As I was growing up, verbal interactions in any language other than Polish were a pretty rare occurrence in my town. So when in 2014 I got a chance to spend my summer vacations at my brother’s in California, I couldn’t contain my excitement at actually being able to use English on an everyday basis. But it wasn’t before I experienced Berlin that I really got to know an environment truly fitting for a cosmopolitan spirit; I’ve realized that my typical day in Berlin comes with more linguistic challenges than I’d face in an entire year had I not moved here.
illustrations: Berk Karaoglu, Hatice Keya
Berk and Hatice, two friends from Istanbul studying in Berlin, wanted to give a Turkish flair to some of the most important icons of the German capital. The result is very rewarding and highly entertaining: A set of four absolutely charming illustrated postcards. Take a look…
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.
Berlin is a city made of puzzle pieces, a mosaic of multitudes. Its irresistible charm and the distinctive difference is made of the people that shape the city culturally. A Berlin without its cultural diversity is not only hard to imagine – it just wouldn’t even be as interesting probably. The contributions of inhabitants from all over the world helped to form a colorful kaleidoscope of ethnic elements.
I could go into some history now, explaining the Foreign Policy of Germany, how in the 1950s and ’60s, Germany invited guest workers to work in Germany and help with the economy. But I won’t.
I will invite you to take a look at the present, cause as we know: the present is a gift. And if you look around today in Berlin, you’ll see it’s a gift that keeps on giving. You see Poland, you see Vietnam, you see practically every country in Berlin. Be it in the food you eat, the Yoga Studio you frequent, the store where you buy your vegetables. The luxurious freedom to get the best of countless cultures is the main point for me to why Berlin is so comfortable to live in.
We want to take a closer look at the possibilities and present to you the manifold ways of experiencing Berlin. Today: The Turkish Edition!
photo: Silke Bauer
The monster of gentrification is eating Berlin’s free spirits and creative culture. Maybe this way of thinking is rather extreme, but what will happen to the so-called “cool neighbourhoods” when all people who are currently living there will not be able to afford it anymore. And much more important: what will happen to our city when the income will strictly determine where you can live. Not so much of a multi-cultural free society in the end. A horrible faith that happened already in so many cities before and that must be stopped in Berlin.
People have been protesting the rapidly rising rents for years at Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg. The theater collective copy &waste created an audio walk that guides right into a conflict zone for living space, money and love. Through the headphones you’ll hear just what it sounds like – the dividing of the loot. The audio walk is called “Nasty Peace” and it is in German, English and Turkish and is created with the participation of the Turkish community living in the neighborhood.
For Nasty Peace, copy&waste returned packing a great deal of research material: conversations with residents, observations of everyday life, sociological, scientific and philosophical texts about property and privatization play as significant a role as Berlin Circle, a piece by Charles Mee inspired by the same source as The Caucasian Chalk Circle and fantasy material such as Game of Thrones and Masters of the Universe. All the dates and the trailer after the jump.