This year was quite different, wasn’t it? There was a lot of crazy stuff happening, but we can all agree on what the most significant thing was: the pandemic. If you would have told me a year ago that this would happen, I probably would not have believed you. But here we are, 9 months into a global outbreak of an airborne viral disease that has turned the world upside down.
Of course, this pandemic brought us a lot of negative things, but I don’t want to focus on those – you can simply turn on the news for that. I want to focus on the things that were good, specifically on how people responded to the crisis in positive ways. While a lot of us were struggling with our lives, our work, and our mental health, some people gathered their creative energies to come up with great things to brighten the days of everyone else and show some optimistic spirit.
One of the first responses to the initial lockdown in March came from the nightlife scene. I was very impressed with how quickly the United We Stream project emerged from the Berlin club scene and how it spilled over to Germany and the rest of the world. It gave the party people something to hold on to while the clubs were closed and it generated a lot of money for those nightlife makers that were suffering.
The next group of people from the cultural scene that was affected by the lockdown that came out with something amazing was the dancers, led by the Staatsballet Berlin and followed by many other companies and independent dancers. They came out with wonderful performance videos shot at their homes or in nature.
We also received a lot of submissions by visual artists that created photo series dealing with the lockdown or other aspects of this new reality, one of the most beloved the one from Lovis Ostenrik who shot people stuck in their houses during the first lockdown in their windows.
Last but not least there were your own stories that you shared with us and that we compiled into a mini-series of articles we called Quarantine Diaries. We loved to read about how you dealt with the situation and we hope it also made a couple of other people not feel so alone in isolation.
Below you’ll find our collection of articles about these amazing creative pandemic responses from Berlin that gave us a lot of hope and inspiration this year.
It feels like Berlin's nightlife has been on hold for so long now, we can't even remember how a club looks and smells on the inside. While the few clubs blessed with an outdoor area are shyly and quietly hosting some open-air parties this summer giving at least a...read more
If we can't dance in Berlin clubs, at least we can watch a documentary about clubbing there, right? With the corona regulations operating a club has become really difficult and this is threatening the one thing that has put Berlin on the map worldwide in the last...read more
photo: Birgit & Bier. Despite many different efforts and many alternative concepts, it's the Berlin club scene that is probably suffering the most from Berlin's cultural landscape during the pandemic as the majority of the places have been locked down now for over a...read more
If you thought that the DJ streams of United We Stream, digital drag shows on Twitch, and the Minecraft versions of Berghain and Griesmuehle were the last efforts at bringing Berlin's nightlife into the virtual space, you should think again. With Rave Space, a...read more
photo: Keith Telfeyan. While the effective vaccine rollout has already brought back some normalcy to people in the UK, Germany is still struggling with the pandemic and tries to tackle it with various new restrictions. These change so often that they’re sometimes...read more
photos: Aja Jacques. It takes a lot of effort for an artist to build up a career. Berlin has undoubtedly been a center of avant-garde artists from all around the world, offering a unique platform for innovative and unstigmatized arts. However, during the last year of...read more
photo: Nonothing. 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...read more
It's the news we have all been waiting for for months now: There is a light at the end of the tunnel for the seemingly endless lockdown of all nightlife and culture venues. As many media outlets reported yesterday, the Senate has announced to start re-opening venues...read more
photos: Kseniya Apresyan. Berlin's nightlife and music scene are holding their breath. And they have been doing this now for close to a year. What is usually the number one reason for people to come to Berlin from all over the world is now in a strange limbo the city...read more
The second lockdown is holding on to our sorry asses and it looks like it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It's a bleak outlook, I know, but what can you do other than trying to make the best of it, right? Did I just hear you say: "Shut up!"? Well,...read more
A few months ago I published a story about how the lockdown has seemed to have created a new dogma of system relevance that discriminates against arts and culture workers. This was a story very close to my heart and close to what matters to all of us at iHeartBerlin....read more
Wilden Renate’s Overmorrow is an immersive walkthrough art experience created by over 40 artists, from well-known collectives like Bad Bruises and TrashEra to newcomers. The installations, performances, and exhibitions occupy most of the indoor spaces of Wilde Renate,...read more
photo: Jubal Battisti. At the end of August, the operas and theaters of Berlin will be able to reopen again after the lockdown. We are really happy about this but it's not going to be the same with a lot of restrictions on stage and behind the scenes, as well as way...read more
photos: Red Rubber Road. Today we want to share a photo series with you, that is a bit of the opposite of our Finally Together Again series from yesterday that celebrated a physical togetherness and how meaningful it can be in these trying times. What was possible...read more
photos: Aja Jacques. While the pandemic and the lockdown have been pretty devastating for artists and creative professionals economically, they certainly have not been lacking in being an inspiration. In the last weeks, we received quite wonderful submissions from...read more
With literally every single queer bar, club and venue closed until further notice and all Pride parades and other queer festivals canceled this year, it looks pretty dim on the queer visibility front right now. But all clubs and bars are closed and festival canceled -...read more
photo: SCANROULETTE @herpeslabial_ The lockdown has really put a damper on the sexual expression of Berliners in a major way. Unless you are lucky to live with your partner or with a flatmate with benefits your sex life most likely had to take a back seat in the last...read more
Sassy Berlin stand-up comedian Daniel-Ryan Spaulding has really lifted our spirits during the last weeks of the quarantine as he has been coming up with new hilarious videos on a daily basis about all things corona. You would think this would quickly grow old but in...read more
photos: Lovis Ostenrik. These last couple of weeks it became almost a mantra: Stay at home! Angela Merkel said it, viral expert Drosten said it, your mom said it, we said it. It's in everyone's ears, and in everyone's mouths. But what does "staying at home" mean for...read more
photo: Sasha Waltz & Guests. It's been just two weeks since we showed you the cute video of the Staatsballett Berlin dancing from their home. You guys really loved this video, so we thought we could give you a bit of an encore today. In the past couple of weeks, the...read more