening during the summer in Berlin that it’s become some kind of a parallel universe everyone is longing for. And no wonder – nothing can compare with the time where you get to enjoy Mauerpark to the fullest, wear your least demure clubbing outfit with no annoying jacket over it, and drink as many Späti beers around the Kanal as you may wish. Another amazing feature of Berlin’s summer is our lakes. Find out more about the beautiful publication that will help you discover them after the jump.
One of the major aims we have here on the blog is to find ways for you to have an amazing time in Berlin. Regardless if you live here or if you are just visiting, we want you to make the most of this amazing city and have an unforgettable time here. With our guides and reviews we’re offering a lot of recommendations on what to do here – with our recent collaboration with Priceless® Berlin we have also introduced you to a whole new spectrum of unique experiences from culinary delights to fun adventures.
But what makes an experience really unique and unforgettable? It’s not really as easy as it sounds. We thought a lot about this, because we wanted to create our own “priceless” event for you. As the season of cosy nights at home and lovely holiday dinners is approaching we decided that we wanted to do something related to amazing food. So we sat down with someone who really knows something about excellent food: our Blogfabrik colleague Sophia Hoffmann, who recently published her second amazing cookbook “Vegan Queens”. Together we developed a dinner event of a different kind. “Harvest Muse” turned out to much more than just a dinner party. For the delight of our guests Sophia created something that could almost be described as an altar of the fruits of Autumn – a beautiful food installation that was first admired and photographed and than later devoured by the attendants. In a short interview Sophia explains how the idea came up and what other advice she can give to our readers on how to host an unforgettable dinner.
photos: Manuel Moncayo
There are these moments, where all you want is simply to pause your life, take a deep breath, clear your head from all the annoying and time-consuming distractions that you let govern you and just exist without thinking that you are running late on your schedule. All that is needed is just these few minutes, where you get to really think about what you are doing and/or what you have become, not necessarily in an existential or an overanalysing way, but in the fashion that suits you best. How often do we even stop for a moment to observe our surroundings, appreciate what we have and realize that the majority of what we like to call “problems” are very insignificant considering we only live just a couple of decades? While pausing your life might not be possible, escaping from its worries just for a bit might prove just as rewarding.
In the time that we have all spent in Berlin either as visitors or residents, how much energy have we invested in getting to know the city? What could we say about it, that could be insightful and at the same time descriptive of its true identity? Do we even know the city we so passionately talk about?
Brenda Strohmaier’s and Alexander S. Wolf’s “Der Berlin-Code” tackles this -oddly- rarely addressed issue by creating a very special guide for anyone curious to find out a little bit more about Berlin’s core identity. What makes this book unique is that it transcends the usual questions “Where to go?”, “What to do?” etc. as well as the well-known discontent about how Berlin used to be and how it currently is. Instead, it delves into themes that cannot be approached by a simple Google search.