The Unadorned Realness of Berlin

The Unadorned Realness of Berlin

As born and raised Neuköllner the 26-years-old photographer Hanko Ye really knows how to capture the unadorned and raw side of life in Berlin.

Any kind of daily urban situation could represent a source of inspiration. He shoots photos of the streets, U-Bahn stations or green spaces. Private or public, intimate or social, forbidden or ordinary, ugly or beautiful: every moment and every detail becomes a puzzle piece of the bigger picture that is this incredible city.

His focus is on the people around him, regardless of their age, origin, appearance or style. With a sharp eye, he finds them in those mundane, authentic moments of everyday life that would normally go unnoticed. Of course, a certain boldness and unapologetic honesty come with the territory. So it comes as no surprise that some of his photos overstep our social comfort zone. But it’s exactly those brutal truths about life in Berlin that make his images so relatable.

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Making Sense of Street Names in Berlin

Making Sense of Street Names in Berlin

There is Kantstraße, Savignyplatz, Warschauer Straße, Lützowplatz, Hohenzollerndamm Platz and the list goes on and on… More than 4000 street names are to be encountered, upon wandering around Berlin. Their wild variety would leave one contemplating, if there is actually a system, according to which names were given to the streets. As stereotypical as it might sound, we are in Germany and, thus, it goes without saying that all these names were not randomly selected and allotted to the streets.

Map enthusiast and publisher Gerd Gauglitz has devoted considerable time and energy researching this topic. His unwavering love for city maps has culminated into the development of several fascinating and innovative projects, that shed light on areas and questions we might not even have been able to come up with on our own. On his Berliner streetname map the reader has the opportunity to look at the different neighborhoods of Berlin and recognize the name patterns that arise based on the thematic pools they were chosen from (e.g. poets, politicians, flowers, wars). Every area inside the S-Bahn ring as well as the closest surroundings are depicted. Apart from the street map, there is a booklet, that delves into the explanation of how different street names were adopted, discarded and changed through the years. You can purchase the map along with the booklet either on Tagesspiegel Shop, Edition Gauglitz or at various book and museum shops in Berlin.

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Berlin is… rough

Berlin is… rough

photo: Valerie-Siba Rousparast

The “Berliner Schnauze” is not a term by accident. Berliners are well known all over Germany for their rough tone, their unique way of expressing their anger, antipathy and impatience. In all this verbal roughness, there is also a very honest authenticity and directness that most people come to appreciate really quick. If a Berliner tells you something nice, you can be sure that it is not out of politeness, but a true compliment.

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#CamerasandDancers in Berlin with loewe7

#CamerasandDancers in Berlin with loewe7

photos: Thai Hoang

Over the weekend I stumbled across an awesome photo series by Thai Hoang that I want to share with you today. Some of you might also know the young photographer from his Instagram account loewe7 that was also part of our #berlin exhibition last year. As part of the monthly Instameet #CamerasAndDancers organized by Jacob Jonas The Company Thai had the opportunity to follow a group of five dancers through Berlin and capture them in stunning formations in various iconic Berlin backgrounds. I love the idea of this Instameet, I love the guys from the group and I love the results of this photo shoot!

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The Doors of Berlin

The Doors of Berlin

photos: Stas / CC

Being superficial isn’t normally something to be proud of. Walking the streets of Berlin, it can make sense though, since the architectural surfaces of the urban space can be fascinating. Even the most banal things can be inspiring and beautiful, if seen from the right perspective. Someone, who has an eye for beautiful details is photographer Stas. Under this nickname, he shares his pictures of Berlin. We are especially fond of his series of doors of Berlin, because you never know, what awaits you behind them. Those ugly and pretty doors also tell a lot about the history of the city, about long gone trends in architecture, design and art. Have a look!

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Looping the Sounds of Kreuzberg

Looping the Sounds of Kreuzberg

A city has many sounds and of course so does Berlin. Especially busy areas like the Oranienstraße in Kreuzberg is full of strange noises. Rico Loop went down the street with his loop machine catching some of the sounds in the street, creating his own noises with bike bells and other objects he finds on his way, beat boxing and singing on top of the loops. The result is a crazy, funky song that is super catchy and perfectly captures the improvised nature of the multicultural district. Check out the video shot by Arthur Moore that shows him in the process.

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Berlin is… Kissing

Berlin is… Kissing

photo: Sascha Kohlmann / CC

Berlin is full of kisses these days. A kiss on the cheek to the friends you are meeting. A kiss on the head to your kid when you bring it to school. A kiss on the lips of your partner that just made you so happy on this sunny day. Many kisses over the hot body of your new lover that you just met at the clubs on the weekend. There are so many reasons to kiss, so many people to be kissed and so much happy hormones flowing through our bodies while doing so.

To spread a bit of happiness today I collected a couple of “kiss moments” that street photographer Sascha Kohlmann captured here in Berlin. Enjoy and try to give a kiss to someone today 🙂

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Berlin – A City of Contrasts

Berlin – A City of Contrasts

photo: Bianca Vola / CC

It must have been a billion eyes by now that have seen Berlin. Every day, millions of people experience the city in a completely different way. The uniqueness in commonality is distinguished, a city like Berlin holds up millions of different heads and hearts that pretty much want the same thing from life in a different form. They all come together in the capital, and flow like a stream up into the night, down in the morning.

For the many visitors coming to Berlin, the city must paint a completely different picture than for the locals. And also the visitor, each and every one them, is taking to the city what he previously experienced, merging it with the city and everyone in it.

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Finding Your Way Back To Berlin

Finding Your Way Back To Berlin

photos: Linus Ma

Seven months in the US tore me away from the beloved city at the Spree, and showed me my very own version of the “American Dream”, although I still don’t really know what that truly means. I got dropped into the shiny swirl of the City of Angels and just thrown out again, unprepared and unarmed. Suddenly, I am back in Berlin, and what was once familiar, now seems weirdly odd. So I have to find out all over again: What makes this city desirable? Here is a story about waking up from pink dreams and falling in love with Berlin again.

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The Other Side of Berlin’s Nightlife

The Other Side of Berlin’s Nightlife

photos: Christian Reister

We’ve all seen them: The colorful lights, the crazy excess, the happy and wasted faces, the empty Club Mates and Jägis, the shabby “ironic” disco balls. Berlin nights are intense, they are fun, they are rough. But what happens outside of the usual clubs that we know and go to? There seems to be an endless amount of parallel worlds in this city, places and scenes and people we never come across. Hidden strip clubs, private parties, ball rooms and Kneipen, strange places and strange people. Well, maybe they are all not that strange, for them, we are the strange ones.

Photographer Christian Reister has captured this other side of Berlin’s nightlife in his photo book Alle Katzen Grau. The title is a short form of the German proverb “At night all cats are gray”. Through his lens he takes us on a trip through the night to places that look so foreign, yet they are in the same city that we know so well. He shows us a world beyond the hip clubs, crowded bars and popular streets – a world beyond youth culture, beyond techno parties, beyond boundaries. The photo book is available in a beautiful limited edition of 200. Have a look inside on our favorite images of the book after the jump.

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