illustration: Guen Douglas.
After 16 years in office, our chancellorette Angela Merkle has stepped down just a few days ago. Her departure from her position as head of state of Germany was preceded with several photos of her in very private settings that prompted many memes, such as the iconic one of her with some tropical birds at Vogelpark Marlow, or the recent photo spread in Bunte magazine of her in casual clothing with her husband. In all those photos she looks really happy and relieved, probably looking forward to the time where she doesn’t have to deal with the Trumps, Putins, and Erdogans of the world. For some reason, her release into the private life seems to be the vibe of our time. It doesn’t take a lot to imagine under what pressure this woman must have been.
Despite being part of a very conservative and capitalistic political party that has basically blocked any kind of progressive or social movements in the last decades she was an icon of the liberal world and respected worldwide. It’s a mystery to many, why she was even in this dreadful party and her internal quarrels with her more conservative male colleagues were no secret. But she managed through all of that and because of her more social policies in recent years she even had voters on her side that might have voted green or red this year. In a way, the fact that she didn’t run again this year, was a relief to many that might have been torn between her and more liberal/social/environmentally friendly parties.
As the gift-giving season approaches, we’re all on the lookout for fun and sustainably produced presents for friends and family. Wonderpieces, the new collection of feminist and socially conscious puzzles by the publishing house Familiar Faces might be exactly what you’re looking for!
The idea for this innovative puzzle collection came from Marie and Yvonn, the founders of Familiar Faces. These two Berlin moms have been known for creating products that bring the whole family together, starting with customizable childrens’ books. Now, Familiar Faces are addressing a wider audience with puzzle designs that celebrate feminism and inclusivity.
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.
It’s times like these when being together with our loved ones is the only thing we look forward to. But because of the situation, the entire world has found itself in this year, it’s the one thing we should all avoid. And the realization of how much we miss being together is hitting us harder than we ever imagined. As the famous Janet Jackson song goes: you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.
It seems an impossible task – being together without actually meeting. We’re all trying to redefine and rethink the ways we socialize in these testing times. Long phone calls, writing physical letters, video conferencing – we’ve all experimented with these things to make up for what we are missing. It can be an alternative, a new way that we can learn to cherish. But this requires a great amount of goodwill and optimism.
When it comes to dating in Berlin, things are not quite as black and white as you imagine. There are all these different new ways of life and love we have come to accept here and it only proves the liberal spirit of the city we love so much,
But where are you on the spectrum of love? For our book Like A Berliner (which by the way makes for an excellent Christmas present – order it here!) we sat together with illustrator Sophia Halamoda and came up with a smart little game of questions and answers that will solve the riddle and define what dating type you are.
Some of you might have noticed already thanks to our comprehensive plant guide, that we are true plant lovers here at iHeartBerlin – and I can pretty much speak for almost the entire team.
In the last years, plants have become such an integral part of my life, not only because of my growing collection but also because of the connections with other people I have made over time because of our shared love for those green beauties.
Especially the charming events and pop-up sales hosted by Bergamotte in the last years have given me a lot of opportunities to connect with local plant lovers and I’m really grateful for that. As you can imagine, I was excited when they approached me to help spread the word about their special plant and flower delivery service they offer here in Berlin, but also in other major German cities.
Today we want to share with you a very optimistic and cheerful piece of art that we hope will brighten your day a little as it did ours.
We already shared with you the work of Portuguese artist and architect Bruno Pinto da Cruz a while ago with our feature about his ISOMATIC pieces and in our guide about Portuguese Life in Berlin. He has now followed up with a splendid new Berlin-themed piece of his vivid ISOMATIC series that you need to see.
If you’ve lived in Berlin for a long time and your job is all about knowing everything about the city, I can tell you, to surprise me with something new is a feat you are gonna be destined to fail at. Alas, of course, you are really inventive. And whoever organized that scavenger hunt by glo™ that I was invited to join last week sure was!
The whole experience made me realize, that the city has an infinite amount of surprises left for me to experience. Discovering Berlin from a new angle, seeing places I hadn’t seen before, or seeing familiar places in a new light – this is what keeps me motivated to do this blog and it keeps my enthusiasm for Berlin as fresh as on the first day.
Getting yourself an actual, material calendar is surely a bold move in times of ubiquitous digitalization. Going analog can bring structure to your hectic life without any of the screen addiction that productivity apps can cause. Buying an actual calendar is also an important gesture of showing support and appreciation to the artist behind it. And obviously, it’s an appropriate gift for almost anyone – and especially useful in Berlin, the city where people need the occasional reminder of conventional concepts of time.