This was fun! On Friday we launched our new book Like A Berliner that we’ve been working on for the past 3 years with illustrator Sophia Halamoda and that is available to order now in our new online shop. We had the incredible honor of doing our party at Kantini in collaboration with Bikini Berlin. It was such a match made in heaven – the wonderful design of the place mixed with the cute illustrations of Sophia that we pasted all over the place.
To make the evening extra special we invited a couple of really unique performers to embody the spirit of our book and take our guests by the hand to make some memorable experiences. From Jennifer Aniston tarot readings by Esben Holk, to anti-confessions with Olympia Bukkakis, tactile sensations with crochet artist Anto Christ, fetish research with drag queen Purrja, and unsolicited plant advice by Miss Poppy Cox – there was something for everyone – and it was great fun. As a special treat, we invited The Darvish to give us a little belly dance, and boy did he deliver!
If you had the chance to see the iHeartBerlin group exhibition Uncensored Berlin last year, you know that we love supporting bold photographers, unafraid of making a statement. The same thing could be said about Benjamin Wolbergs, who is currently preparing to publish a unique book that presents contemporary LGBTIQ photography, featuring many of the artists that took part in our exhibition.
On Saturday the Ballroom scene of Berlin came together for a very special charity Ball hosted by the lovely David Angels Milan and Oliver Jopke. Following his super colorful and fun Pride Ball back in July, this was only his second Ball here in Berlin, but a massive one at that with around 1000 guests attending! The theme of the night was the ocean. In a time of climate awareness, it was a poignant gesture to this important ecosystem. But it was not just a gesture, in fact, all proceeds at the door were fully donated to the Ocean Now organization that campaigns for the protection and recovery of the oceans. We hear that it was the proud sum of 4.800 EUR that came together for this purpose.
The ocean theme, of course, saw many Voguers come up with their best oceanic outfits – we saw mermaids in fishnets, penguins, starfish, lots of shimmering scales and flowy blue fabrics. Commenting on the tragic state of pollution of the oceans there were also a couple of outfits assembled of bottles, bags and other plastic trash. The photographers of fabulous Tush Magazine were in the house as they were media partners of the event and they had quite a lot to photograph with all these crazy looks. The winners of each category did not only take home their trophies but also the latest issue of Tush as well as goodies by sponsors Bumble BFF, Weekday and The Moxy.
If you want to learn more about all the different categories and rules of Balls you should check out the recent Ballroom guide that we photographed with some members from the House of Angels. Below you’ll find our photos and GIFs from the Ocean Ball. Enjoy!
If you’re wondering when the next Ball is taking place check out our Events page and look out for the Black Magic Ball at Gorki.
The Global Climate Strike took place earlier today in Berlin, as well as in many other cities across the globe. Fridays for Future, the movement started by young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, announced that around 270.000 people went to the streets in Berlin, which is a number much higher than anticipated. It was for sure the biggest demonstration I have ever been to, even bigger than the Europe demo in the Spring and the #unteilbar demo last Autumn (not counting Christopher Street Day).
This turnup and the engagement of the people in the fight for climate justice was really impressive to see, but who impressed me the most were the young people and kids that came, screaming and chanting at the top of their lungs with such a level of seriousness that went into my bones. I think their cry for justice was the most powerful element of the entire parade. I cannot imagine how it must feel for kids growing up with the understanding that previous generations (including ourselves) have majorly fucked up the future of their planet.
The Ballroom scene might very well be my favorite thing about Berlin’s nightlife right now. I’m so happy there is a lot of movement going on at the moment with multiple voguing workshops taking place and balls happening more regularly. If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about you can read up on the ballroom culture and voguing in some earlier pieces of us here and here.
This last Friday the magnificent David Milan from the House of Milan hosted his very first ball here in Berlin at Säälchen in conjunction with Pride Week and with support by Coca-Cola and Eastpak. It was a beautiful spectacle that united all the colors of the rainbow (literally and metaphorically) under one roof. The runway was on fire that night with some of the best outfits and performances I have seen in a while. I just love how regular outfit rules of Berlin’s club scene are totally turned upside down with people going for bold, colorful, extravagant and camp instead of the trendy, sporty all-black style. For me, the voguers are like the coolest people that I can imagine, but at the same time they are very welcoming and accepting of all kinds of people, so you will see a very diverse crowd embracing different identities, cultures, and shapes at their events.
The crowd of the Pride Ball was no exception, so much beauty, my camera could not have been happier. Of course, I took tons of photos and I created probably the biggest series of animated GIFs that I ever did for an event. I’m already excited for the next ball (which is happening at Schwuz on August 23) and also look forward to more movement in the ballroom culture of Berlin.
Last Saturday around 1 Million people came to the streets in Berlin to participate in the 40th Berlin Pride Parade. It was a big anniversary for Berlin and possibly also the biggest turnout in terms of people who came to walk or watch. But it was also a meaningful anniversary for the entire Pride movement worldwide. Exactly 50 years ago the Stonewall Riots took place in New York which started the entire LGBTQI movements and all the Pride Parades in the rest of the world in the years and decades that followed.
Even though the parade might seem like a big colorful and joyful street party that celebrated sexual liberty and hedonism there are still important messages sent out into the world with such events. We don’t even have to look very far: Hate crimes against LGBTQI people have gone up in Berlin in recent years. In many countries in the world, Pride Parades are suppressed by governments, such as in Russia, Turkey, and Poland. And most dramatically, many countries still criminalize homosexuality – in the worst cases even punish it by death.
So when we go to the streets in Berlin, we don’t just march for our own accomplishments in terms of LGBTQI rights, but also in solidarity for all those queer people in the world who are still fighting for acceptance and equality.
photos: Abdulsalam Ajaj.
Artist Mischa Badasyan was at it again with one of his naked interventions. After the Viktoriapark waterfall and the subway he now took over the beautiful Körnerpark in Neukölln and filled it with naked human bodies during one of his actions. It was basically a nudist picnic in the park celebrating the liberation of the body, the human form and its connection to nature. What better place to choose than the dreamy ambiance of this special park in Neukölln.
But the new photos series captured once again by Abdulsalam Ajaj is just a glimpse of a much bigger project that includes several interventions in public places. For upcoming shoots, Mischa is always looking for more participants. So if you want to become part of the series you can get in touch with him by writing him an eMail. We are already curious about the next location and of course the big reveal of the entire project later this year!
Michael Schulz‘s Instagram account with the catchy title Berlinstagram has always been one of our favorites. If, like us, you’re fans of his unique take on our urban aesthetic, you’ll be excited to know his most iconic photographs (along with some previously unseen ones) will be featured in a brand new book from the Berlin Stories series. Today, we would like to give you a sneak peek into the photo selection!
A bird’s eye view of two hot-dog sellers, a Chewbacca-lookalike getting his späti groceries or a stash of discarded plastic cups are intertwined with impressive shots of architecture and familiar images of classic Berliners just going around their everyday lives. The photographs from Berlinstagram capture the Hauptstadt life in all its surprising variety.
Berlin is a city with such a rich and turbulent history that tracing the appearance of its particular corners over time can become an extremely fascinating hobby. We have just discovered a great photography project that does exactly that through contrasting pictures of the exact same spots in Berlin captured today and in a random moment in the past. Read on to see some of the most captivating sets of photos and find more about the project itself.
photos: Vismante Ruzgaite.
Berlin on the first of May, Labor Day. What was once a day of protests and revolts where the Kreuzberg anarchists and punks would throw bottles at the police, set cars on fire and smash shop windows is nowadays one of the biggest street parties taking over most of Kreuzberg 36 and some other parts of the city.
You could argue that Berlin has lost its edge and that the youths now frolicking through the streets with beer in their hands have totally forgotten about the history and meaning of this important German Holiday. But on the other hand, isn’t this free-spirited way of celebrating life in any given place and for any reason Berlin’s major trademark since basically the early 90s?