After running his first marathon our guest writer Laurent sat down to share his experience at the run with us, as well as the program that Nike hosted in their Home of Running where he lead a panel talk with the founders of some of Berlin’s biggest running communities.
“Are you running the Berlin marathon?” This is probably the question I have been asked the most in the last 3 months. When you are a runner, running a marathon is already one big thing. Living in Berlin and running the Berlin Marathon is THE thing!
This is not just another race. It is the race! It is incredible to see how the city changes from the week prior to this big event. Runners from all countries are invading the city and bring it to life in a different way! Streets, parks, cafés, runners are everywhere, getting their last kilometers before the big day! The atmosphere and enthusiasm around running have been growing so much in the past years. And Berlin has definitely played an enormous role in shaping the running culture.
Especially during Pride, it’s important that we take the time to appreciate great initiatives that contribute to empowering Berlin’s queer community. In this article, you’ll find a list of 7 such projects. We’re featuring diverse projects, including festivals, online platforms, and even an app – read on to find out all about them.
We all have been there: Struggling with the apartment hunt or the job situation in Berlin, questioning the stability of your relationships or just being upset because the right twist to enjoy your everyday life is missing.
Listen, I can give you the quickest antidote to all this mental bullshit. It’s classical music. Believe me!
But let’s start the story from the beginning. For two years now we have been organizing a unique picnic for our readers and writers to enjoy the classic open-air event Staatsoper für Alle in collaboration with Staatsoper Berlin.
Community integration is a goal we are all working towards in Berlin. The fact that our city is home to individuals from many different backgrounds is something we should cherish and never take for granted, especially given the current trends in politics. We have already written about the actions you can take against the xenophobic far right – be it taking part in demonstrations or supporting particular initiatives. Today, we want to look at things from a more positive angle and focus on the amazing ventures which have truly enriched the city and which were started by people who came to Berlin as refugees. One organization that provides an environment which genuinely fosters such projects is Give Something Back to Berlin – we spoke to them and created this list featuring five success stories.
photo: Slawomir Urban – URBANKAMERA
Straight men like football, basketball, and rugby. Gay men like gymnastics, ice-skating and yoga. These stereotypes can be right 60ish% of the time (this number is made up). But in some cases, they are so, so wrong and harmful. Stereotypes are a tricky thing. Of course, they help our silly human brains process information quicker and make faster decisions (though not necessarily better decisions). But when it comes to human interactions, your easy stereotypes can feel like a cage to the person you apply it too.
With the mission to show the world that stereotypes should be second-guessed in the case of sports and sexual preferences, the Berlin Bruisers take a strong stand on the field. The gay rugby team’s recent campaign – with the slogan “Fight For Being You” – was published on Facebook, Instagram and in print. When it came out, it caused quite some controversy (especially with straight men), which made me notice it.
At a time when financial profit is all that cities are driven by, the Prinzessinnengärten seem to be a green oasis that gives us hope that, as long as there are active people creating such projects, the future might not be so bleak. Nomadisch Grün (Nomadic Green) launched Prinzessinnengärten (Princess gardens) as a pilot project in the summer of 2009 at Moritzplatz in Berlin Kreuzberg, a site which had been a wasteland for over half a century. Along with friends, activists and neighbors, the group cleared away rubbish, built transportable organic vegetable plots and reaped the first fruits of their labour.
The ultimate idea behind this project is for all unused spaces in cities to be turned to green urban farming spaces where locals produce their own healthy food. In this way, the microclimate would be better, there would be less CO2, and the biological diversity would increase. This project promotes community and aspires to be a place where a new style of urban living can emerge, where people can work together, relax, communicate and enjoy locally produced vegetables. Since more and more people are living in cities than rural areas, it becomes important that there is change towards a more sustainable way of living, eating and moving.
photos: Kalle Kuikkaniemi
In our time it’s increasingly important that we all work together and no matter where you come from – humanity is of great importance! For our next edition of The Berlin Experts we interviewed the makers of a great platform that offers a variety of social projects in Berlin. Everyone can join the projects and “give something back to Berlin”. There is already a huge amount of hard-working volunteers and since 2012 the platform organizes community projects that aim to better the lives of many different groups of people in Berlin. There are language courses for foreigners who migrated here, creative evenings, workshops, food events and so much more. Since 2013 there are also many projects to help refugees and other people in need.
Read the interview after the jump and have some impressions from the work of Give Something Back to Berlin.