The last weekend was full of queer joy for us with several pride parades and queer parties going on. It felt a bit like Christmas for the LGBTQIA+ community and there was something going on for every sub-group. This year, we not only visited the main pride on Saturday but also the Dyke* March on Friday and the Internationalist Pride that happened on Saturday evening at Hermannplatz. Both of these were pretty much in contrast to the main Pride parade, but nonetheless what stood out was the smiling faces and happiness of all the queer people who joined. And that makes us very happy. Because queer joy matters so much – it’s the rebellion, the antidote, the protest against discrimination, hate, prejudice, prosecution, and inequality.
After a few years of preparation, and another year of delay due to covid, the first edition of the Rave the Planet parade finally took place last Saturday bringing back the magic of the iconic Love Parade to the streets of Berlin. Around 200.000 ravers from young to old came together along the track of the parade that lead from Ku’damm over Nollendorfplatz, Potsdamer Straße, Brandenburger Gate all the way over to the Siegessäule in Tiergarten. A caravan of 18 trucks filled with DJs, performers, and ravers made its way through town filling the air with the finest techno the city has to offer.
It was pretty incredible to witness this first edition, especially since I never went to the original Love Parade that took place in Berlin from 1989 to 2006. The energy in the city was incredible, the people were so ecstatic and it felt like seeing Berlin back to its old strength that we almost thought lost due to the last years.
For the first time, we also had the privilege to experience a parade from the perspective of a truck as our friends from Das Techno Team invited us onto their float. It was a really special pleasure to celebrate this event with their crew and performers. It also gave me the opportunity to capture the event in ways I never could before during big street parades. Check out our Instagram and Tiktok for our video recap. And below you’ll find out photo impressions.
We’ve had so many wonderful portrait series about Berliners here on iHeartBerlin in our last 15 years: The naked Berliners, creative Berliners in their homes, Berliners of the U8, Berliners through their windows during quarantine, couples of Berlin… And there are just a few that came to mind.
Today we want to introduce you to a brand new portrait series titled “Eisenacher Hundert“, and this time the concept is giving us the double whammy. Not only are all the people portrayed in this series inhabitants of the same street, they also represent all different ages between 1 and 100. So this might be the most intergenerational series we’ve featured so far.
As some of you already know we are right in the middle of our new group exhibition Fantastic Playground Berlin that you can still visit until Saturday at the Marcell von Berlin Flagship Store on Friedrichstraße 172. We have been planning this show for a long time now and we still can’t believe that it finally materialized, and it looks so much more amazing than we ever could have wished for.
This exhibition is really special to us because for the first time we had a theme that allowed us to create something like a retrospective of our work for iHeartBerlin for the past 15 years. Berlin is a playground of ideas – this has always been an important theme for us as we featured all these wonderful and inspiring projects from different creative scenes that make up Berlin. It’s so diverse and fun and colorful. To us, it’s the essence of Berlin and why this city is so special. It feels like everyone can find their space on this wild playground.
In our 15 years of iHeartBerlin, we have seen quite a bit in terms of Berlin photos and of course taken a lot ourselves. Especially the great Instagram photography era has given us many wonderful impressions of our city, which has shown us many unknown and surprising sides of Berlin. So understandably, it’s a bit difficult to impress us with Berlin photos nowadays. Or so we thought.
A few weeks ago we received an email from Mark Rautenberg, who drew our attention to his Berlin photographs. We get such submissions every now and then and are of course always grateful and happy when we can share the work of creative Berliners on our blog, especially because it allows us to give new or lesser-known creatives a platform.
You know we love a good party, and you can imagine being locked up for the last 1,5 years has been a challenge. It has been itching under our fingernails now for a while, so when our former iHeartBerlin party writer Suz asked us if we wanted to do a Halloween party with her at Backyard it was pretty much a given we would jump at the opportunity.
Backyard has a place in our hearts because we celebrated so many parties here, most famously the iconic Last Days parties. Those of you who have been around here for a while might even remember the various party photo sets we published in those days. It was certainly something that shaped iHeartBerlin and its place in the Berlin blog and magazine world.
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.
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.
Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-12737 / CC-BY-SA 3.0.
We can’t quite get over how amazing Berlin looks right now all covered in snow. This has been really uplifting in the last days, especially when the sun threw itself in the mix. We really needed that. It made us realize how long it has been since Berlin was covered in snow like that. I certainly don’t remember when the last time was it feels like ages.
But if we go way way back, we’ll find that snow in Berlin used to be more common. Scrolling through historic photos we found quite a lot of beautifully captured moments of Berliners in the snow. As you know we love to also include Berlin’s history on the blog, may it be about the divided city in 1981, Berlin’s naughty nightlife in the 1920s, or this very iconic colorized post-war video. There’s something about having an eye on the past that lets you appreciate the present that much more as well as look forward to a possible future of our beloved city.
With scenes of snowmen building, sled riding, snow shoveling and just frolicking through the beautiful white wonderland we feel all giddy to get out there and capture as much fun as we can have. We all know it can melt away at any moment. Enjoy the snow!
photos: Maarten van den Berg.
With this post, we would like to share a very special gem with you that was submitted to us by our reader Maarten from the Netherlands. We are particularly excited about what he sent to us as we haven’t really had anything from that part of the history of Berlin on the blog – at least not specifically that decade. The story he shared with us is about his visit to Berlin in 1981 – a time when the reunification wasn’t even on the horizon, a time when Berlin was still a divided city with the wounds of this division still raw and open. During his visit, he took street photos of both the West and the East of Berlin, and of course plenty of impressions from the Wall that seemed to be some kind of tourist attraction at the time. It’s impressive to see the city that we are so used to today in this condition. So many of these former dead areas of Berlin are now integrated into the city life and filled with new places and buildings that make us forget the scars that they used to be.
Maarten has self-published a photo book of this stunning series which you can order here. He also shared some words about the visit and the photos he took that were long lost and just recently resurfaced. We hope you enjoy these images!