photo: Vanessa Marino.
Aérea Negrot is a Berlin icon. The sad news of her death that reached us on Thursday will not change that. She was beloved far beyond Berlin’s queer nightlife, theater, and art world. She was a brilliant artist, performer, DJ. She was mother, she was diva, she was queen, she was everything and more.
It’s a first one for me, to write about someone from within our circles who passed. I’m honestly heartbroken, but I feel like I have so much to say.
Constanza Macras is one of the creative souls of Berlin, who enriches our favorite city through her ideas and impulses. Born in Buenos Aires, she studied dance and fashion design before a good mix of coincidence and purpose led her to Amsterdam, New York and, finally, to Berlin. In 2003 she founded the DorkyPark Company, an interdisciplinary ensemble that works with dance, text, live music, and film. In their latest piece DRAMA, which celebrated its premiere in January, a group of performers explores the possibilities of stage space in the post-pandemic age, probing the relationship between real stage space and virtual networks.
I had the chance to ask Constanza a few questions for iHeartBerlin about her new piece, her life, and her perspectives on the arts scene.
This week you can watch both DRAMA and their previous production The Future at Volksbühne on June 22 and 23.
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.
Every one of us experiences individual struggles around the ongoing pandemic. One undeniable reality of the current time is the struggle of shop owners to attract customers, which especially impacts those with little to no online presence. That’s where the project Senior Shops comes in: this new initiative started by a group of Master students from the HWR Berlin school is devoted to highlighting various businesses run by elderly people.
photos: Andrea Hansen.
Hidden amongst other notes hanging from a lamppost, not far from my apartment in Friedrichshain, something caught my eye.
Berlin – the city whose residents communicate via notes:
Apartment-hunters, declarations of love, Weltschmerz, lost teddy bears, the announcement of a party, sometimes also the announcement of a natural home birth and accompanied by a request not to call the police due to the resulting noise. There is nothing that cannot be said in Berlin using this form of communication.
The note that caught my eye was asking for help on an indie movie set.
Photography by Rita Couto ©, Berlin 2021
Finally, Berlin is getting its open-air dance floors back this weekend. Yet there was one particular dance movement that brought people together with electronic music even during the lockdown. If you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s really time you find out about Dose of Pleasure, because once you tried it you will be addicted to it. I promise.
Basically, Dose of Pleasure is a collective dance meditation that starts usually quite softly, gets energetic with time, and lets you groove to electronic music in a completely different way than you would do in a “normal” night out in a club. The method behind the movement of Dose of Pleasure was created in March 2020, when the first lockdown hit Berlin and the world. Based on his experience with the Berlin night live, the dance teacher Alvin Collantes created a way to move with yourself and get deep into the groove.
Last summer, the movement had regular raves happening in different locations all over town. This Saturday 19th there will be the first public dance demonstration again happening at Tempelhofer Feld. You can find more about the event and the schedule over here.
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.
photos: Megan Auer.
Berlin is undoubtedly a hedonistic city. It’s known for its wild sex clubs, indulgent late-night food culture, excessive drinking, and the legalization of sex work. Despite this sinful reputation, sex workers in Berlin still face much of the same stigma they encounter elsewhere. Berlin Strippers Collective (BSC) is an organization of strippers living in Berlin, working to tell their stories through art and events, while always advocating and fighting for their ultimate goal: decriminalization. Read on…
photo: Lindsey LaMont.
Growing up, the meaning of March 8th has changed a lot for me over the years. When I was younger, Women’s Day was simply when my father would bring home flowers for my mother, myself and my sister, a Soviet tradition my parents had brought with them from Kazakhstan.
Later as a teen, it was to feel a sense of sisterhood as I texted my best girlfriends “Happy Women’s Day!” and exchanged with them words of encouragement after yet another day of navigating high school sexism from boys in our class.
Now today as an adult, March 8th reminds me to take a moment to reflect on women’s issues I care about, whether personal or systemic, while also celebrating myself and the women around me.
La Case Paulette. photo: Vitaly Soroka.
Celebrating and empowering Black communities should not just be limited to Black History month, but this is a good time for us to reflect on how we as individuals can help dismantle institutionalized racism in the spaces we occupy.
To keep the conversations surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement from 2020 alive, it’s important to continue to do our part in uplifting BIPOC communities going forward. One way you can do so from your own home is by supporting Black-owned businesses and donating to community organizations. Needless to say, any contribution is particularly valuable during these times due to the negative financial impact of the ongoing pandemic.
To get you started, here is our curated list of Black-owned shops, restaurants, and organizations for you to get to know. Make a donation, share their pages on your social networks, enjoy a delicious takeaway meal or find your next favorite clothing item from our guide below.