It’s times like these when being together with our loved ones is the only thing we look forward to. But because of the situation, the entire world has found itself in this year, it’s the one thing we should all avoid. And the realization of how much we miss being together is hitting us harder than we ever imagined. As the famous Janet Jackson song goes: you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.
It seems an impossible task – being together without actually meeting. We’re all trying to redefine and rethink the ways we socialize in these testing times. Long phone calls, writing physical letters, video conferencing – we’ve all experimented with these things to make up for what we are missing. It can be an alternative, a new way that we can learn to cherish. But this requires a great amount of goodwill and optimism.
While reading fairy tales as a child I never understood why the girl protagonist was so weak and defenseless and had to wait for a prince to come save her to achieve happiness. At that time I did not understand that society wants girls to be helpless and dependent on men. Even if sexism and inequality between men and women exists in all societies, there are different realities in several countries. But what strikes me the most is the inequality that can exist inside one country, for instance between the countryside and the cities. Take Turkey for instance, where Istanbul is a free and modern city and the countryside still has the mentality of medieval times.
A wonderful but sad description of this circumstance of Turkish society is shown in the movie Mustang by female director Deniz Gamze. The movie was nominated for many awards this past season: the Oscars, the Golden Globes and in Cannes, where it premiered and even won. Nonetheless it was rather a coincidence that I went to a small independent cinema in Friedrichshain called Ladenkino to see this movie. My impressions of this film, after the jump.
As much as I love Berlin, there is one thing I love even more: travelling! When I look back I think this year was the one with the most amount of travelling in my entire life. I feel truely lucky to live in a time and place where international travel is so easy and comfortable. I grew up in the GDR so for my parents this was a completely different story. Lucky for me the wall came down when I was seven so from that time on I already made trips with my family to the Canary Islands, Scottland and the US.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram must have been wondering why I call my account iheartberlin at all, because I think I posted more photos from my travels than I do from Berlin (shame on me!). But in the end just because I cherish the opportunity to discover new places doesn’t mean I heart my own city any less. A few of my travels I already featured here on the blog such as my ski trip to Hovden, the visit to Buenos Aires Fashion Week, our art tour to Luxembourg and our amazing week in New York. But there were so many more trips I haven’t spoken about yet that I want to do it here before the year ends.
I think all of the places I chose for this round-up are beautiful and worth a visit. Some of them are great to escape the cold winter in Berlin, and some will be perfect for the pre-season in Spring to enjoy some early summer sun. Enjoy some of my photos from trips to Turkey, Brazil, Austria and Italy after the jump.
Beside Berlin, I think Istanbul is one of the most culturally thriving and interesting big cities in Europe. Especially since we have such a huge Turkish community here in Berlin the Turkish culture is something very close to us. To a significant degree we have integrated it into our lives here.
The Spirit of Instanbul Festival is a big event happening on November 2nd 2013 here in Berlin. Starting in the late afternoon and going on until midnight Yeni Raki will turn the Arena at the Spree into one of the most modern Bazaars outside of the Orient celebrating the work of local Turkish individuals and those from Turkey. There will be designers with Turkish origins such as Issever Bahri and Ina Seifert, local Turkish-run delicacy shops such as Knofi and Chocolateria Sünde, a tea bar by Samova, a raki bar by Yeni Raki, mordern dance and music performances and so much more. Find out more about it after the jump.
photos: Zeynep Ozdemir
What started as a peaceful demonstration against the destruction of a park in Istanbul turned into a national outcry against police brutality and surpression of the freedom of speach and it became a political scandal of international magnitude in a matter of only a few days. I’ve been following the situation in Turkey now for over a week thanks to many Turkish friends on Facebook who share first hand impressions and media coverage. I’ve read horrible stories of the things happening around Taksim Square and Gezi Park that left me pretty much speachless.
Today I received a letter from a Turkish friend who is right in the middle of it all in Istanbul and I would like to share it here with you. There is not a whole lot that we can do from the distance, so giving our Turkish friends a voice is the least we can and should do to raise attention on the issue. Read about his devastating first-hand experiences from last night’s brutal attack against the protesters that did not only include a German MP from the green party (Claudia Roth), but also defenseless senior citizens and children – after the jump.