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.
White hair, a long beard shaking to the beat. Attached to it: A man dancing to techno music, making bubbles, glowing with good energy. This is Komet Bernhard, a living legend in Berlin. If you’ve been out and about the last years in Berlin, you must have heard of him or seen him by now. Like a nightlife mascot (and I mean this in the best way possible) Bernhard is always there, where you wouldn’t expect him, dancing amidst youngsters, having the time of his life. Often, in the gloom of nighttime party banter, it’s not possible to get to know the person behind a glimpse of what you might grasp.
Which is why the makers of freshmilk decided to get to know the raving legend a bit better: In a 25 min documentary. Starting in his apartment of 13 years, the filmmakers follow Bernhard through one of his many wanderings through Berlin by night. And get to know him more with every step.
You can tell: The world is a big wonder for the 67 year old, who seems to have kept a youthful mind and big eyes: “I am dancing for my life – If I wouldn’t dance, I wouldn’t be here anymore” says Komet Bernhard. And in this documentary you might just find out why.
A couple of weeks ago we showed you a fun music video with a guy dancing through the streets of Berlin. What was so special about it, was that the guy was not a young crazy party kid, but a slightly famous older gentleman: Günter Krabbenhöft. Certainly an unexpected sight, but a really enjoyable one as the success of the video shows. It was this feature that prompted yet another video submission that we received that has a related theme: it’s about an adorable couple of elderly dancers in their 70s.
Cities like Berlin are so obsessed with youth culture. It’s always about what’s young, what’s hip, what’s sexy. There seems to be some kind of ageism going on, because when it comes to the older generation things automatically become uncool. Why is that? Why can’t old people be cool, too? And why are we so afraid of aging? I think the answer is that there are not enough role models that prove wrong all the stereotypes of older people that we dread so much. We associate being old with being out of touch, being slow and sick, being opposed to any kind of change, being yesterday’s news. In a fast-paced world that is all about individualism and self-fulfillment, this really sounds like the most horrible thing that could happen to us.
photo: Francesca Camilla
In Berlin, you’re never too old or too young to rave. This is pretty much the message of this joyful new video starring Berlin’s hippest senior Günther Krabbenhöft, who you can see dancing and partying around town, with young and old. I love how this video shows the diverse side of the city: people with different backgrounds, even kids, just having a laugh and a good time together. It can be so simple and so sweet: that moment when you realize that we can all coexist peacefully together, with no racism, ageism, sexism and other bad “isms” and phobias. Berlin is a place where we can all be together and be who we really are without other people judging us. Let this feeling become even stronger in Berlin, because we have a few more things to overcome. But for now, let’s dance through the streets a bit like Günther here…
photos: Marta Wilkosz
Berlin is hip, Berlin is cool, Berlin is young. When painting the picture of the capital, one tends to overlook an important part of the city: What about the people that have been experiencing Berlin for many years and have a lot of stories to tell?
The senior citizen of the city are often unseen. Especially in a place like Berlin, they are almost invisible. Except for at the cash register, let’s be realistic. At the cash register, everyone is visible.
Still, the elderly of our capital deserve a lot more attention. Photographer Marta Wilkosz looked, where no one looked and captured some seniors of the city. She catches beautiful moments of them in their everyday attire and collects them on her Instagram. Often very stylish, the elderly play a big part in shaping the spirit of Berlin. Marta’s love and admiration for the senior citizen is pretty much tangible in her photographs. With her shots, she makes the invisible of the capital seen.
Check out some of her plus aged photo models after the jump.