EXBERLINER Issue 153, October 2016

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Berlin in English since 2002<br />

<strong>153</strong><br />

€3.90 <strong>October</strong> <strong>2016</strong><br />

www.exberliner.com<br />

TRUMP<br />

Yes, there are Republicans here<br />

– and they’re thinking about<br />

choosing the “lesser evil”. pg.8<br />


A Floridian comes to Berlin and<br />

finds out the truth about why his<br />

grandpa fl ed Nazi Germany. pg.20<br />

BLUES<br />

Singer Eb Davis on what it was<br />

like being a “blues ambassador”<br />

behind the Wall. pg.26<br />

Election<br />

Quiz <strong>2016</strong><br />

How well do you know<br />

the US presidential<br />

candidates? pg.6<br />

The Amis left 22 years<br />

ago... but thanks to army<br />

brats, redneck bars and<br />

expat burger flippers, US<br />

presence is alive and kicking.<br />

And with the election<br />

looming, Berliners have<br />

America on the brain.

Martin-Gropius-Bau Berliner Festspiele<br />

16 September <strong>2016</strong> – 9 January 2017<br />

Pina Bausch and<br />

the Dance Theatre<br />

Organizer: An exhibition of the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik<br />

Deutschland, Bonn. In cooperation with the Pina Bausch Foundation, Wuppertal.<br />

# PinaBausch<br />

Pina Bausch tanzt ein Solo in Danzón (Ausschnitt), Fotografie © Jochen Viehoff<br />

30 September <strong>2016</strong> – 8 January 2017<br />

+ultra.<br />

knowledge & gestaltung<br />

Organizer: Cluster of Excellence »Image Knowledge Gestaltung. An Interdisciplinary<br />

Laboratory«. Supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft<br />

(DFG) and the foundation Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin (DKLB).<br />

Curator: Nikola Doll in collaboration with Katharina Lee Chichester<br />

# plusultraMGB<br />

David Georges Emmerich: Structure autotendante © Collection FRAC Centre, Orlé ans /<br />

Photographie: Franç ois Lauginie<br />

8 <strong>October</strong> <strong>2016</strong> – 9 January 2017<br />

The British View:<br />

Germany –<br />

Memories of a Nation<br />

Organizer: Berliner Festspiele / Martin-Gropius-Bau. An exhibition of the<br />

British Museum accompanied by a book of Neil MacGregor. Made possible<br />

by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media. With kind<br />

support of the The German Historical Museum. Curator: Barrie Cook<br />

# ErinnerungenEinerNation<br />

Gerhard Richter, Betty (Edition 23/25), 1991, Offsetdruck auf Karton, 97,1 × 66,2 cm. Sammlung Olbricht,<br />

© Atelier Gerhard Richter<br />

21 <strong>October</strong> <strong>2016</strong> – 15 January 2017<br />

Building with Timber –<br />

Paths into the Future<br />

Organizer: Technische Universität München. An exhibition of the Associate<br />

Professorship of Architectural Design and Timber Construction and the<br />

Architekturmuseum der Technischen Universität München in cooperation<br />

with Deutsches Architektur Zentrum DAZ, supported by the German<br />

Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU), the German Wood Council<br />

(DHWR), the German Association of Housing Enterprises and Housing<br />

Cooperatives (GdW) and proHolz Bavaria.<br />

# BauenmitHolzMGB<br />

© Gassner Redolfi KG<br />

Berliner Festspiele<br />

Martin-Gropius-Bau<br />

Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin<br />

T +49 30 254 86 0<br />

Wed – Mon 10am – 7pm, closed Tue<br />

Online-tickets: www.gropiusbau.de<br />



Exberliner <strong>153</strong> – <strong>October</strong> <strong>2016</strong><br />

Special: America<br />

06<br />

Quiz: Test your US election smarts!<br />

Which candidate said what?<br />

The answers may surprise you!<br />

08<br />

Berliners for Trump?<br />

Yes, there are real, live Republicans<br />

in Berlin, and they’ve got mixed<br />

opinions about The Donald<br />

10<br />

The angry Americans<br />

Two generations of expats voice<br />

their dissidence<br />

12<br />

The new old guard<br />

Burgers, TV and rock ‘n’ roll:<br />

The Amis who’ve changed Berlin’s<br />

cultural landscape<br />

14<br />

An American atlas<br />

From the old American sector<br />

to New York bagels, mapping<br />

US influence in Berlin<br />

16<br />

Berlin’s army brats<br />

Meet the soldiers’ kids who grew up<br />

in a West Berlin American bubble<br />

18<br />

The last cowboy in Reinickendorf<br />

Where have all the German<br />

Americana fanatics gone? A line<br />

dancing cultural expedition<br />

20<br />

Grandpa’s secret history<br />

An American comes to Berlin<br />

to discover the real reason his<br />

grandfather left<br />

Regulars<br />

03<br />

Werner’s political notebook<br />

Populism isn’t that popular<br />

04<br />

Best of Berlin A planetarium<br />

makeover, a Deutschrap bar,<br />

cheap operas and Kotti coffee<br />

23<br />

NEW! Page 23 Girl<br />

Activist Kimberly Emerson on<br />

blue skies, books and Berghain<br />

50<br />

Start-ups Apps that help you work<br />

differently and N26’s growing pains<br />

53<br />

The gay Berliner Walter Crasshole<br />

writes a letter to queer Touris<br />

54<br />

Berlin bites American meat<br />

and Dandy Diner’s vegan grub<br />

56<br />

Comic Ulli Lust:<br />

Friends of Germany<br />

57<br />

Ask Hans-Torsten<br />

Voting and the Bürgeramt<br />

58<br />

Ask Dr. Dot Your Berlin<br />

sex questions answered<br />

59<br />

Save Berlin When private<br />

art bunkers go public<br />

What’s on<br />

26 Interview EB Davis of<br />

How Berlin Got the Blues<br />

28 .............................. Film<br />

32 ........................... Music<br />

36 ................................. Art<br />

40 ............................ Stage<br />

44 Events calendar<br />

46 The Berlin Guide<br />

LOFT.DE<br />


DUB FX<br />

19.10. HUXLEYS<br />


19.10. PBHFCLUB<br />

OH PEP!<br />

19.10. PRIVATCLUB<br />


24.10. LIDO<br />




25.10. MUSIK & FRIEDEN<br />


27.10. COLUMBIAHALLE<br />


27.10. HEIMATHAFEN<br />


29.10. GRETCHEN<br />


30.10. MONARCH<br />


1.11. ASTRA<br />



TICKETS: KOKA36(.DE)<br />


4.11. HEIMATHAFEN<br />




6.11. MUSIK & FRIEDEN<br />

QUILT<br />

9.11. AUSTER-CLUB<br />


9.11. MUSIK & FRIEDEN<br />


9.11. BADEHAUS<br />


12.11. BADEHAUS<br />


16.11 GRETCHEN<br />


25.11. COLUMBIAHALLE<br />


2.12. MUSIK & FRIEDEN<br />





Exhibition<br />

23.09.<strong>2016</strong> – 29.01.2017<br />

JUNE <strong>2016</strong> 1<br />

Daily 10am – 8pm, Mondays 10am – 10pm jmberlin.de/golem/en<br />

Design: Cee Cee Creative / Bild: Courtesy Joachim Seinfeld / Jewish Museum in Prague


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And from 27. Oct., meet DOCTOR STRANGE,<br />

Marvel Comic’s brainy new super hero – starring<br />

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Berlin in English since 2002<br />

TRUMP<br />

Yes, there are Republicans here<br />

– and they’re thinking about<br />

choosing the “lesser evil”. pg.8<br />


A Floridian comes to Berlin and<br />

finds out the truth about why his<br />

grandpa fl ed Nazi Germany. pg.20<br />

€3.90 <strong>October</strong> <strong>2016</strong><br />

www.exberliner.com<br />

BLUES<br />

Singer Eb Davis on what it was<br />

like being a “blues ambassador”<br />

behind the Wall. pg.26<br />

COLUMN— Political Notebook<br />

Election<br />

Quiz <strong>2016</strong><br />

<strong>153</strong><br />

How we l do you know<br />

the US presidential<br />

candidates? pg.6<br />

Populism isn’t that popular<br />

Konrad Werner explains German politics.<br />

This month: Why is the AfD winning?<br />

The Amis left 22 years<br />

ago... but thanks to army<br />

brats, redneck bars and<br />

expat burger flippers, US<br />

presence is alive and kicking.<br />

And with the election<br />

looming, Berliners have<br />

America on the brain.<br />

Editor-in-chief<br />

Nadja Vancauwenberghe<br />

Deputy editor<br />

Rachel Glassberg<br />

Web editor<br />

Walter Crasshole<br />

Film<br />

Paul O’Callaghan<br />

Music<br />

Michael Hoh<br />

Art director<br />

Stuart Bell<br />

U1 Cover <strong>153</strong>.indd 3 23/09/16 00:14<br />

Cover illustration by<br />

Agata Juszczak<br />

Publishers<br />

Maurice Frank<br />

Nadja Vancauwenberghe<br />

Ioana Veleanu<br />

Editorial<br />

Design<br />

Art<br />

Amanda Ribas Tugwell<br />

Stage<br />

Lily Kelting<br />

Food<br />

Françoise Poilâne<br />

Start-ups<br />

Sophie Atkinson<br />

Feature / Politics<br />

Ruth Schneider<br />

Graphic design<br />

Maria Runarsdottir<br />

This month’s contributors<br />

Dani Arbid, Victoria Barnes, Tom Cox, Dyllan<br />

Furness, Anna Gyulai Gaal, Jean-Michel Hauteville,<br />

Ava Johnson, Julyssa Lopez, Kaya Payseno, Kate<br />

Richards. Photography: Karolina Spolniewski, Maria<br />

Runarsdottir, Erica Löfman. Illustration: Catherine<br />

Franck, Ulli Lust, Agata Sasiuk.<br />

Ad sales / Marketing<br />

Maurice Frank (business manager)<br />

Bettina Hajanti (sales)<br />

To discuss advertising please contact us:<br />

Tel 030 4737 2966, ads@exberliner.com<br />

Subscriptions<br />

www.exberliner.com/subscribe<br />

Iomauna Media GmbH<br />

Max-Beer-Straße 48, 10119 Berlin-Mitte<br />

Tel 030 4737 2960, Fax 030 4737 2963<br />

www.exberliner.com, Issn 1610-9015<br />

Icons from flaticon.com<br />

Germany has had five state elections<br />

this year and, since our media is a fevered<br />

gaggle of click-merchants, each<br />

one has been reported as a catastrophe for<br />

Angela Merkel: the German people’s angry<br />

verdict on the chancellor’s refugee policy.<br />

The reason why reporters reported this is<br />

mainly because the losing candidates fielded<br />

by her party, the Christian Democratic<br />

Union (CDU), went round to<br />

any hack that would listen and<br />

told them that this was why<br />

they lost.<br />

Lorenz Caffier in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,<br />

Julia<br />

Klöckner in Rheinland-Palatine,<br />

and then Frank Henkel in Berlin<br />

all ran “we’re-not-Merkel”<br />

campaigns that featured talk of<br />

burqa bans and “upper limits”<br />

on asylum seekers and ended up STILL<br />

losing voters to the far-right Alternative<br />

für Deutschland party. A moderate exception<br />

was Reiner Haseloff, the state premier<br />

of Sachsen-Anhalt, who led the CDU to a<br />

smaller loss of votes and was re-elected.<br />

Even though the AfD is deciding what politics<br />

is in Germany at the moment (helped<br />

by the media’s obsession with one particular<br />

minority group), when the big government<br />

parties pretend they’re protest parties –<br />

banging and blaming and coming up with<br />

pointless policies like banning burqas – it<br />

only helps the AfD. No voter wants Diet<br />

Coke when they can get Fat Coke.<br />

The truth is, though, that Germany’s “refugee<br />

policy” is actually the most restrictive<br />

it could be under the constitution, whose<br />

Article 16a guarantees the right of asylum<br />

to anyone under political persecution. The<br />

populist-right talk about imposing an “upper<br />

limit” on asylum seekers is – as every single<br />

one of the politicians who keep demanding<br />

it knows – unconstitutional. So the next<br />

best thing, which Merkel has already done, is<br />

extend the list of “safe countries of origin”.<br />

That legal amendment, made in 1993, made<br />

it easier to speed up asylum applications and<br />

keep large groups of people out, and thanks<br />

to Merkel’s supposedly pro-refugee government,<br />

it’s a list that is now longer<br />

than ever – including all of<br />

the Balkan countries and soon<br />

Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.<br />

Meanwhile, the government<br />

continues to bring in regulations<br />

that will hinder integration – it<br />

is now almost impossible to<br />

bring spouses and children here,<br />

refugees have to help pay for<br />

their own integration courses<br />

and cash allowances have been replaced<br />

by food tokens. You think finding a flat in<br />

Berlin is hard? Try finding a flat, then telling<br />

the landlord they will have to wait four to<br />

six weeks while a local authority processes<br />

your application to move from your statedesignated<br />

home.<br />

In other words, even if the AfD won a<br />

massive 40-percent-plus victory in all the<br />

states in Germany and then went on to<br />

take over the federal government in next<br />

year’s general election, they would find<br />

that Merkel has already imposed most of<br />

the changes they would. The rest is noise,<br />

because what “populist” voters are actually<br />

voting for is a political “fuck you”. It’s a<br />

good feeling for isolated, riled-up people in<br />

Meck-Pom or Sachsen-Anhalt, but it doesn’t<br />

have much to do with making laws to administer<br />

problems more easily. Or running the<br />

country, as it’s also known. n<br />

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BEST OF BERLIN — <strong>October</strong> <strong>2016</strong><br />

BY THE <strong>EXBERLINER</strong><br />


Cafés<br />


COFFEE<br />

Kottbusser Tor – yes, Berlin’s<br />

most hyped crime hotspot – is<br />

now gaining an improbable<br />

rep as a coffee hub. Just in the past<br />

several months, two shiny new cafés<br />

have opened in courtyards off the scuzzy<br />

main drag of Adalbertstraße. First, a<br />

second branch of decade-old Penzlauer<br />

Berg caffeine scene staple BONANZA.<br />

It’s a bigger, grander location: less neighbourhood<br />

hang, more coffee temple.<br />

Here, refurbished vintage roasters lightly<br />

toast the (ethically sourced) beans for<br />

both cafés (and all the other businesses<br />

around town that sell Bonanza coffee),<br />

giving them that acidic, fruity flavour<br />

profile we’ve come to expect, like in the<br />

€5 bottomless drip. But Bonanza looks<br />

positively antiquated next to THE VISIT<br />

(photo), a newbie roaster down the<br />

street opened by Berliner Cihan Kocak<br />

(also of Mitte coffee shop The Refinery)<br />

and Polish Bonanza alumnus Damian<br />

Durda. Picture an Apple store dedicated<br />

to coffee: polished, white, filled with<br />

futuristic gizmos that gauge the colour<br />

of each roast and help conduct water<br />

through grounds in a million different<br />

ways. The speciality here is “nitro coffee”:<br />

cold-brew coffee treated with nitrogen<br />

and served out of a tap. The result is a<br />

Guinness-like concoction, refreshing and<br />

creamy whether served black or white.<br />

At €3.50 it isn’t exactly cheap, but then<br />

again, caffeine’s still the least expensive<br />

drug sold in the area. — KP<br />

Bonanza Kreuzberg Adalbertstr. 70,<br />

Kreuzberg, Mon-Fri 9-17, Sat-Sun 10-17<br />

The Visit Adalbertstr. 9, Kreuzberg,<br />

Mon-Sun 8-20<br />

Karolina Spolniewski<br />

Frank-Michael Arndt<br />

Science<br />


At the newly renovated ZEISS<br />

PLANETARIUM, every show<br />

begins with a rousing overture<br />

of classical music as the moon rises<br />

and sets in a field of 3500 stars. These<br />

stars are really just small streams of<br />

light projected onto a giant, 23-metre<br />

dome, but as you recline your seat and<br />

stare at the simulated sky, you start<br />

wondering: Why are we here? Are we<br />

alone in the universe? And, if you don’t<br />

speak German: What the hell are they<br />

saying? Yes, the two-year, €12.8 million<br />

makeover of the futuristic, GDR-era<br />

sphere on Prenzlauer Allee included a<br />

metal screen laser-perforated to form<br />

a perfect dome and a state-of-the-art<br />

HD projector to display the stars that<br />

were previously poked out by hand,<br />

but no English subtitles. An app with<br />

simultaneous translation should be<br />

available this month, so bring your cell<br />

fully charged and a pair of headphones.<br />

Or skip the comprehensive galaxy tour<br />

(€8/6 reduced) for the rockin’ laser<br />

show “Queen Heaven” (€9.50/7.50).<br />

With a movie theatre and restaurant<br />

(menu by “star chef” Tim Raue) to<br />

open this winter, the latest incarnation<br />

of the planetarium hopes to be more<br />

of a cultural centre than a grade school<br />

field trip destination – maybe even a<br />

place you’d bring a date. Which might<br />

be why the new credo is “to teach AND<br />

entertain”, although we’re still unsure<br />

of how Queen fulfils either. — KP<br />

Zeiss-Großplanetarium<br />

Prenzlauer Allee 80, Prenzlauer Berg,<br />

programme at stdb.de<br />

4 <strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

BEST OF BERLIN — <strong>October</strong> <strong>2016</strong><br />

Teen fun<br />


RAP BAR<br />

If you’re a German aged 16-20 looking to<br />

piss off your parents, you’ll be happy to<br />

hear TRAILERPARK has their own bar in<br />

Berlin. The six-year-old rap label and supergroup<br />

has made a name for itself through<br />

profanity (last single: “Dicks Sucken”),<br />

misogyny and bodily-fluid-filled live shows.<br />

Surprisingly, though, you won’t experience<br />

much of this at the Friedrichshain hangout<br />

and merch shop opened in August at the<br />

behest of Berlin-based member Sebastian<br />

“Basti” Krug. The crowd on our visit was<br />

half female and hardly the types you’d<br />

imagine singing along to lyrics like “If your<br />

girlfriend wants to fuck me, I’ll buy her.”<br />

The vibe might be different when the band<br />

and their labelmates visit for autograph<br />

signings or listening parties, but on most<br />

other nights it’s a chill enough space where<br />

you can drink Warsteiner (€2.60/0.3L)<br />

under blown-up portraits of the band on a<br />

boat, or smoke in a cosy back room boasting<br />

a video projector and bass-heavy sound<br />

system. No fancy drinks here, though they<br />

make a pretty great Moscow Mule for €5.50<br />

(as unhesitatingly proffered when we asked<br />

about the Deutschrap equivalent of “gin and<br />

juice”). But let’s face it, if you’re old enough<br />

to be discerning about your alcohol, you’ve<br />

already aged out of Trailerpark’s target<br />

audience. — AJ<br />

Trailerpark Bar and Shop<br />

Boxhagener Str. 19-20, Friedrichshain,<br />

Tue-Sat 19-close (bar), Mon-Sat 14-19 (shop)<br />

Erica Löfman<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />

Culture<br />



PERK<br />

Okay, maybe it wasn’t your first<br />

criteria for settling in, but Berlin is<br />

a capital of high culture with more<br />

concert halls and opera houses than the<br />

city can even sustain thanks to the Mauerera<br />

insistence that there be two of everything.<br />

And those greying institutions want<br />

to get kids hooked with the CLASSIC CARD,<br />

a €15/year pass that enables under-30s to go<br />

to the Staatsballett, the Konzerthaus, performances<br />

by Berlin’s Rundfunk ensembles<br />

and all three operas for dirt-cheap. Just<br />

show up an hour before doors open and,<br />

provided the show isn’t sold out, you’ll only<br />

have to pay €8-10 for seats that normally<br />

cost an arm and a leg. If you’re really lucky,<br />

you’ll get a box or front row seat reserved<br />

by a season ticket holder who couldn’t<br />

make it. So take advantage of your youth,<br />

order a card online or at Dussmann and<br />

check out The Nutcracker at the Deutsche<br />

Oper for just €10. Or, hey, we hear that<br />

Berghain qualifies as high culture now (at<br />

least for tax purposes), so maybe you’ll be<br />

able to use the card there? — VB<br />

ClassicCard<br />

See details at www.classiccard.de<br />

Above: The Nutcracker, playing at the Deutsche Oper on<br />

Oct 8, costs €10 with a ClassicCard.<br />

Fernando Marcos<br />

proudly presents:<br />

Wed, Oct 12, 20:00<br />

Two films directed by<br />

Alice Diop<br />

Vers la tendresse<br />

36 min., French with English subtitles<br />

La Permanence<br />

97 min., French with English subtitles<br />

Starts <strong>October</strong> 13:<br />

American Honey<br />

163 min., English with German subtitles<br />

tip Preview every first<br />

Wednesday of the month,<br />

OV with German subtitles<br />

Since 20 years Berlin’s<br />

leading cinema for the<br />

international community<br />

Original language versions<br />

with German subtitles,<br />

German movies<br />

with English subtitles<br />

Programme, info, tickets:<br />

www.hoefekino.de<br />



TEST<br />

YOUR USA<br />


SMARTS!<br />

They’re running to be the<br />

58th President of the US.<br />

They talk a lot. But do you<br />

know who said what?<br />

Research by Kaya Payseno<br />

It doesn’t matter whether you can vote<br />

on November 8 or not: America’s policies<br />

impact everyone, even us Berliners.<br />

With that in mind, we chose the top<br />

four candidates – not only Democrat Hillary<br />

Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, but<br />

also Green Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary<br />

Johnson – and screened their speeches,<br />

interviews and platforms to find out their<br />

thoughts on the issues we care about.* It’s up<br />

to you to guess who said what! (A tip: sometimes,<br />

the same candidates have more than<br />

one opinion.) See next page for answers.<br />

1. Marijuana is still illegal on a federal level,<br />

although medical weed is legal in 24 US<br />

states. Where to go from here?<br />

A — “Legalisation... in some ways I think<br />

it’s good and in other ways it’s bad. Medical<br />

marijuana? I’m in favour of it a hundred<br />

percent.”<br />

B — “Marijuana is dangerous – because it’s<br />

illegal. It’s not inherently dangerous. It’s certainly<br />

less harmful than alcohol and tobacco,<br />

which are perfectly legal.”<br />

C — “Marijuana is still used as a gateway drug<br />

and the drug cartels from Latin America use<br />

marijuana to get footholds in states, so there<br />

can’t be a total absence of law enforcement.”<br />

D — “The parallels between drug policy today<br />

and Prohibition in the 1920s are obvious, as<br />

are the lessons our nation learned. Prohibition<br />

was repealed because it made matters worse.”<br />

2. What do they think about us and our<br />

leader over here in Germany... if anything?<br />

A — Germany is moving to a 100 percent<br />

renewable energy economy. The German<br />

Green Party is the reason why Germany is<br />

ahead of America.”<br />

B — “I think Merkel is the greatest leader in<br />

Europe; I think she is a great leader globally,<br />

I think she carried Europe on her shoulders<br />

and it wasn’t easy.”<br />

C — “Merkel is probably the greatest leader<br />

in the world today. She’s fantastic...”<br />

D — “You know what a disaster this massive<br />

immigration has been to Germany. Crime<br />

has risen to levels that no one thought they<br />

would ever see.”<br />

3. We all love LGBTQ voters...<br />

but what about gay marriage?<br />

A — “We should commit to building an<br />

America where every lesbian, gay, bisexual,<br />

and transgender person can live, work, learn,<br />

raise a family, and marry free from discrimination<br />

or prejudice.”<br />

B — “Marriage has got historic, religious and<br />

moral content that goes back to the beginning<br />

of time, and I think a marriage is, as a<br />

marriage has always been, between a man<br />

and a woman.”<br />

C — “As your president, I will do everything<br />

in my power to protect LGBTQ citizens.”<br />

D — “The government ought to get out of the<br />

marriage business.”<br />

4. Ed Snowden is longing to get back home.<br />

What kind of welcome should we give him?<br />

A — “I’d pardon Snowden. Not only pardon<br />

him, but welcome him home as a hero... and<br />

I’d bring him into my administration as a<br />

member of the Cabinet...”<br />

B — “Snowden is a spy who has caused great<br />

damage to the US. A spy in the old days,<br />

when our country was respected and strong,<br />

would be executed.”<br />

C — “This is someone who has divulged<br />

information – that the United States government<br />

is spying on all of us as US citizens. I<br />

don’t want to see him in prison.”<br />

D — “He stole very important information<br />

that has unfortunately fallen into a lot<br />

of the wrong hands. So I don’t think he<br />

should be brought home without facing<br />

the music.”<br />

5. From Iraq and Afghanistan to Libya to Syria...<br />

how productive is America’s war on terror?<br />

A — “Iraq was a mistake”... but “Military action<br />

is critical, in fact I would say essential,<br />

to try to prevent [ISIS’] further advance and<br />

their holding of more territory.”<br />

B — “All this has done is create failed states.<br />

Whether you look at the Taliban, the globalisation<br />

of Al-Qaeda or the creation of ISIS,<br />

this has been an utter, unmitigated disaster.”<br />

C — “I was against the war in Iraq. I thought<br />

it would destabilise the Middle East, and it<br />

did. All of this tremendous death, destruction...<br />

is just incredible. We’re far worse off<br />

today than we were 15 years ago or 10 years<br />

ago in the Middle East.”<br />

D — “I initially thought the intervention<br />

in Afghanistan was warranted – we were<br />

attacked and we attacked back – but we’ve<br />

wiped out Al-Qaeda and here we are; we’re<br />

still there.”<br />

6. How relevant is NATO in today’s world?<br />

A — “NATO is obsolete. When NATO was<br />

formed many decades ago, there was a different<br />

threat, the Soviet Union. But terror today<br />

is the big threat.”<br />

B — “Putin already hopes to divide Europe,<br />

so the US needs to strengthen its alliances.”<br />

C — “We’ve got treaties with apparently 69<br />

countries where we are obligated to defend<br />

their borders?”<br />

D — “Who exactly is NATO fighting? … Other<br />

than enemies we invent to give the weapons<br />

industry a reason to sell more stuff.”<br />

7. Everyone agrees ISIS is the enemy – but<br />

who’s responsible?<br />

A — “ISIS was primarily the result of the<br />

vacuum in Syria caused by Assad, aided and<br />

abetted by Iran and Russia. Let’s put responsibility<br />

where it belongs.”<br />

B — “Obama is the founder of ISIS. I would<br />

say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary<br />

Clinton.”<br />

C — “Terrorism is a response to drones that<br />

sneak up on you in the night. This is where<br />

6<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>


we recruit and enable ISIS and al-Qaeda to<br />

continue expanding...”<br />

D — “The rise of ISIS can actually be traced<br />

back to instability created by our meddling<br />

in the affairs of others. We need to build a<br />

strong military. But we should not use our<br />

military strength to try to solve the world’s<br />

problems.”<br />

8. The US needs to create jobs. How?<br />

A — “A ‘New Deal’ which creates an emergency<br />

programme, establishing 20 million livingwage<br />

jobs to green the economy, our energy,<br />

food, and transportation, building critical<br />

infrastructure, restoring ecosystems, etc.”<br />

B — “If I could wave a magic wand I would<br />

eliminate corporate tax… If there was a zero<br />

percent corporate tax rate, tens of millions<br />

of jobs would be created.”<br />

C — “Put an end to China’s illegal export<br />

subsidies and lax labour and environmental<br />

standards. No more sweatshops or pollution<br />

havens stealing jobs from American workers.”<br />

D — “We will put Americans to work, building<br />

and modernising our roads, our bridges, our<br />

tunnels, our railways, our ports, our airports.<br />

We are way overdue for this, my friends.”<br />

9. Who stands where with Israel and Palestine?<br />

A — “If we’re going to negotiate a peace<br />

settlement, which every Israeli wants... I<br />

would like to have the other side think I’m<br />

somewhat neutral to them. It’s probably the<br />

toughest negotiation of all time, but maybe<br />

we can get a deal done.”<br />

B — “We have encouraged the worst tendencies<br />

of the Israeli government as it pursues<br />

policies of occupation, apartheid, assassination,<br />

illegal settlements... and defiance of<br />

international law.”<br />

C — “The United States and Israel must be<br />

closer than ever, stronger than ever... We<br />

must take our alliance to the next level.”<br />

D — “You truly have a great prime minister<br />

in Benjamin Netanyahu. Vote for Benjamin –<br />

terrific guy, terrific leader, great for Israel.”<br />

10. What about the crisis in Ukraine?<br />

A — “We helped foment a coup where ultranationalists<br />

and ex-Nazis came to power. So<br />

we should be leading the way in establishing<br />

a neutral Ukraine that would allow Russia to<br />

not feel under attack.”<br />

B — “We need a tougher response to Russia.<br />

I remain convinced that we need a concerted<br />

effort to really up the costs on Russia, and in<br />

particular on Putin. I think we have not done<br />

enough.”<br />

C — “It’s a mess. But you know, the people of<br />

Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather<br />

be with Russia than where they were. And<br />

you have to look at that...“<br />

D — “When you look at Ukraine right now, I<br />

think that would be analogous to Russia getting<br />

involved in Puerto Rico. We shouldn’t<br />

get involved in Ukraine.”<br />

11. Fighting terrorism on US soil: How?<br />

A — “You know, in Israel, they’ve done an<br />

unbelievable job… They see somebody that’s<br />

suspicious, they will profile. They will take<br />

that person in.”<br />

B — “Create stricter screenings for visa applicants<br />

who have been to a country in Islamic<br />

State-controlled areas in the last five years.”<br />

C — “Share intelligence and information.<br />

That now includes the internet... That means<br />

we have to work more closely with our great<br />

tech companies.”<br />

D — “I have a plan. If I win, I don’t want to broadcast<br />

to the enemy exactly what my plan is...”<br />

12. We’re all involved in Syria. Who are our<br />

foes and allies?<br />

A — “You know, Putin, our arch-enemy Putin,<br />

was actually trying to create a peace process<br />

in Syria... We need to begin talking with Russia<br />

and with other countries.”<br />

B — “The best way to help Israel deal with<br />

Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help<br />

the people of Syria overthrow the regime of<br />

Bashar Assad.”<br />

C — “The approach of fighting Assad and ISIS<br />

simultaneously was madness, and idiocy.<br />

They’re fighting each other, and yet we’re<br />

fighting both of them. I’m not saying Assad<br />

is a good man, but our far greater problem is<br />

ISIS... and Russia doesn’t like ISIS any better<br />

than we do.”<br />

D — “Remove Assad and bring Syria’s communities<br />

together to fight ISIS”... “We have<br />

to support Arab and Kurdish fighters. They’re<br />

doing the fighting. We’re doing the support<br />

and enabling.”<br />

13. Bonus round: Election campaigns are expensive.<br />

Who’s raised what and where from?<br />

A — About $190 million, 33 percent selffinanced<br />

by the candidate.<br />

B — About $2.6 million with donations averaging<br />

$48 – and no donor allowed to contribute<br />

more than $2700 at a time.<br />

C — About $530 million, including $7 million<br />

from Israeli mogul Haim Saban and $10 million<br />

from Saudi Arabia (via a philanthropic<br />

foundation).<br />

D — About $9 million from individual donors.<br />

*For space reasons, we took the liberty to condense<br />

quotes while remaining loyal to context<br />

and candidates’ overall programmes.<br />


1. A: Trump B: Stein C: Clinton D: Johnson<br />

2. A: Stein B: Clinton C: Trump (2015) D: Trump (<strong>2016</strong>)<br />

3. A: Clinton (2015) B: Clinton (1997) C: Trump D: Johnson<br />

4. A: Stein B: Trump C: Johnson D: Clinton<br />

5. A: Clinton B: Stein C: Trump D: Johnson<br />

6. A: Trump B: Clinton C: Johnson D: Stein<br />

7. A: Clinton B: Stein C: Johnson D: Trump<br />

8. A: Stein B: Johnson C: Trump D: Clinton<br />

9. A: Trump (<strong>2016</strong>) B: Stein C: Clinton (<strong>2016</strong>) D: Trump (2013)<br />

10. A: Stein B: Clinton C: Trump D: Johnson<br />

11. A: Trump (<strong>2016</strong>) B: Clinton (2015) C: Clintton (2015) D: Trump (<strong>2016</strong>)<br />

12. A: Stein B: Clinton C: Trump (<strong>2016</strong>) D: Trump (2015)<br />

13. A: Trump B: Stein C: Clinton D: Johnson<br />

Illustrations by<br />

Catherine Franck<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong> 7


Yes, there are Republicans in Berlin. But like many American rightwingers,<br />

they’re finding their loyalties tested by the most divisive candidate<br />

in US presidential history. Will they choose the “lesser evil”?<br />

By Tom Cox<br />

At first, trying to find an American<br />

Berliner who’s willing to admit<br />

they’re voting for Donald Trump<br />

seems like an exercise in futility. For one, it’s<br />

a bit tricky to find any outspoken right-wing<br />

expats at all in this liberal city. While the<br />

group Democrats Abroad is thriving, there<br />

is no active Republican branch in Berlin.<br />

Frankfurt-based group Republicans Overseas<br />

Germany claim to have 1500–2000 members<br />

nationwide, but rare meetings in the capital<br />

gather six or seven attendees, at best.<br />

And even the most outspoken right-wingers<br />

are torn on whether to cast their vote for<br />

the ex-reality TV host. Mirroring the dilemma<br />

experienced by their left-wing, Sanders-supporting<br />

counterparts, they’re contemplating<br />

whether to choose the “lesser evil”, go for a<br />

third party or just refuse to vote altogether.<br />

One of them is Ned Wiley, who came to<br />

Germany to work as a marketing executive<br />

and has lived in Prenzlauer Berg for 15<br />

years. A lifelong Republican, he was vicechair<br />

of Republicans Overseas when Trump<br />

announced his candidacy, and watched as<br />

divisions started to form within the group.<br />

“There were three groups,” he says, referring<br />

to the Republican Overseas Whatsapp chat<br />

he took part in. “The Trumpists, which were<br />

very small. On the other side there were the<br />

never-Trumpers. And in the middle were<br />

the people who evolved over the course:<br />

anything-but-Hilary. They gradually came<br />

up with a justification for or came to terms<br />

with the candidate: ‘So he’s not perfect, but<br />

Hilary is the devil incarnate.’ The discussions<br />

started to get really personal and vicious.”<br />

Trump becoming the party’s official presidential<br />

candidate on July 19 was too extreme<br />

a step for Wiley. “At that point, I said, ‘It’s<br />

over, I can’t possibly play any role in this.’<br />

Just taking out my Republicans Overseas<br />

card was a real embarrassment. Trump’s<br />

like a little kid who started playing a game<br />

and then got out of control, and there he is,<br />

running around. The wall is nonsense, he’s<br />

not gonna do that. Sending away immigrants<br />

who were responsible for the revolution in<br />

Silicon Valley, like Syrian heads of computer<br />

science companies – these guys are not dangerous<br />

immigrants! We should be encouraging<br />

them to come.” A Romney voter in 2012,<br />

Wiley switched to the Libertarians, who hold<br />

no seats in the Senate but are the thirdlargest<br />

party in America, polling at about 10<br />

percent. “I guess I was a closet libertarian<br />

and didn’t know it, so I decided to come out<br />

of the closet!” As the chair of new group Libertarians<br />

Abroad, he now speaks in favour of<br />

candidate Gary Johnson and gives interviews<br />

with the local and US press. “Though it’s<br />

probably too little, too late,” he admits.<br />

“I SAID, ‘IT’S OVER.’<br />





Chris Roberts, a 27-year-old customer<br />

care agent who came to Berlin a year ago<br />

with his German wife, initially sympathised<br />

with some of Trump’s policies, even though<br />

that made him something of a “lone ranger”<br />

here. “My American friends think it’s a total<br />

outrage,” he admits. His wife still makes him<br />

watch Trump skits on American comedy<br />

shows. He’s hesitant about making himself<br />

publicly known as a right-winger in Berlin,<br />

and requested to be called by his middle<br />

name for this article.<br />

Though born in Canada, he moved to San<br />

Diego when he was 14 and has American<br />

citizenship. He says: “With the Mexico wall... I<br />

lived in Texas for a year, so I know of the stories.<br />

A lot of Mexicans die on the way. Coyotes<br />

[smugglers] lead them through the routes,<br />

but a lot of them end up raping them or they<br />

die from exhaustion. The amount of them<br />

coming in and working can cause a problem<br />

– they bring wages down. They’ve also caught<br />

Middle Eastern people coming in... if a terrorist<br />

wanted to come into the country that way,<br />

they could. Trump wants Mexicans to come<br />

the right way.” Roberts believes the candidate<br />

has been unfairly maligned. “When people<br />

hate on Donald Trump, they don’t know<br />

what they’re talking about. He’s never said<br />

anything that I can think of where it’s hate<br />

against a particular race.” He also relates to<br />

the Republican candidate’s anti-establishment<br />

discourse. “Trump breaks the political norm.<br />

People really relate to that. He doesn’t feel he<br />

has to be politically correct. People are sick of<br />

scripted politics.”<br />

But Roberts became disillusioned by a<br />

series of campaign excesses in July and August,<br />

starting with Trump’s criticism of the<br />

parents of a dead Muslim-American soldier<br />

during the Democratic National Convention.<br />

Now, neither option appeals to him. “I don’t<br />

like Clinton because I think America has<br />

better candidates than the same old families.<br />

The email scandal is enough. She’s too much<br />

part of the establishment.” He’s still unsure<br />

how he’ll cast his vote.<br />

At least one Berlin-based Republican will<br />

stick to his party. Sixty-nine-year-old Hans<br />

Theerman fits into the never-Hillary category.<br />

An American citzen born in Germany but<br />

raised in Missouri, he travelled to east Berlin<br />

in 1993 to open a branch of a Pentecostal<br />

institution offering BAs in Bible studies and<br />

theology, then called ICI University. In 2011<br />

he retired and spent three summers motorcycling<br />

around America; he currently lives a<br />

more sedentary life in Zehlendorf.<br />

Though liberal in his 1960s youth, Theerman<br />

has voted Republican since finishing<br />

college. He claims the party stands for freedom<br />

and individual opportunity – that it was<br />

“anti-slavery” while “the Democratic party<br />

was the party of the Klu Klux Klan”. Like<br />

Roberts, he’s in favour of stricter immigra-<br />

8<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>


“I’M NOT DOING<br />


BE A PURIST.<br />





TRY. WOULD I<br />





FOR HIM AS A<br />


Hans Theerman is<br />

planning on voting<br />

for Trump in November,<br />

if only to vote<br />

against Clinton.<br />

tion control. “Every country has a right<br />

to say who gets in. When somebody<br />

wants to come in to eat your lunch,<br />

kill your kids and rape your wife, I’m<br />

sorry, but a guy’s gotta do something,”<br />

he says in a congenial Missouri twang<br />

over a steaming glass of red fruit tea.<br />

His discourse – “Muslims are synonymous<br />

with terrorism” – clashes rather<br />

colourfully with his choice to meet at a<br />

Kreuzberg Turkish café. But Theerman<br />

sees no contradiction, and he’s eager<br />

to stress that he knows many Muslims<br />

in Berlin and has no problem socialising<br />

with them.<br />

This year, he plans to vote Republican<br />

again, albeit unenthusiastically.<br />

“I’m sorry to say I will vote for Trump,<br />

if only to vote against Hillary. Clinton<br />

says absolutely nothing. She has never<br />

accomplished anything successfully.<br />

Look at her record, it’s like a failed<br />

state. At least Trump is out there defining<br />

some policy issues and saying what<br />

he would do. He’s a buffoon, and we<br />

had 10 other people that would have<br />

been better. But he’s what we’ve got<br />

right now. He’s the best of a bad couple,<br />

the least worst. And he’s open to influence.<br />

He will accept a lot of help.”<br />

Tom Cox<br />

He’s virtually the only outspoken<br />

Trump voter in Berlin, but Theerman<br />

has no qualms about speaking his mind<br />

to Germans. He says: “I find among<br />

educated Germans a willingness to<br />

exercise the give and take of vibrant<br />

disputation. Generally speaking, most<br />

seem to really want to know a different<br />

and foreign viewpoint, and are willing<br />

to defer to someone more intimately<br />

connected than themselves.”<br />

Like many, Theerman believes that<br />

Trump has successfully brought up<br />

issues that nobody else would touch.<br />

“He’s saying what a lot of other people<br />

weren’t saying. When you’re at rock<br />

bottom, almost anything could be up,”<br />

continues the Berlin reverend. “I’m not<br />

doing this so I can be a purist. I’m doing<br />

this so something can be done for the<br />

country. Would I vote for Trump in any<br />

other situation? I wouldn’t vote for him<br />

as a dog catcher!” n<br />

Photo © Claudia Bühler<br />

Gianni Versace’s life depicted as a voguing-ball<br />

With Brandt Brauer Frick, Amber Vineyard, Alexander Geist, Claron McFadden, Seth Carico<br />

Director: Martin Butler. World premiere: 1 <strong>October</strong> <strong>2016</strong><br />

Tischlerei der Deutschen Oper Berlin<br />

Richard-Wagner-Straße / Zillestr., 10585 Berlin<br />

Tickets and Information: +49 [30]-343 84 343<br />

www.deutscheoperberlin.de<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />



THE<br />

ANGRY<br />


Disillusioned by the politics<br />

in their home country, more<br />

and more expats from the US<br />

are voicing their dissidence<br />

here in Berlin. We spoke with<br />

two different generations to<br />

see how they were coping.<br />

By Julyssa Lopez<br />

“<br />

In America, we have this weird superiority<br />

complex. We’re in a country built<br />

by genocide and slavery – that’s not<br />

just some black militant screaming in Times<br />

Square; this is literally how we were built.<br />

And we think we’re superior.”<br />

The words sound eerily grave coming from<br />

32-year-old David Hailey, a good-natured comedian<br />

and start-up employee with a billowing<br />

Afro who was cracking jokes and grinning<br />

just moments ago while sitting on the banks<br />

of Kreuzberg’s Landwehrkanal. He is usually<br />

upbeat and buoyant, but the California-born<br />

Black Lives Matter activist gets serious when<br />

anyone brings up American politics.<br />

He’s unabashed when it comes to reciting<br />

the failings of his home country: an idolisation<br />

of consumer culture, economic disparities<br />

and, most important of all, a violent tradition<br />

of gaping racial inequalities. The political<br />

dissonance he feels has become the main<br />

reason Hailey, who came to Europe at age 19<br />

for college, has decided to make a life abroad.<br />

As an African-American, Hailey has spent a<br />

lot of time thinking about America’s troublesome<br />

relationship with race, and that’s only<br />

intensified since coming here. He admits that<br />

European countries have their own issues<br />

with race, but he still feels the approach is<br />

more progressive – especially in Berlin. “In<br />

your day-to-day, you don’t feel different as a<br />

black person here. And it’s a luxury as a black<br />

person living in the West to feel like you can<br />

be you – in the US, you’re not seen as an individual,”<br />

he explains. He also adds that police<br />

aggression doesn’t exist in Berlin the way it<br />

does in America: “I feel safer here. The cops<br />

aren’t going to shoot me in Germany,” he says.<br />

Though he’s been settled in Berlin since<br />

2013, when he took a job at recruiting startup<br />

Webcrowd, he always keeps close tabs<br />

on what’s happening back home. He began<br />

paying special attention around 2013, when<br />

reports of police brutality began reverberating<br />

in news cycles. Hailey observed quietly at<br />

first, thinking that violence against African-<br />

Americans was “nothing new” in the United<br />

States. Still, in 2014, after a jury failed to<br />

indict police officer Darren Wilson for the<br />

shooting of black teenager Michael Brown,<br />

Karolina Spolniewski<br />





GERMANY.”<br />

Hailey remembers feeling outraged. On Facebook,<br />

he noticed a few friends were organising<br />

a Black Lives Matter protest outside<br />

Berlin’s US embassy. He arrived excitedly,<br />

only to find a meek crew of about five people<br />

gathered awkwardly. One woman held a<br />

small picture of Michael Brown. Someone lit<br />

a candle, then blew it out. It felt pathetic. But<br />

at least he’d made an effort.<br />

The urge to increase those efforts grew<br />

more intense as the names of dead black<br />

people piled up in headlines from the US:<br />

Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Alton<br />

Sterling. Hailey started emailing friends,<br />

angrier each time, and organising Black<br />

Lives Matter rallies in Berlin. He helped<br />

corral more than 200 people for a protest<br />

on Hermannplatz on July 10, where he<br />

was moved to find that supporters weren’t<br />

just American; many were from Germany<br />

and other parts of Europe. The Black Lives<br />

Matter message seems to resonate in Berlin<br />

especially, and he says that it helps raise the<br />

profile of the movement. Here, he can wear<br />

his disillusionment on his sleeve and engage<br />

anyone he meets in conversation about the<br />

pitfalls of the United States.<br />

And he’s not the only one. In an era of<br />

growing poverty, police brutality, and wars<br />

abroad, combined with Obama disillusionment<br />

and less-than-ideal candidates on both<br />

sides of the two-party electoral spectrum,<br />

many Americans living in Berlin feel ill at<br />

ease with their country. Some, like Hailey,<br />

organise demonstrations. Others, like Richard<br />

and Ellen Rosen, turn to a quieter but no<br />

less effective form of resistance.<br />

Both Jewish and in their seventies, the<br />

Rosens lived and worked in Boston before<br />

their progressive politics brought them to<br />

Berlin in 2009. They had wanted to retire<br />

in a more “socialist-leaning country”, and<br />

Richard wanted to be closer to the continent<br />

because he was curious about how the European<br />

Union was evolving. He also wanted to<br />

examine how Germany’s attitudes toward the<br />

Jewish community had changed since WWII.<br />

After considering language barriers in Europe,<br />

the Rosens felt that Berlin had a mix of<br />

history and culture they could settle comfortably<br />

into and purchased a home in Prenzlauer<br />

Berg’s Husemannstraße.<br />

Don’t let the beautiful, massive flat fool you:<br />

“We’ve been radical through and through,”<br />

Richard jokes. The couple met at Camp<br />

10<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>


Above: Ellen and<br />

Richard Rosen in<br />

their Prenzlauer<br />

Berg home.<br />

Left: Black Lives<br />

Matter activist<br />

David Hailey.<br />

Webatuck, a left-leaning retreat founded<br />

to promote liberal values in kids. Before<br />

working as a professor of sociology<br />

at Massachusetts’ Nichols College,<br />

Ellen was an activist who marched on<br />

Washington in 1963 and joined women’s<br />

conciousness groups. Richard was a<br />

member of the civil rights group SNCP<br />

as a student at MIT and dedicated his<br />

career to energy policy.<br />

But their optimism began waning in<br />

the 1980s under Reagan, and they’ve<br />

only grown more frustrated with America<br />

since then. “When we were younger,<br />

we were hopeful things would change,<br />

but it seems like things are neglected,”<br />

Ellen says. “The US is an empire that’s<br />

reached its limit. It’s gone down and<br />

keeps going slowly downward. The<br />

army is much too big, And more money<br />

just keeps being spent on it.”<br />

The couple reads the International<br />

New York Times every morning, and<br />

they find themselves disappointed<br />

with what they see. They question<br />

President Barack Obama’s foreign<br />

policy and ability to work with Republicans.<br />

Ellen blames political gridlock,<br />

but Richard is far more critical: “When<br />

he first came in office, he said he would<br />

try to work with Republicans and get<br />

more moderate things through. He<br />

was completely unrealistic... he was<br />

naïve,” he says. And with the upcoming<br />

election, the pair, who supported<br />

Bernie Sanders’ campaign, has gotten<br />

increasingly disillusioned. “If you vote<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />

Karolina Spolniewski<br />

for Trump or Hillary, it’s not much of a<br />

difference,” Ellen says. They talk about<br />

Trump being an embarrassment, but<br />

they’re not happy with Clinton either.<br />

Whether with Iraq, Libya or Syria, and<br />

in her approach to the Ukraine crisis,<br />

“she just seems to be gung-ho on war<br />

– she’s too confrontational,” Richard<br />

says, pointing out that both he and Ellen<br />

were active in the anti-war movement<br />

in their student days. “We’ve<br />

been on the left since we were born,<br />

certainly since the Civil Rights movement<br />

and the Vietnam War.”<br />

Their radical ways have mellowed<br />

with age, but not their convictions:<br />

“Now we have more money and less<br />

energy,” Richard says. Although they<br />

do make it out to the occasional demo<br />

(like the one against the EU-US TTIP<br />

trade deal in September), they mostly<br />

try to provoke change directly from<br />

their sunny Prenzlauer Berg apartment.<br />

Their approach is to lend both financial<br />

and volunteer support to organisations<br />

that align with their beliefs, like climate<br />

change research, worker’s rights and<br />

social equality. Ellen has been an active<br />

member of the Massachusetts Bail Fund,<br />

designed to help post bail for people who<br />

can’t afford it themselves, and is working<br />

on a biography about Frances Perkins<br />

Wilson, the US Secretary of Labor who<br />

established the first minimum wage and<br />

overtime laws for American workers.<br />

Richard, meanwhile, continues to lecture<br />

on energy policy and is involved with<br />

the leftist group Science For the People.<br />

Berlin is an especially good place to be,<br />

he says. “German culture seems far more<br />

interested in energy alternatives”.<br />

The couple has also found community<br />

here. They are involved with<br />

American Voices Abroad, a group of<br />

Berlin expats who came together during<br />

the Iraq War to “promote peace,<br />

oppose wars of aggression by the<br />

United States, and take action toward<br />

these ends in relation to US policy.”<br />

These days, their demographic skews<br />

older, and they function primarily as<br />

a discussion group. They’re currently<br />

making efforts to attract the attention<br />

of younger Americans living in Berlin.<br />

The Rosens return home to Boston<br />

frequently, but Richard says it<br />

hasn’t made their views on the US<br />

any less critical. In fact, his forecast is<br />

bleak – but that’s nothing new. “Our<br />

opposition has spanned over 50 years,<br />

so Trump and this election is just another<br />

little wrinkle,” he says. “To me,<br />

being pessimistic about the United<br />

States is being realistic.” n<br />

Uniting<br />

Backgrounds<br />



festival<br />

8–23/<strong>October</strong>/<strong>2016</strong><br />




Am Festungsgraben 2, 10117 Berlin<br />

Box Office: 0049 30/ 20 221 115<br />

11<br />

Tickets online: www.gorki.de


THE<br />

NEW OLD<br />

GUARD<br />

After the Wall came down but<br />

before Berlin was the place to<br />

be, these Americans came to<br />

town and helped shape the city’s<br />

cultural landscape – from<br />

burgers to TV to rock ‘n’ roll.<br />


Wally Potts<br />

The name “White Trash Fast Food” says<br />

it all: the product (burgers, tats and rock<br />

music), the give-no-fucks attitude which has<br />

sustained Walter “Wally” Potts’ enterprise<br />

through four locations and multiple backlashes,<br />

the dash of irony which, given White<br />

Trash’s current incarnation as a sprawling<br />

tourist magnet on the edge of insolvency, has<br />

faded somewhat.<br />

With his huge full beard, handlebar mustache,<br />

tattoos and omnipresent hat, Potts<br />

remains proudly American, although – despite<br />

White Trash’s reputation for Englishonly<br />

waitstaff – his German is actually quite<br />

fließend. He first came here on an exchange<br />

programme in 1990, while he was still in art<br />

school; after his graduation, in 1993, he decided<br />

“Berlin was the most interesting place to<br />

be” and came back to what was then the city’s<br />

premier destination for arty expats: Mitte.<br />

It was there that Potts, raised between<br />

California and Oklahoma, found his niche.<br />

“I was living in a squat on Auguststraße,<br />

doing Volksküche to make money. When<br />

the Germans were cooking, it was a white<br />

plate. Cabbage, rice, potato. No sauce, just<br />

salt and pepper. I started making Mexican.”<br />

In keeping with the DIY spirit of the times,<br />

he opened a pop-up by Hackescher Markt<br />

in 2000. “The DJ played out of a portable<br />

stereo, and we didn’t have a liquor license. I<br />

didn’t even wash my hands!” Potts jokes, taking<br />

it back a second later.<br />

White Trash’s first official location, opened<br />

in 2002 in a former Chinese restaurant on<br />

Torstraße, is the one all the longtime expats<br />

like to reminisce about: an underground,<br />

“members-only” restaurant and club where<br />

Berlin’s bohemian crowd (Peaches was an<br />

early regular) gathered for raucous all-night<br />

parties and what were, back then, the city’s<br />

only proper hamburgers. But by the time<br />

Potts expanded into a multifloor operation<br />

on Schönhauser Allee, the neighbourhood<br />

was already on its way out. “We had 178<br />

noise complaints!” Potts says angrily. By<br />

2014, the landlord had nearly doubled White<br />

Trash’s rent, and that was the last straw.<br />

Rather than simply move house, Potts<br />

created a multiplex shrine to Americana,<br />

located by Badeschiff in Treptow. The latest<br />

White Trash boasts a biergarten, a stateof-the-art<br />

BBQ pit, a 900-capacity concert<br />

hall, a tattoo parlour, a large indoor dining<br />

area and a skateboard ramp. No wonder<br />

Potts had to file for bankruptcy this year.<br />

“It was more like a restructuring,” he<br />

maintains. “The bank was asking for their<br />

money back, but we weren’t finished with<br />

construction yet.”<br />

The underground crowds are long gone,<br />

but the burgers (made from organic Brandenburg<br />

beef), barbecue and Tex-Mex fare<br />

are as satisfying as ever. “If somebody had<br />

once told me that one day I’d be making a<br />

burger restaurant here as an American, I<br />

would’ve been pissed off,” Potts admits. “I’m<br />

not interested in being the best restaurateur<br />

out there. I still feel like I’m faking it. I<br />

guess that’s the charm.” He pauses, catching<br />

himself midway. “I don’t know if it’s still<br />

charming.” — Dani Arbid/Rene Blixer<br />


Melissa Perales<br />

To call Melissa Perales a multitasker would<br />

be putting it lightly. As a booker, promoter,<br />

music supervisor, co-organiser of Torstraßenfestival<br />

and co-founder of the musician support<br />

network Music Pool Berlin, the Berliner<br />

of 21 years fosters the city’s indie music scene<br />

while also raising two boys, aged two and 15.<br />

Call it an American thing. “I hated how slow<br />

Berlin was when I first came here,” the 46-yearold<br />

Chicago expat admits. “People were<br />

hanging out in the park. Why are these people<br />

so lazy? I was pissed.” And so, after “three<br />

or four months of partying,” the Columbia<br />

College grad got to work – first organising the<br />

underground film festival Circles of Confusion<br />

at the Volksbühne and Babylon Kino in<br />

1995, then, after a three-year spell back in the<br />

States, joining the collective at the squat and<br />

venue Schokoladen in 1998. Later, in 2002, she<br />

opened the restaurant Urban Comfort Food on<br />

Zionskirchstraße, serving three-course meals<br />

for €7.50. “I like to bring people together,” she<br />

says. “Set a scene. Like making a film.”<br />

The ultimate way to do that, she discovered,<br />

was through music. On leaving her restaurant<br />

in 2004, she began putting on regular shows at<br />

Schokoladen under the name M:Soundtrack, a<br />

mix of international acts (the Canadian band<br />

Great Lake Swimmers was her first concert)<br />



Anna Winger is<br />

currently working<br />

on Deutschland<br />

83’s follow-up,<br />

Deutschland 86.<br />

I will<br />

be<br />

brief.*<br />

Theatre with English surtitles<br />

Karolina Spolniewski<br />

and underlooked Berlin performers. “Live<br />

music wasn’t as appreciated back then compared<br />

to the clubs, so it was a good time to<br />

start helping local acts out,” she says.<br />

Helping has been her mission from then<br />

on, both at Schokoladen, “where I can do<br />

experiments with bands that have no following”,<br />

and at Music Pool, where she counsels<br />

fledgling musicians on promotion, licensing<br />

and the dreaded GEMA. She was an early<br />

proponent of the band Fenster, who lovingly<br />

refer to her as their “mom”. “With some<br />

bands, it’s like, I’ve seen them grow up,”<br />

Perales says. “Some of them even have their<br />

own kids now – that’s weird.”<br />

She moved out of Schokoladen in 2009<br />

(“My son Elvis asked, ‘Where am I gonna<br />

have my birthday party now?’”) but she still<br />

books around two shows a month there,<br />

and it’s where she feels most at home.<br />

“There, I know I have control. I’ll greet<br />

people at the door, choose what music<br />

plays before or after the show, do the lights<br />

if I can... it’s like setting up a film, and then<br />

the soundtrack starts.” — Rene Blixer<br />


Anna Winger<br />

“My seven-year-old daughter came home<br />

from school one day a few years ago saying,<br />

‘You know there used to be a wall here?’ It<br />

was the science-fiction-like way she described<br />

Berlin’s history that made me realise<br />

I had something to write about.” While other<br />

US expats import American culture into<br />

Berlin, Anna Winger has done something<br />

different: export Berlin history to the States,<br />

in German no less, in the form of Deutschland<br />

83. Written by Winger and produced<br />

and translated by her husband Jörg, the<br />

Cold War-set TV show is the first Germanlanguage<br />

series aired in the US. And her<br />

Berlin spy story proved to be a huge hit there<br />

– more so than in Germany, even. “To me,<br />

writing a history of Berlin from that period is<br />

also writing an American history of the Cold<br />

War. People there forgot how big of a part<br />

the US played in all this.”<br />

It’s hard to believe someone now so<br />

connected to Berlin was ambivalent about<br />

coming here. “I never thought I’d ever live<br />

in Germany!” she says. But after meeting<br />

Jörg, she decided to leave New York, where<br />

she’d been working as a photographer for 10<br />

years, and follow him to his home country<br />

in 2002. “Jörg’s work was based in Leipzig,<br />

and so Berlin was a happy medium for us.”<br />

After settling in on Savignyplatz and giving<br />

birth to two children, Winger could’ve lived<br />

a typical bourgeoise housewife life – instead,<br />

she turned to writing, penning the<br />

2009 Berlin-set novel This Must Be The Place<br />

and rejuvenating the then-stagnant NPR<br />

Berlin radio station by producing some 150<br />

English-language segments for their Berlin<br />

Stories series. “It was a labour of love – everyone<br />

there was a volunteer. It was a mix of<br />

worlds, generations and cultures.”<br />

The one thing Winger’s works have in<br />

common is a decidedly down-to-earth, nonhipster<br />

approach to Berlin. “I didn’t come to<br />

Berlin for the underground scene. I was 32 by<br />

the time I got here – I had all of my young developmental<br />

experiences in New York. Even<br />

though I have been embraced by the city, I<br />

can also view it very objectively.” Also helpful<br />

is that Berlin wasn’t her first international<br />

experience. “Both my parents are anthropologists,<br />

and as a child we lived all over, including<br />

Africa and Mexico. My father is American<br />

and my mother is British – I even met my<br />

husband in Chile! I’ve spent more time living<br />

abroad than I have living in America, but I still<br />

feel very American. I don’t know why, but it’s<br />

such a hard culture to lose.” — Victoria Barnes<br />

»Hedda Gabler«<br />

by Henrik Ibsen<br />

Direction: Thomas Ostermeier<br />

On <strong>October</strong> 1, 8 pm<br />

»Richard III«<br />

by William Shakespeare<br />

Direction: Thomas Ostermeier<br />

On <strong>October</strong> 4, 7.30 pm<br />

*»Hamlet«<br />

by William Shakespeare<br />

Direction: Thomas Ostermeier<br />

On <strong>October</strong> 8, 7.30 pm<br />

»The Invention of the Red Army Faction<br />

by a Manic-Depressive Teenager<br />

in the Summer of 1969«<br />

by Frank Witzel<br />

Direction: Armin Petras<br />

On <strong>October</strong> 10, 8 pm<br />

»Beware of Pity«<br />

by Stefan Zweig<br />

Direction: Simon McBurney<br />

On <strong>October</strong> 15 and 16, 8 pm<br />

»TRUST«<br />

Text: Falk Richter<br />

Direction and Choreography:<br />

Falk Richter and Anouk van Dijk<br />

On <strong>October</strong> 18, 8 pm<br />

»FEAR«<br />

A play by Falk Richter<br />

Text and Direction: Falk Richter<br />

On <strong>October</strong> 28, 29 and 30, 8 pm<br />

»A Piece of Plastic«<br />

by Marius von Mayenburg<br />

Direction: Marius von Mayenburg<br />

On <strong>October</strong> 30, 8 pm<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />

13<br />

Tickets: 030 890023 www.schaubuehne.de


THE<br />

FRENCH<br />

SECTOR<br />

THE<br />


SECTOR<br />

R E I N I C K E N D O R F<br />

PA N KOW<br />

The United States’ influence is<br />

all over Berlin, if you know where<br />

to look. Here are 14 spots where<br />

the Amis have left their mark.<br />

S PA N DA U<br />


M O A B I T<br />

B R A N D E N B U R G E R T O R<br />

P R E N Z L A U E R<br />

B E R G<br />

By Kaya Payseno and Kate Richards<br />

Z O O L O G I S C H E R<br />

G A R T E N<br />

F R I E D R I C H S -<br />

H A I N<br />


Inside Prenzlauer Berg’s Kulturbrauerei, New<br />

York University’s Berlin campus (one of 14 satellites<br />

around the world) takes in about 120 NYU<br />

students each semester to study everything from<br />

psychology to German cinema to music tech<br />

start-ups – plus mandatory German for everyone.<br />

Perfect for kids who want to expand their horizons<br />

(and, you know, party) while still enjoying a<br />

not-too-exotic, dorms-and-all college experience.<br />

G R U N E WA L D<br />

C H A R L O T T E N B U R G<br />

– W I L M E R S D O R F<br />

S T E G L I T Z – Z E H L E N D O R F<br />

T E M P E L H O F<br />

– S C H Ö N E B E R G<br />

K R E U Z B E R G<br />

T E M P E L H O F E R<br />

F E L D<br />



DER WELT<br />

In 1956, mostly to thumb their noses at the<br />

Soviets, the Americans constructed a massive,<br />

oddly shaped conference centre and concert hall<br />

then known as the Kongresshalle, just metres<br />

away from the border with East Berlin, five years<br />

before the Wall divided the city. The money for<br />

this symbol of Western power was finagled by<br />

American stateswoman Eleanor Dulles who,<br />

through hard bargaining and downright tomfoolery,<br />

raised a total of $1 billion for reconstruction<br />

and employment projects in Berlin. Now serving<br />

as a multimedia art forum focussed on global<br />

issues, HKW is currently closed for repairs till<br />

January 2017, when the “Pregnant Oyster” can get<br />

back to indoctrinating the public with an American<br />

agenda – just kidding, they’re funded by the<br />

German government now!<br />


Built as an innocuous American reading room<br />

and cultural centre in the 1950s, the building on<br />

Hardenbergstraße found itself a target of anti-<br />

US sentiment around the time of the Vietnam<br />

War, when German students pelted it with eggs<br />

WA N N S E E<br />

and, later, incendiary devices. It was given<br />

over to the German government in 2006<br />

and reopened two years ago as the new<br />

home for C/O (see page 36) after the<br />

prominent photo gallery was gentrified<br />

out of Mitte. It only took 7947 litres of<br />

paint, 27,568 screws, and 241,000 invitations<br />

to make it happen.<br />


THE<br />


SECTOR<br />

As if it weren’t enough that the German<br />

government had to divert Ebertstraße to<br />

pacify America’s rigorous security demands<br />

when their embassy was moved to<br />

Pariser Platz back in 2008, Ed Snowden<br />

revealed to us in 2013 that the NSA had<br />

been using special rooftop panels on this<br />

beige Brillo pad of a building to listen in on<br />

Angela Merkel’s phone calls at the Reichstag<br />

some 600 metres away.<br />


Today, on the west bank of Wannsee, Rebecca<br />

Boehling from University of Maryland<br />

is investigating the Allies’ approach<br />

to de-Nazification, Tom Franklin from<br />

the University of Mississippi is writing<br />

a novel about rural Alabama, and Ioana<br />

Uricaru is making a film about America’s<br />

recruitment of German academics after<br />

WWII – just to name a few. Since 1994,<br />

24 American fellows have been coming to<br />

14<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>



BERLIN<br />

WALL<br />

SOVIET<br />

EAST<br />

BERLIN<br />

M A R Z A H N -<br />

H E L L E R S D O R F<br />

T R E P T OW<br />

Illustration by Josh Young<br />

the American Academy each year to conduct<br />

research projects and learn from each other<br />

(and the Germans). For one semester, these<br />

lucky scholars enjoy a room in the upstairs of<br />

the lakeside villa and a €5000/month stipend<br />

mostly funded by the building’s original owners,<br />

the Arnolds, a prominent Jewish banking<br />

family who had to flee during World War II.<br />


Here’s the only place in town where you can<br />

still have your photo taken with a GI... or an<br />

actor dressed as one, anyway. It’s all so touristy<br />

you forget this was the site of a 16-hour<br />

standoff between US and Soviet tanks in 1961.<br />

Nowadays, the recreated American Sector sign<br />

by the onetime border crossing (the original<br />

is at the Allied Museum, see #13) is more an<br />

indicator that you are entering a busy US-style<br />

business district, with buildings designed by<br />

renowned American architects including postmodernist<br />

star Philip Johnson.<br />

AMERIKA-<br />


Opened in 1954 with the help of a $5 million<br />

donation from the US, the boxy building by<br />

Hallesches Tor was the first public library<br />

in Europe where bookworms could freely<br />

wander the stacks without having to order<br />

books over the counter from a librarian. It’s<br />

all about “unlimited freedom of the human<br />

mind”, according to the Thomas Jefferson<br />

quote over the entrance. The sign normally<br />

just reads “Gedenkbibliothek”, but though<br />

<strong>October</strong> 13, you can finally see “Amerika”<br />

atop the building courtesy of an artist initiative<br />

co-funded by the US Embassy. Sadly for<br />

American visitors, only a few shelves’ worth<br />

of its 900,000 books are in English.<br />


Ami cuisine is all over Berlin today (see page<br />

52), but even before White Trash, there was<br />

Cynthia Barcomi’s Kreuzberg café. The New<br />

York pioneer started selling her cheesecake<br />

and bagels in Kreuzberg in 1994; a second<br />

location, the more spacious Barcomi’s Deli<br />

in Mitte, followed soon after in 1997. It’s still<br />

one of the only places in town where the<br />

bagels are made by hand.<br />


A mini-city of 28,000 in the middle of placid<br />

Dahlem, the Freie Universität was founded<br />

in 1948 under orders from US military commander<br />

Lucius D. Clay, to provide Berlin<br />

students with a place where they could<br />

study “free” from Soviet influence. These<br />

days lots of expat students, including some<br />

550 from the US, come to FU for the nearlyfree<br />

tuition (€304 per semester, but that<br />

includes a BVG pass) and the freedom to<br />

not learn German – 25 masters programmes<br />

are taught in English. You can even get a<br />

bachelor’s degree in North American Studies<br />

at the university’s JFK Institute, established<br />

in 1963. Germans, for their part, can take<br />

advantage of FU’s longstanding exchange<br />

programme with Stanford and study in<br />

California for nearly nothing. Pro tip: FU’s<br />

library is home to over 1.75 million-plus<br />

English-language books, and you don’t have<br />

to be a student there to check them out.<br />


Before Tempelhof was a park and refugee<br />

shelter, it was a US military complex. The<br />

only reminder of that time is the 1952-built<br />

Silverwings, now a somewhat cheesy German<br />

nightclub that hosts private parties,<br />

then a place where NCOs went to play<br />

pool, eat a cheeseburger and watch artists<br />

like Johnny Cash. If you had a local<br />

sweetheart, you could bring her by on<br />

weekend “German-American nights”. She’d<br />

have to exchange her deutschmarks for US<br />

dollars at the door, but as a military man<br />

you could pick up the tab with “Tempelhof<br />

Tokens”, currency distributed to soldiers<br />

to encourage them to stay on base. Times<br />

may have changed, but the décor hasn’t –<br />

you can still see the gold lacquered mosaic<br />

from the 1950s, and even the beat-up white<br />

trash can from the 1980s.<br />



If you want a more legit version of Checkpoint<br />

Charlie, head to this museum in<br />

Dahlem, where you’ll find the original<br />

guardhouse building outdoors alongside<br />

the famous “You are leaving the American<br />

sector” sign and a Hastings TG 503 plane<br />

(which transported coal during the Berlin<br />

Airlift). Go inside the former Nicholson Memorial<br />

garrison library and Outpost armed<br />

forces cinema for exhibitions on the history<br />

of Berlin’s Western occupation, as well as<br />

the sign that used to flash before every Outpost<br />

screening: “National Anthem is playing<br />

now. Please wait.”<br />


Thank the NSA for the giant, dilapidated<br />

domes protruding above the Berlin skyline<br />

in the west. Built atop a dumping zone for<br />

tens of millions of cubic metres of World<br />

War II rubble, the Teufelsberg spy station<br />

was used by American intelligence to tap<br />

into Soviet, East German, and Warsaw Pact<br />

nations’ military communications from<br />

1961 till the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.<br />

It’s now in the hands of investor Marvin<br />

Schütte, who magnanimously lets you check<br />

out the domes’ still-impressive acoustics on<br />

daily guided tours (€7).<br />


Part of a recreation centre for US troops,<br />

the cinema near Tempelhof opened on<br />

<strong>October</strong> 13, 1951 with a screening of Captain<br />

Horatio Hornblower starring Gregory Peck.<br />

It closed soon after reunification but found<br />

new life in 1998 as a concert hall and event<br />

space; last year it was taken over by a quartet<br />

of Berlin bookers and promoters who<br />

restored its 1950s vibe and classed up the<br />

programme (American indie singer Angel<br />

Olsen hits it this month). n<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong> 15








BERLIN’S<br />

ARMY<br />

BRATS<br />

While the Wall still stood,<br />

dozens of thousands of US<br />

soldiers were stationed in the<br />

American sector of the divided<br />

capital. Their children lived in<br />

an American bubble, complete<br />

with their own schools, supermarkets<br />

and bowling alleys.<br />

Decades later, many still<br />

call Berlin home.<br />

By Jean-Michel Hauteville<br />

Gardening seems to be all the rage<br />

in Mariendorf. The leafy neighbourhood<br />

just south of Tempelhof<br />

is dotted with over 20 Kleingartenkolonien,<br />

each subdivided into dozens, sometimes<br />

hundreds, of neatly fenced garden allotments<br />

and summer bungalows. Whenever<br />

the weather is good enough, local resident<br />

Gary Planz heads to his own garden plot in<br />

the “Union” colony, a short walk from the<br />

Teltow Canal. But as soon as he gets there,<br />

things take a rather unusual turn.<br />

“The first thing I do every morning is to<br />

raise the flag,” Planz cheerfully explains as he<br />

hoists a large star-spangled banner up a tall<br />

white mast in the morning sun. The rotund<br />

61-year-old matter-of-factly describes himself<br />

as “proudly American and very patriotic”. But<br />

this proud American patriot, dressed casually<br />

in a T-shirt adorned with stars, stripes and<br />

a picture of a large bald eagle taking flight,<br />

actually lived less than a quarter of his life in<br />

the United States. Planz is an army brat. The<br />

New Jersey-born son of a US soldier spent<br />

his childhood moving to a new base every<br />

couple of years with his stepfather, also a<br />

soldier, and his German mother.<br />

Planz started school in Mannheim, in the<br />

former American-occupied zone of West<br />

Germany, before moving to West Berlin,<br />

where he attended the fourth and fifth<br />

grades at the Thomas A. Roberts (TAR)<br />

School, named after the first American to<br />

have lost his life in the Battle of Berlin in<br />

1944. After a spell in the States, his stepfather<br />

was sent back to Berlin in the 1970s, and<br />

the young Planz went to TAR again – now<br />

located in Dahlem and renamed the Berlin<br />

Karolina Spolniewski<br />

American High School (BAHS). He returned<br />

to Georgia to graduate from high school. “All<br />

the traveling was fantastic, but missing my<br />

friends was hard,” Planz recalls. He enjoyed<br />

his teenage years in the German capital so<br />

much that after graduation, he joined the<br />

army himself and gave Berlin as his preferred<br />

stationing place, ahead of Hawaii. The young<br />

private Planz was sent to the McNair army<br />

barracks in Lichterfelde in early 1974 and has<br />

been a Berliner ever since. When the time<br />

came to choose between the army and his<br />

German wife, he chose the latter and stayed<br />

on, working at the now-defunct Reemtsma<br />

tobacco company in Wilmersdorf until he<br />

went into early retirement a few years ago.<br />

He fondly remembers his years as a soldier<br />

as “fantastic!”.<br />

* * *<br />

Tina Holmes spent most of her childhood in<br />

Berlin. Born on the Kaiserslautern Air Force<br />

Base in 1975 to a US air traffic controller and<br />

his German wife, she was six years old when<br />

her father started working – and living – at<br />

Tempelhof airport, which back then was<br />

“full of people and full of shops,” she vividly<br />

remembers. Holmes and her brother grew up<br />

in a sheltered US Army bubble: they’d go to<br />

the Truman Plaza shopping mall on Clayallee,<br />

where she could “choose between a<br />

million cereal flavours” at the PX shop (“for<br />

us, it was like a big Lidl”) and pay for them<br />

in US dollars, then attend a matinee at the<br />

Outpost Theater in Zehlendorf or the Columbia<br />

Theater in Tempelhof. Before the film<br />

started, the American national anthem was<br />

played – and everybody actually stood.<br />

“I thought it was very normal. Only after<br />

the Wall came down did I realize how crazy<br />

it all was,” the short-haired brunette says as<br />

she excitedly recalls her teen memories in<br />

what she today calls an “American Disneyland”.<br />

Today an IT recruiter, she’s thinking<br />

of writing a book about those years. “I<br />

mean, we even had rodeos at the base every<br />

summer, isn’t that crazy? My father’s from<br />

Philadelphia, he probably saw his first rodeo<br />

here in Berlin too,” she laughs.<br />

The number of American soldiers stationed<br />

in Berlin during its 49 years of division<br />

is shrouded in mystery, or possibly a<br />

military secret. There are, however, some<br />

readily accessible records on how many<br />

16<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>


Right: American<br />

Berliner Gary<br />

Planz hoists the<br />

flag outside his<br />

allotment garden<br />

in Mariendorf.<br />


AMERICA (1945-1989)<br />

children of American soldiers spent<br />

time in Berlin. According to the<br />

online Berlin Brats Alumni Association,<br />

exactly 10,485 kids went either<br />

to the TAR school or to the BAHS.<br />

In the 1970s and 1980s, between 500<br />

and 900 boys and girls were schooled<br />

there each year. However, 43 percent<br />

of them spent just one year in Berlin,<br />

while only nine percent stayed for<br />

four years or longer. But the Brats’<br />

scrupulous record-keeping does not<br />

show the full picture, since many<br />

other sons and daughters of US army<br />

personnel, like Holmes, attended the<br />

John F. Kennedy School, a German-<br />

American institution founded in<br />

Zehlendorf in 1960. In the 1980s,<br />

one-quarter of the school’s students<br />

were army brats, its website says.<br />

* * *<br />

Another JFK school alumnus, the<br />

45-year-old Eric Hess, was born at<br />

the US army hospital in Zehlendorf.<br />

His parents, both Americans, had<br />

moved to Berlin where they worked<br />

as linguists for the US Air Force.<br />

Hess remembers his family’s regular<br />

shopping trips to East Berlin. “They<br />

sold excellent dictionaries there,<br />

and better music than in the West,<br />

and everything was dirt cheap.” The<br />

socialist GDR used to promote blues<br />

and jazz music as propaganda tools<br />

to highlight the oppression of black<br />

people in the West (see page 26), “so<br />

indirectly we were kind of supporting<br />

their propaganda,” Hess winks. But<br />

that was nothing serious compared to<br />

one US general’s wife who reportedly<br />

bought a piano out East. “That was a<br />

bit too much for the army. Afterwards<br />

The American sector encompassed the entire south<br />

of West Berlin, from Kreuzberg and Neukölln all the<br />

way to Wannsee. With the British and French sectors,<br />

it was besieged by the Soviets in 1948-49 and<br />

then physically cut off from its surroundings when<br />

they erected the Berlin Wall in 1961, at the height of<br />

the Cold War. The Wall fell 28 years later and all the<br />

foreign troops subsequently left Berlin, restored<br />

to its status as the capital of unified Germany.<br />

The Berlin Brigade of the US Army ceased to exist<br />

when it got officially inactivated by President Bill<br />

Clinton, on July 6, 1994. There are no available official<br />

records of how many American soldiers were<br />

stationed in Berlin during those years – estimates<br />

vary between 30,000 and 100,000.<br />

they slowed things down,” he laughs.<br />

“Of course we knew we were privileged,”<br />

Hess, now a father of three,<br />

explains. “We had these amazing facilities,<br />

the bowling alleys, the movie<br />

clubs, the yacht clubs, tax-exempt<br />

shops and lots of things for free with<br />

a military ID,” all subsidised courtesy<br />

of the German taxpayer. “We were in<br />

denial that it was a very artificial life.”<br />

Sometimes things got more artificial<br />

still, like when a German film<br />

crew came to the BAHS looking for<br />

extras for Just a Gigolo, the 1978 film<br />

starring David Bowie and Marlene<br />

Dietrich. Jesse Greene, an army brat<br />

born on the Fort Benning base in<br />

Columbus, Georgia who’d arrived<br />

in Berlin in 1975, was among the<br />

chosen few. The 11th-grade student<br />

had to spend a very long day wearing<br />

a SA uniform, but had a great<br />

time. “Berlin, as a walled-up city, was<br />

extremely cool,” the IT manager recalls.<br />

Greene went on to occasionally<br />

DJ at his favourite progressive<br />

rock clubs Bowie and Superfly<br />

near Adenauerplatz in Charlottenburg,<br />

a neighbourhood that was then<br />

the epicentre of West Berlin nightlife.<br />

When he turned 18, the army offered<br />

him a trip back to the US, since his<br />

father had retired. But he declined.<br />

* * *<br />

The Wende caught everybody by surprise.<br />

After a few heady days and wild<br />

November nights where the younger<br />

Berlin brats (like Hess) celebrated<br />

with ecstatic Berliners on top of the<br />

Wall while the older ones (like Planz)<br />

gave away packs of cigarettes or<br />

bottles of alcohol, history was set in<br />

motion. Just as the whole city around<br />

them was changing beyond recognition,<br />

the safe bubble of the US army<br />

barracks was irremediably punctured.<br />

“Actually, after the Wall came down,<br />

many Americans left because their<br />

perfect West Berlin world no longer<br />

existed,” Hess says. So did he: feeling<br />

neither German nor American,<br />

he found an escape at the American<br />

University of Paris. After 11 years at<br />

the NATO Headquarters in Brussels<br />

as a translator, he moved back to Berlin<br />

with his family just last summer.<br />

Not all Berlin US army brats are<br />

created equal when it comes to identity,<br />

or even citizenship. Some lucky<br />

ones were able to obtain dual German-American<br />

passports, like Holmes<br />

and Alan Benson, a translator who<br />

came to Berlin as a child in 1965 but<br />

didn’t speak proper German for a long<br />

time. Today a member of both the<br />

German SPD and the Berlin chapter of<br />

Democrats Abroad, he’s actively taking<br />

part in the political debate of his<br />

two countries, Benson explains over a<br />

milkshake in a McDonald’s restaurant<br />

on Ku’damm (where else?). Greene,<br />

however, was never able to obtain<br />

German citizenship without giving up<br />

his US passport, despite having a German<br />

mother. “I’ve been paying taxes<br />

here all my life, so it would be nice<br />

to be able to vote in local elections at<br />

least,” Greene shrugs. As for Berlinborn<br />

Eric Hess, he only has an American<br />

passport, just like his two parents,<br />

although he has been working for the<br />

German Foreign Ministry for over a<br />

decade. As a foreigner, he will never<br />

become a Beamte, a fully-fledged German<br />

civil servant.<br />

Contentedly sitting on his bungalow<br />

porch in Mariendorf next to<br />

his Berliner wife Eveline, Planz says<br />

he is not bothered at all not to have<br />

German citizenship, even though he<br />

grew up speaking only German at<br />

home with his mother and fell behind<br />

at school because his English wasn’t<br />

good enough at first. “Don’t you say<br />

my mother tongue is German. I’m<br />

too proud of my American heritage<br />

for that. My mother tongue is English,<br />

American English,” he says with a<br />

jovial if slightly imperative tone, as he<br />

watches squirrels frolic in the garden.<br />

Planz switches seamlessly to Berliner<br />

dialect with a man who has walked in<br />

unannounced – the head of the local<br />

garden club. “I’m the zweiter Vorsitzende,”<br />

Planz points out in Denglish.<br />

Hey, isn’t being the vice-chairman of<br />

a Kleingartenkolonie the epitome of<br />

German-ness? “Look, I love Berlin.<br />

It’s a fantastic city. But my heart is<br />

and will always stay American.” n<br />

Karolina Spolniewski<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />



Karolina Spolniewski<br />

THE LAST<br />



Berliners’ fascination with Americana and county<br />

music ain’t what it used to be. But there’s a holdout<br />

of redneck culture in the suburbs: the American<br />

Western Saloon. Rachel Glassberg went for a<br />

visit and gave line dancing a try.<br />

There’s a certain perverse pleasure<br />

we US expats get out of seeing our<br />

culture exoticised, exaggerated and<br />

not-so-accurately simulated by Germans.<br />

Who among us hasn’t gawked at the caramel<br />

popcorn yogurt and barbecue noodles<br />

offered during “America Week” at Lidl, or<br />

contemplated eating burgers and schnitzel<br />

under portraits of Elvis and Marilyn at<br />

Mitte’s Route 66 Diner? But this uncanny<br />

valley of Deutsch-Americana is shrinking, at<br />

least in Berlin. The city’s biggest celebration<br />

of “America”, the kitschy German-American<br />

Volksfest, was called off in <strong>2016</strong> for the first<br />

time in its 55-year history, officially due to<br />

a lack of space. With that off the table, we<br />

decided to journey to the Wild Northwest –<br />

Reinickendorf, to be exact. There, in the halfbarren<br />

Markisches Viertel, Berliner Frank<br />

Lange has been indulging his obsession with<br />

the USA for over two decades, complete<br />

with country music, €4.50 bottles of Coors<br />

Lite and line dancing four nights a week. Say<br />

howdy to the American Western Saloon.<br />

“Franky” is a lifelong Reinickendorfer,<br />

born in 1956 when the neighbourhood was<br />

still governed by France; he speaks French<br />

and English but is most comfortable in his<br />

native Berlinerisch. His fascination with<br />

America sprang mainly from romanticised<br />

European depictions of it, like Bud Spencer’s<br />

spaghetti Westerns and the Wild West tales<br />

of German author Karl May, who famously<br />

never set foot in the States until a few years<br />

before his death.<br />

When he wasn’t vacationing in Florida, Tennessee<br />

or Arizona, Lange spent early adulthood<br />

like any red-blooded American man: working<br />

as a truck driver and playing in a Creedence<br />

Clearwater Revival cover band. In 1994, he<br />

opened the first version of his Western Saloon<br />

in Ollenhauer Straße. Six years later, it moved<br />

to the nearby Fontane Haus cultural centre,<br />

where the bar, restaurant and venue has remained<br />

more or less unchanged since.<br />




SLOGAN: “OUR<br />



There are several homages to the American<br />

West in and around Berlin, like Spandau’s<br />

“Old Texas Town” and the popular El Dorado<br />

theme park in Brandenburg, but Lange’s is<br />

the only one to take an earnest stab at actual<br />

21st-century redneckery. Bras, panties and<br />

stuffed chickens hang from the ceiling alongside<br />

cowboy boots and a mirror-plated 10-gallon<br />

hat. A wall-mounted LED displays the<br />

bar’s official slogan: “Our beers are as cold as<br />

your ex-wife!” 1 The 14-page menu offers 335g<br />

burgers, “Brokeback Mountain” salad and the<br />

aforementioned Coors (the cheap alternative<br />

is the house “Moose Beer”, actually a<br />

bog-standard pilsner brewed by Wolters). It<br />

also serves as an almanac of truly heinous<br />

Denglish humour (“Onion rings = Zwiebel ruft<br />

an”) and advertises t-shirts printed with the<br />

phrase “I pee on toilet seats.”<br />

The only thing missing is a Confederate<br />

flag, and in fact, a giant one used to fly<br />

from the roof of the saloon’s predecessor in<br />

Ollenhauer Straße. “Until a couple of black<br />

guys walked in and asked if I was a Nazi or<br />

something,” Lange recalls. “But here in Germany,<br />

the ‘rebel flag’ doesn’t have anything to<br />

do with Nazism or hating foreigners. It’s just<br />

a lifestyle thing.” Granted, those attracted<br />

to that lifestyle tend to share certain sentiments,<br />

and it’s probably no accident that Berlin’s<br />

“Western” restaurants and attractions<br />

are located in its most conservative neighbourhoods.<br />

Reinickendorf, for example, had<br />

one of the highest proportions of right-wing<br />

voters in last month’s state elections.<br />

Tonight’s short on Confederate flags – or<br />

cowboys at all, for that matter. We’re here<br />

for the line dancing, of course, although if<br />

we’d come on a Saturday we could’ve caught<br />

a show by country-Schlager superstar Larry<br />

Schuba 2 . Tonight’s instructor is Natalie<br />

Redlitz, a 29-year-old radiologist who caught<br />

the line dancing bug at age 11 and boasts several<br />

world championship titles as a member<br />

of the Berlin-based dance club InCahoots.<br />

To our group of seven, she patiently demonstrates<br />

the choreography to “Boot Scootin’<br />

18<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>


Boogie”: three steps, 24 bars, repeat<br />

for the song’s duration or until your<br />

last shred of dignity has vanished. As<br />

we stumble over our own feet and<br />

Brooks & Dunn sing “Heel, toe, do-sido”<br />

for what feels like the 50th time,<br />

the lone man in the group flashes us<br />

a helpless “I’ve been dragged here by<br />

my wife” kind of look.<br />

The rest of the participants are 40-<br />

and 50-something nurses, teachers<br />

and business consultants, and when<br />

we ask them why they’re here we keep<br />

getting the same answer: “Because<br />

you don’t need a partner to dance.”<br />

Rather than the anticipated peek into<br />

Germany’s Western subculture, we’re<br />

getting an unvarnished look at life as a<br />

single, middle-aged woman in suburban<br />

Berlin. “Ten years ago, there were<br />

lots of people showing up in cowboy<br />

hats and boots,” Redlitz tells us when<br />

we express our puzzlement. “Now<br />

it’s women who come here on their<br />

own to make friends, have fun... The<br />

music’s getting more modern, too. It’s<br />

not just country anymore.”<br />

Sure enough, as the night progresses<br />

from “beginner” to “advanced”<br />

and the group swells to about 10, the<br />

music switches over to an electro<br />

cover of “Oh, Susanna!”, then to<br />

RedOne’s “Don’t You Need Somebody”.<br />

Unbelievably, we do see one<br />

cowboy-hatted German scooting his<br />

boots to the latter. Michael Künne is a<br />

salesman and recreational horse rider<br />

who also attends country meetups in<br />

Pullman City, the 200,000sqm Westernstadt<br />

in Harz, Bavaria. He started<br />

line dancing here seven years ago and<br />

enjoys it, even though, he says, “I’ve<br />

met real cowboys in America, and<br />

they’ve barely even heard of it.”<br />

Hobbyists like Künne are an exception<br />

at the Western Saloon these<br />

days, Lange sighs. “Ten, 15 years<br />

ago, they were everywhere, but now<br />

when someone like him comes in,<br />

it’s exotic.” He’s on the patio with<br />

his friend Lars Bethke, a country DJ<br />

and longtime regular, discussing the<br />

future of German country music. “It’s<br />

dying out,” Lange says 3 . “The only<br />

ones left are dinosaurs. Larry Schuba<br />

is how old, 65? How many more<br />

years does he have?” Is it because<br />

Americans just aren’t as fascinating<br />

anymore? Bethke, who grew up in<br />

Steglitz, thinks so. “I remember going<br />

out to the GI clubs, the ones where<br />

you could only pay in dollars and they<br />

only served American beer. They were<br />

playing all these country records I’d<br />

never heard before – you couldn’t<br />

buy them anywhere in Germany, but<br />

somehow they were here. It was like<br />

entering another world. But now all<br />

you’ve got to do is go on Youtube...”<br />

The increasing number of Berlin bars<br />

and restaurants owned by actual US<br />

expats hasn’t escaped Lange’s notice,<br />

but he has never been to White Trash<br />

Fast Food (see page 12) or The Bird<br />

(page 52). “They don’t have a parking<br />

lot, and I’m not much of a walker,” he<br />

says. Spoken like a true American.<br />

One reliable highlight of Lange’s<br />

year, at least, remains the Country<br />

Music Meeting, a weekend-long<br />

annual gathering of German and<br />

international country and Western<br />

enthusiasts that takes over the entire<br />

Fontane Haus. The next one is in<br />

February 2017, and he hands us a<br />

flyer for it. On the back are lyrics to<br />

a song Irish musician Padraic “Tiny”<br />

McNeela composed for the occasion:<br />

“You can sip Jack Daniels whisky,<br />

wear a hat like Daniel Boone<br />

And if ya wanna ‘sit a spell’, hit the<br />

Western Saloon<br />

We’re off to get some chicken<br />

wings, and a nice cold big Moose beer<br />

And we’d really like to see you all<br />

back again next year...” n<br />

Above: Participants<br />

in Natalie Redlitz´s<br />

intermediate line<br />

dancing course.<br />

1. Lange’s own ex-wife’s<br />

name is Heike, and he<br />

thanks her quite warmly<br />

in the liner notes to the<br />

<strong>2016</strong> compilation CD<br />

AWeSome 15 Years at<br />

the American Western<br />

Saloon.<br />

2. Larry Schuba’s discography<br />

comprises 20<br />

albums, all in German,<br />

including Barrooms,<br />

Bedrooms and Bad Bad<br />

Boys and Sex-A-Billy.<br />

3. “Like print magazines,”<br />

Lange adds later,<br />

poking the copy of<br />

Exberliner we gave him.<br />

Karolina Spolniewski<br />

ci<br />

<br />

h l<br />

<br />

<br />

die englischen<br />

j a h r e<br />

5.10.<strong>2016</strong> bis<br />

2 7 . 2 . 2 0 1 7<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />

19<br />

Lucia Moholy: Porträts von »Charlady« (Mrs. Palmer), Edward Garnett<br />

und Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett, 1936 © VG Bild-Kunst Bonn <strong>2016</strong>



SECRET<br />


David Shield came to Berlin to find<br />

out more about his beloved grandfather’s<br />

life before he fled Nazi<br />

Germany for Florida. He wasn’t<br />

prepared for what he’d discover...<br />

As told to Anna Gyulai Gaal<br />

In 2010, Floridian David Shield moved to<br />

Berlin – not for the usual reasons a 27-yearold<br />

budding film composer might do so, but<br />

to learn more about his beloved grandfather. He<br />

knew that Joseph Shield was born Josef Seidel in<br />

the German capital in 1921 and fled the country for<br />

the US in 1944, where he changed his last name.<br />

But Joseph had always been secretive about his<br />

German past. It wasn’t until David came to Berlin<br />

that he found out why. Now working as a barista<br />

in a hip Kreuzberg café, he told us his story.<br />

“I adored my grandfather as I was growing up. He<br />

would take me on fishing trips all over Florida,<br />

and we’d sit in a boat for hours – sometimes we’d<br />

even stay out all night. He taught me about plants<br />

and animals and told me so many great stories.<br />

I always thought he’d made them up, but now I<br />

know they were German fairytales.<br />

Grandpa was always a very reserved person. He<br />

wouldn’t talk about his difficulties at work or the<br />

fact that he’d been bullied throughout his whole<br />

life because of his very strong accent. He was in<br />

his late twenties when he arrived in the US and<br />

for some reason, he never managed to master the<br />

language. Even my brother would make fun of<br />

him sometimes. I remember really wanting him<br />

to tell me more about his childhood and early life<br />

because all we knew was that he’d come ‘from<br />

Europe’, but we didn’t know why or how.<br />

We often spent weekends at our grandparents’.<br />

One day Grandpa was napping and my<br />

brother and I were sitting in the kitchen drinking<br />

the hot chocolate my grandmother would<br />

always prepare for us – full-fat milk, real dark<br />

cocoa powder, lots of sugar and even marshmallows.<br />

I remember how on that day, after<br />

we nagged her, she finally decided to tell us:<br />

Grandpa was actually a Jew who hid in Germany<br />

until the situation got really bad, and he fled the<br />

country to America. She also said he had lost all<br />

his family in the war. I remember how sorry I<br />

felt for him. My dad knew already, but I think he<br />

just accepted it and didn’t necessarily want to<br />

know more details. Neither did my brother. I, on<br />

the other hand, was extremely curious! I was in<br />

sixth grade at the time, and from that day on, I<br />

would proudly tell people that my Grandpa Joseph<br />

was a hero and a survivor, and I was a Jew!<br />

I kept asking my grandmother, but it seemed<br />

she didn’t know more about her husband’s<br />

previous life either. My grandfather must have experienced<br />

so many terrible things before fleeing,<br />

we thought, that it felt natural that he wouldn’t<br />

want to wake those dark memories. Our family<br />

wasn’t really into opening Pandora’s box, anyway.<br />

Above: A teenage Josef<br />

Seidel (right) and his<br />

cousin, helping out on<br />

his grandfather’s farm<br />

in the mid-1930s.<br />

Right: Joseph Shield and<br />

his wife May honeymooning<br />

in Florida in the early<br />

1950s. May was pregnant<br />

with their first child.<br />

20<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>


I remember him sitting on the porch in the<br />

evenings, looking straight into nothing, and<br />

I kept thinking: I’ll take him back to Berlin<br />

one day, we’ll relive all of his bad and good<br />

memories and he’ll open up to me like he’d<br />

never opened up to anyone before! I really<br />

wanted to be that one special grandchild who<br />

had an exceptional connection with him.<br />

But I never got the chance. He died from<br />

cancer in 2008. After that, I gathered the few<br />

documents my grandfather had left. I knew<br />

his original name and I had a few old photos<br />

of him as a kid, surrounded by friends. I<br />

decided to apply for German citizenship – I<br />

knew from friends that as a descendant of<br />

Jews who fled to the US from Germany, I<br />

should have no problem. But they couldn’t<br />

find my grandfather’s name on the official records.<br />

Apparently he’d been presumed dead<br />

during the war. I told myself that he might<br />

not have wanted to talk about his religion<br />

upon his arrival in the US… I was determined<br />

to find all the answers.<br />

Finally, in the fall of 2010, I came to Berlin.<br />

All my hope rested on the one address where<br />

my family had lived before the war, near<br />

Tiergarten in Mitte. I found the house was<br />

miraculously still standing but, of course,<br />

the people who lived there before were long<br />

gone! So I turned to the American Jewish<br />

Committee for help. They were incredible,<br />

they really put so much work and effort into<br />

trying to unveil the identity of that young<br />

boy and his family. But it was fruitless. One<br />

day, I went to their office on Leipziger Platz<br />

to meet with the lady researching my case.<br />

After looking through all the results, she<br />

stood up and closed the door. She sat back in<br />

her chair and asked me very softly: ‘Are you<br />

sure your grandfather was on the victims’<br />

side of this war?’ I laughed at her, got very offended<br />

and left the office. I walked for hours<br />

that afternoon in Tiergarten, feeling disgusted.<br />

I was considering leaving right away,<br />

but eventually I decided to stay and find out<br />

more. Otherwise, I knew it would bother me<br />

for the rest of my life.<br />

I waited in lines from one Amt to the<br />

next, dealing with unsympathetic bureaucrats.<br />

I didn’t speak any German back<br />

then, and they made little effort to speak<br />

English. But then there were all these<br />

old people who’d invite me in for coffee<br />

and start to show me old photos, which<br />

usually just turned out to be of their own<br />

families and children and grandchildren.<br />

Old people love to talk about their lives,<br />

especially if they’re lonely, so I eventually<br />

learned a lot about Berlin during the<br />

war: the bombing, the Nazi concentration<br />

camps in Prenzlauer Berg, how you used to<br />

be able to hear people screaming around<br />

the water tower area… But still nothing<br />

about my own grandfather!<br />

Finally, the Bürgeramt in Prenzlauer<br />

Berg gave me one of my grandfather’s last<br />

addresses, where his family had lived till<br />

about 1935, a building on the northern end of<br />

Prenzlauer Allee all the way on the edge of<br />

Weissensee. It was already spring 2011 when<br />

I rang Elizabeth Stock’s doorbell. And then...<br />

it turned out she knew my family! She was<br />

young at the time, only seven or eight years<br />

old, but she remembered my grandfather,<br />

“SHE STOOD UP,<br />








who’d been around 14 then. She befriended<br />

Elke, his sister, who was 10 – they would play<br />

together in the small back garden while their<br />

mothers would share cooking tips. Elizabeth<br />

told me how beautiful my great-grandmother<br />

was, and that my great-grandfather was a very<br />

loud man. They even knew that he was hitting<br />

his kids with his belt – sometimes Joseph<br />

would even show the marks on his side. I<br />

couldn’t believe it! She showed me more<br />

photos of the years they’d all lived there. We<br />

talked for hours, and eventually I asked her<br />

about how it had been possible for these Jews<br />

to hide for so long and finally escape. Elizabeth<br />

looked at me with these big, questioning<br />

eyes and she said, ‘The Seidels were not<br />

Jewish, my dear. The father and the son both<br />

joined the SS. My father often talked about<br />

them later, saying what a shame it was that<br />

they turned so easily.’<br />

I didn’t know what to say. For a moment,<br />

I thought she must be mixing them up with<br />

someone else, or that she had dementia,<br />

or… anything! But she looked so convinced…<br />

After I left her house I called my dad back in<br />

Florida and told him what the lady had said.<br />

He was just as doubtful as I was. Grandpa<br />

was such a gentle, quiet man, he said, donating<br />

to Vietnam War veterans, always giving a<br />

few cents to the homeless in town. He could<br />

have never done anything bad to anyone! It<br />

reassured me, but not for long. The next day<br />

my dad called me crying and said it all made<br />

sense to him somehow. He said Grandpa was<br />

always refusing to watch or read anything<br />

about World War II, especially when it came<br />

to footage of Berlin. He would switch the TV<br />

off. Suddenly, it made sense why he was so<br />

reserved about his past, why he never wanted<br />

to be part of the Jewish community in<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />



America even though it would have been<br />

more than safe in Florida.<br />

So I continued researching, going through<br />

Elizabeth to other people who used to know<br />

my family. At the Potsdam public library,<br />

I found a lot of data on Nazi followers<br />

and Hitler’s military, notes on attacks and<br />

battles, lists of Jews they rounded up and put<br />

in camps around Berlin and other German<br />

cities and the list of soldiers completing the<br />

orders. From all of these sources and stories<br />

people told, I figured out that Grandpa<br />

Joseph, aka Josef Seidel, had been part of the<br />

Hitler Youth movement. Then, in 1940, he<br />

joined the SS at the age of 19, alongside his<br />

father Hendrik. He took part in several missions<br />

to round up Jews in Germany and force<br />

them into concentration camps. He probably<br />

later fought in Denmark and Norway,<br />

although we couldn’t find out for sure. What<br />

was for certain, was that he was a Nazi.<br />

My father eventually also came to Berlin<br />

to help me fill in the blanks. We learned<br />

Joseph’s father was killed in the British<br />

bombing of Hamburg in 1943. Joseph would<br />

have returned to Berlin and found his old<br />

flat abandoned and looted. With his father<br />

dead and his mother and sister missing, he<br />

probably started fearing for his own life.<br />

Apparently many SS people got scared at the<br />

beginning of 1944 and were trying to hide<br />

and escape. We heard that if you had some<br />

money, it was possible to get fake papers and<br />

get smuggled through the borders, but there<br />

was no exact information on his escape. He<br />

just disappeared, so they put him on the<br />

list of dead. But he was very much alive for<br />

another 64 years!<br />

How could he keep it a secret for so long?<br />

How could we all not have known about this?<br />

I was devastated for a long time. I actually<br />

kept seeing Elizabeth till the day she died<br />

two years ago. I wanted to hear nice stories<br />

about how they played and that Joseph was a<br />

handsome, kind and generous boy, but very<br />

scared of his father. She told me how, as the<br />

situation got worse in Berlin and the war was<br />

about to begin, their families would share<br />

what they had and they’d often have dinner<br />

together. I slowly accepted the truth. The<br />

truth that the grandfather I had idolised had<br />

followed Hitler. That my grandfather was in<br />

the SS. The truth that he was a Nazi.<br />

I felt ashamed, and it took me years till I was<br />

actually able to tell other people. One person<br />

I never told the truth to is my grandmother.<br />

Somehow she must have suspected something,<br />

but she never wanted to know more. Our family<br />

in general wasn’t the curious type, so that’s<br />

what we got used to: not to ask.” n<br />









FOR ANOTHER 64<br />

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all advantages for EURO 15 per year<br />

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www.ClassicCard.de<br />

> for all under 30s


PAGE 23 GIRL<br />

Blue skies, books<br />

and Berghain<br />

Our brand new series spotlights<br />

Berlin’s Powerfrauen. This<br />

month: Kimberly Marteau<br />

Emerson is an American attorney<br />

and human rights activist<br />

(Human Rights Watch), a mum<br />

of three daughters and wife of<br />

US Ambassador to Germany<br />

John B. Emerson.<br />

One sentence that proves you’re a woman!<br />

“It makes me feel more powerful to look<br />

good while doing good.” I don’t agree with<br />

women who think that if you like to dress<br />

stylishly and groom yourself smartly, it<br />

makes you less serious. It’s important not to<br />

be self-conscious about style, but to absolutely<br />

embrace this fun and wonderful tool<br />

of self-expression.<br />

How do you define being a feminist<br />

today? Intuitive, self-possessed,<br />

confident, unhindered by gender<br />

norms. Having a seat at the economic<br />

and/or political power table.<br />

Your most treasured possession? My diary.<br />

I started it two and a half years ago, and I<br />

write a few sentences every day. Hopefully<br />

one day it’ll be a basis for a book on the<br />

many roles I have played here!<br />

What are you afraid of? The lack of empathy<br />

in the world, and arriving at the tennis court<br />

as it begins to rain.<br />

What’s your idea of ultimate freedom? Blue<br />

sky, one metre of fresh powder, tuned skis<br />

and a long, untracked slope in front of me.<br />

Take off!<br />

What superpower would you like to have and<br />

how would you use it? The power to heal<br />

bodies, hearts and minds... and flying would<br />

be cool, too.<br />

What’s currently on your bedside table?<br />

Scott Anderson’s Lawrence in Arabia: War,<br />

Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the<br />

Modern Middle East, Anthony Doerr’s All<br />

the Light We Cannot See, my mobile, iPad, a<br />

bottle of water and earplugs.<br />

Your craziest Berlin adventure: A night<br />

at Berghain with Claire Danes and Hugh<br />

Dancy... That’s all I can say. What happens<br />

at Berghain stays at Berghain! n<br />

Emerson speaks at Women & Leadership:<br />

The Path Ahead on Wed, Oct 12, 7pm at<br />

the Volkswagen Group Forum.<br />

The best/worst thing about<br />

being a woman? Best: high<br />

heels. Worst: high heels.<br />

The most sexist question<br />

you’ve ever been asked?<br />

It’s too outrageous to<br />

repeat here.<br />

Who are you named<br />

after? Kim Novak,<br />

the famous American<br />

actress from the 1950s.<br />

Photo: Karolina Spolniewski<br />

Last time you laughed out<br />

loud? I look for the humour<br />

in life, so my hearty laugh can be<br />

heard frequently. A few days ago at<br />

a cocktail party, my girlfriend asked a<br />

server for a glass of champagne. He shook<br />

his head and said, “No, we don’t have it.”<br />

Then he winked and added: “I want some,<br />

too!” That cracked me up. It’s so very Berlin.<br />

An offer you can’t say no to? An invitation<br />

to talk about Human Rights Watch... and<br />

almost any opportunity to dance!<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong><br />


ADVERTORIAL — Shopping in Berlin<br />

Iittala: Timeless Design<br />

In the market for unique, beautiful houseware that will last a lifetime?<br />

Look no further than Iittala, an outpost of Finnish and Nordic design<br />

with three locations here in Berlin.<br />

Upon entering Iittala’s flagship<br />

German store, located on bustling<br />

Friedrichstraße, you are met with<br />

timeless elegance at every angle your curious<br />

head might turn. The home accessories<br />

that garnish the shelves ooze luxury.<br />

They look almost too good to touch. But<br />

be brave – get your fingers on those beautiful<br />

bowls! In fact it’s their hardiness and<br />

durability that’s the other half of the Iittala<br />

charm. Because that’s the company philosophy:<br />

designer home accessories that<br />

will last a lifetime.<br />

The company, named after the small<br />

Finnish town where it was founded back<br />

in 1881, is proud of its design heritage,<br />

and shares this with its customers. With<br />

each collection, you’ll find information<br />

about the designer and the year of conception.<br />

In fact, nearly all of their ranges<br />

herald from the 20th century, proving<br />

that the timelessness of the products continues<br />

to transcend.<br />

Products such as their famous Aalto<br />

vase, this year celebrating its 80th<br />

birthday, establish the company concept<br />

perfectly. First designed in 1936 by architect<br />

Alvar Aalto and inspired by Finnish<br />

lakes, the vase is still mouth-blown in<br />

the company’s factory in Finland. You<br />

can even visit the factory and have a look<br />

for yourself if you fancy the journey! The<br />

vase is now their best-selling item, and<br />

has grown to become a statement piece.<br />

Below: Iittala’s famous<br />

“Aalto” vase celebrates its<br />

80th birthday this year.<br />


ADVERTORIAL — Shopping in Berlin<br />

Each year Iittala<br />

re-releases the<br />

vase, using bold,<br />

tasteful colours to<br />

reinvent the Aalto<br />

again and again.<br />

Above: Originally designed<br />

in 1964, the Kastehelmi<br />

Votive is still stylish.<br />

Each year the company re-releases the vase,<br />

using bold, tasteful colours to reinvent the Aalto<br />

again and again.<br />

Iittala’s mindfulness for the ‘right now’ is one<br />

of the reasons why customers still put faith in<br />

their products. Constantly staying true to their<br />

designs while constantly making minimal changes<br />

keeps them up-to-date. From their seasonal<br />

ranges to their Moomin collection (featuring<br />

Finland’s most famous cartoon export), Iittala<br />

adapts to your wants and needs.<br />

Torben Pahl, manager of Iittala’s Friedrichstraße<br />

branch, told us of his own ‘love for the<br />

Finnish work ethic, of creating and delivering a<br />

good quality product that speaks for itself. Other<br />

home accessory stores that have a long heritage<br />

tend to stick to a traditional image.’ But Iittala<br />

is very much aware of the 21st century, demonstrated<br />

most recently through their collaboration<br />

with Issey Miyake. The famed Japanese designer<br />

has created an exclusive range of textiles and ceramics<br />

that blend his own renowned design style<br />

with Iittala eclecticism. The fusion of Japanese<br />

feng shui with Nordic cool is elegance optimised!<br />

Here in Berlin, they’re even having a party to<br />

celebrate on <strong>October</strong> 29 (10am-7pm), with plenty<br />

of Asian food to go around.<br />

With three outlets here in Berlin alone (Friedrichstraße,<br />

Münzstraße and KaDeWe), Iittala has<br />

been promoting Nordic elegance in design since<br />

it first opened doors here in Germany back in<br />

2008. So indulge, and buy yourself something<br />

that is more than just a product, but a concept<br />

that has been building itself since 1881. n<br />

Above: Torben Pahl, store manager, is passionate<br />

about being involved with the Finnish brand.<br />

Right: The flagship<br />

store in Friedrichstraße<br />

is a mecca<br />

of Finnish design.<br />



WHAT’S ON — How Berlin Got The Blues<br />



Interview<br />

Film and concert,<br />

Oct 12, 20:00, Babylon<br />

Kino, Mitte<br />

The blues propagandist<br />

Eb Davis in six dates<br />

1943: Born in Elaine,<br />

Arkansas.<br />

1954: Moves to<br />

Memphis and starts<br />

playing music.<br />

1966: Moves to<br />

New York City to<br />

continue his blues<br />

career.<br />

1981: Sent to West<br />

Berlin by the US<br />

military.<br />

1986: Starts playing<br />

music and lecturing<br />

in East Germany.<br />

1994: After leaving<br />

the army, forms the<br />

Eb Davis Superband<br />

in Berlin.<br />

In Cold War Berlin, Arkansas-born musician and<br />

military communications officer Ebylee “Eb” Davis<br />

was sent on special expeditions behind the Wall.<br />

His mission? To bring East Berliners the blues.<br />

By René Blixer. Additional reporting by Dani Arbid.<br />

Davis’ unique story is told in<br />

the new documentary How<br />

Berlin Got The Blues. Victoria<br />

Luther’s film sees its European<br />

premiere at Babylon on <strong>October</strong> 12,<br />

followed by a concert from the man<br />

himself, now 73 and performing<br />

with his “Superband”. The singer sat<br />

down with us at his house in Zehlendorf<br />

where he lives with his German<br />

wife Nina, a blues pianist herself.<br />

How did you get into the blues?<br />

The first time I heard blues, it was<br />

back home in Arkansas. I was maybe<br />

six or seven years old. There was a<br />

guy living next door to us. He was a<br />

guitar player, singer. I’d come home<br />

from school and he’d be sitting out<br />

there playing, singing... I went to the<br />

house and asked my mother what<br />

he was playing because I’d only ever<br />

heard gospel or country music, and<br />

it didn’t touch me like what he was<br />

doing. She said, “Well, that’s blues,<br />

you stay away from that.”<br />

What was it that touched you so<br />

much? The church was singing<br />

about the pie in the sky, and this<br />

guy was singing, you know, the<br />

pie in the sky is good, but I want<br />

a piece of pie now, with some ice<br />

cream on top of it. That got me<br />

more. And then I moved to Memphis,<br />

and there were guys like BB<br />

King just hanging around... There<br />

was another guy who was a preacher,<br />

but a blues singer at night. One<br />

time I told him, “I’ve been taught<br />

that you can’t serve on both sides.”<br />

And he said, “Boy, let me tell you<br />

something. There is no big difference<br />

between gospel and the blues,<br />

only the words.” The preacher gets<br />

up and says “Oh God.” Then when<br />

you’re singing the blues it’s “Oh<br />

baby.” It’s the same thing. It’s the<br />

yearning.<br />

But then you joined the army, at<br />

16, even lying about your age to<br />

get in. How come? Back then you’d<br />

get drafted, and then you had no<br />

choice, they just put you somewhere.<br />

If you volunteered, though,<br />

they gave you some choices. So I<br />

chose New Mexico, and I did music<br />

at the same time – I had a band<br />

in the army. When I finished with<br />

those three years, I went back to<br />

Memphis and went full time with<br />

the music. There was a record producer<br />

who took me to New York. I<br />

put together a band there, The Soul<br />

Groovers – we were the house band<br />

at his club in Brooklyn for quite<br />

a while. But then came the disco<br />

boom, and that put us out of work.<br />

All the people said, “Why should I<br />

pay all this money for a band when<br />

I can pay one guy just to stand<br />

there?” Disco killed live music. So I<br />

went back into the military.<br />

26<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

WHAT’S ON — How Berlin Got The Blues<br />

And that’s when you got sent to West<br />

Berlin... I didn’t want to come to Berlin!<br />

I wanted to go into southern Germany! I<br />

said, it’s a divided city, behind the Wall and<br />

all that stuff. But they said, who asked you?<br />

What did you do here, officially? I got<br />

hired by this unit called the United States<br />

Liaison Mission. It was an interesting unit<br />

because it was the only unit where the<br />

military could cross over the Glienicke<br />

Bridge, now called the Bridge of Spies<br />

[between the American Sector in Wannsee<br />

and Potsdam in East Germany]. We had<br />

what’s called a safe house there in the East<br />

– the Russians had theirs in West Germany.<br />

I was just working as a reports civilian. The<br />

guys would go out and get the information,<br />

and I would be one of the people who would<br />

type it up. We had one guy review it, then it<br />

would be transferred over to Langley, to DC.<br />

What was it like to be an African American<br />

in Berlin at the time? It was fantastic!<br />

When I first came I met a lot of older people,<br />

older Germans, and they would explain<br />

the love that they had for black Americans.<br />

Back when they were kids the city was<br />

totally destroyed and they had nothing, so<br />

they’d go up to the US military compounds<br />

to see if they could get something. They<br />

said only the black guys would give them<br />

food – the white guys would chase them<br />

away, throw rocks at them. But that was<br />

back then. Of course, the younger ones<br />

don’t remember anything like that today.<br />

You started playing music with a German<br />

group called the Bayou Blues Band... Yeah<br />

it was a nine-piece with horns and stuff<br />

like that. The bandleader made yearly trips<br />

to New Orleans... they’d done their homework!<br />

I sat in with them one night, and<br />

after that he said, “We’ve been looking for<br />

someone like you.” So I started doing the<br />

military thing by day and working the West<br />

Berlin club circuit at night. The majority of<br />

the people at the shows were Germans and<br />

for a lot of them it was just curiosity, to see<br />

a black American doing blues.<br />

Whose idea was it to send you to East<br />

Germany? I was approached by the State<br />

Department, but who exactly invited me,<br />

I don’t know. They just said, we notice<br />

you speak pretty good, so we would like<br />

you to go to some of the universities and<br />

give speeches about American culture and<br />

stuff like that, and then you play a little<br />

bit of music after. The first one I did was<br />

at a university in Halle. Did something at<br />

Humboldt, in Leipzig as well. Days before<br />

the Wall came down, I was playing at Palast<br />

der Republik.<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />

“I knew why I was sent<br />

there. They were all told,<br />

‘America is this, America<br />

is that, black people are<br />

still slaves.’ I was used to<br />

counteract that.”<br />

Did you know you were being used as a<br />

political tool? I knew why I was sent there.<br />

They were all told, “America is this, America<br />

is that, black people are still slaves.” I was<br />

used to counteract that. I told my boss, “Sir,<br />

if you think that I’m smart enough that you<br />

put me in this job, don’t you think I’m also<br />

smart enough to figure out why y’all sending<br />

me all over the East?” He said, “Well, you<br />

know, my orders come from above, too.” But<br />

for me it was okay. It was exciting.<br />

So was it okay with the East Germans<br />

for you to cross over to play? I couldn’t<br />

just say “I’m going over.” It had to be approved,<br />

of course. When I went over to a<br />

gig I always had to have one American and<br />

two Russian escorts. They would stay there<br />

the whole time, and when the gig was over<br />

they would escort me back to the border to<br />

make sure I stepped over the line without<br />

speaking to anybody.<br />

Did they like the music? Some of them did.<br />

But you couldn’t really tell because there<br />

would be some head sergeant or something<br />

standing in front, and when you finished<br />

a song the guy would go like this [lifts up<br />

hands] and then like this [brings hands<br />

down]. Then you’d play the next song. They<br />

were told when to applaud. The guy would<br />

give the applause signal.<br />

What happened to your unit after the<br />

Wall came down? Well, they didn’t have any<br />

use for us anymore, so they were giving people<br />

money to leave. They called me into the<br />

office and asked me, “Do you want to take<br />

your chance and stay in, or take the money<br />

and run? If you stay in, we might throw you<br />

out anyway.” I said, “Okay, I like money.”<br />

Why did you decide to stay in Berlin? I<br />

was quite established in the music scene<br />

here. Plus, I was getting a lot of offers from<br />

Switzerland, Sweden, France, Spain... I<br />

thought I could always go back once a year<br />

for a gig in the US, and that’s what we normally<br />

do now. But Berlin is the home base.<br />

In the United States they don’t see blues as<br />

an art form; here, they do. n<br />

From Sep. 15th<br />

to <strong>October</strong> 16th<br />

office<br />

for postidentical<br />

living<br />

(Büro für postidentisches Leben)<br />

A Speculation about Freedom<br />

A German-Spanish-Catalan<br />

team under the direction of<br />

Matthias Rebstock is opening<br />



seven young creative people<br />

will develop surprising<br />

questions and answers to<br />

what keeps us together at<br />

our core: freedom, borders<br />

and identity.<br />

In English, German and<br />

Spanish – with German<br />

surtitles<br />

neukoellneroper.de<br />

Karl-Marx-Str. 131–133<br />

D-12043 Berlin<br />

Tel.: 030 / 68 89 07 77<br />


WHAT’S ON — Film<br />

Editor’s Choice<br />

Secrets and lies<br />

A trio of this month’s releases are built around fiercely<br />

guarded truths and acts of deception. By Paul O’Callaghan<br />

Frantz<br />

Greats by Garrel<br />

All month, Arsenal<br />

presents the first<br />

German retrospective<br />

of work by the French<br />

master Philippe<br />

Garrel, including<br />

collaborations with<br />

Warhol superstar<br />

Nico, his muse and<br />

former partner.<br />

Cult Kung Fu<br />

Fresh from his appearance<br />

at Comic<br />

Con Berlin, legendary<br />

martial artist Taimak<br />

will introduce the film<br />

that made his name,<br />

1985 cult classic The<br />

Last Dragon. Oct 21,<br />

Babylon Kino<br />

A visit from Wenders<br />

On Oct 11, none other<br />

than Wim Wenders<br />

will head to Lichtblick<br />

Kino to introduce<br />

a newly restored<br />

version of his sublime<br />

1977 neo-noir The<br />

American Friend.<br />

European Art Cinema Day<br />

On Oct 9, over 1000<br />

cinemas across Europe<br />

will celebrate the<br />

diversity of European<br />

film with a programme<br />

of previews, old<br />

favourites and kids’<br />

films. Participating<br />

Berlin venues include<br />

every member of the<br />

Yorck group.<br />

Adrien (Pierre Niney), the<br />

mysterious stranger at the<br />

heart of François Ozon’s<br />

lavish period melodrama Frantz,<br />

harbours an all-consuming secret.<br />

The young Frenchman’s arrival in a<br />

small German town arouses intrigue<br />

and hostility among residents still<br />

processing the fallout of World War<br />

I. The plot thickens when local girl<br />

Anna (Paula Beer) spots Adrien<br />

leaving flowers on the grave of her<br />

late fiancé. Those familiar with<br />

Ozon’s back catalogue might think<br />

they know exactly where this is<br />

heading, but after a spot of wilful<br />

misdirection, it becomes apparent<br />

that this is an instance of the<br />

queer auteur playing it straight. By<br />

confiding in Anna, Adrien partially<br />

alleviates his own guilt, but makes<br />

his secret her cross to bear.<br />

Loosely based on Ernst Lubitsch’s<br />

Broken Lullaby, the film<br />

does a fine job of evoking the stiff<br />

formality and repressed emotion of<br />

a bygone era. But despite a nuanced<br />

central performance from Beer,<br />

the filmmaking is too mannered<br />

and meticulous to allow much of<br />

an emotional connection. Heavyhanded<br />

visual motifs and a syrupy<br />

string score push things further<br />

towards middlebrow mediocrity.<br />

Perhaps most damaging of all, it’s<br />

nigh-on impossible to watch this<br />

monochrome portrait of early-20thcentury<br />

Germany without thinking<br />

back to Michael Haneke’s infinitely<br />

more daring The White Ribbon.<br />

While Adrien’s motives for<br />

guarding his secret are understandable,<br />

the same can’t be said for Edward<br />

Ruscha, the enigmatic subject<br />

of Where is Rocky II? In 1979, the<br />

revered American artist created a<br />

sculpture of a boulder – the “Rocky<br />

II” of the title – and hid it in the<br />

Mojave Desert, where it would be<br />

impossible to spot among real rock<br />

formations. Fellow artist Pierre<br />

Bismuth (see page 30) was fascinated<br />

to find that, decades later,<br />

Ruscha was completely unwilling<br />

to discuss the project. That discovery<br />

planted the seed for this deviously<br />

slippery quasi-documentary,<br />

which sees Bismuth hire a cleancut<br />

private detective to locate the<br />

rock, and a pair of screenwriters<br />

to speculate wildly about what<br />

Ruscha might have to hide.<br />

Bismuth is best known as the<br />

Oscar-winning co-writer of Michel<br />

Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless<br />

Mind, and Gondry’s influence<br />

can be felt all over the relentlessly<br />

idiosyncratic Swiss Army Man. The<br />

striking feature debut by Dan Kwan<br />

and Daniel Scheinert has become<br />

one of the year’s most-discussed<br />

indie films thanks to its outlandish<br />

premise – a man named Hank<br />

(Paul Dano) stranded on a desert<br />

island discovers a flatulent corpse<br />

(Daniel Radcliffe), rides it like a jetski<br />

to safety, and befriends it once<br />

it magically stirs back to life. The<br />

big narrative-driving secret here is<br />

Hank’s back story: for the majority<br />

of the time, we’re offered no explanation<br />

as to how he ended up in<br />

such dire circumstances. The film's<br />

flashes of inspired originality are too<br />

often outweighed by an irritating<br />

tendency towards whimsy, but once<br />

Hank is forced to confront his own<br />

past, the darker final scenes pack an<br />

unexpected punch. For once, that<br />

hoary critic’s cliché bears some truth<br />

– you’ve never seen something quite<br />

like this before. n<br />

Starts Sep 29 Frantz HH D: François Ozon (France, Germany <strong>2016</strong>)<br />

with Paula Beer, Pierre Niney | Starts Oct 13 Swiss Army Man HHH D:<br />

Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert (USA <strong>2016</strong>) with Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe |<br />

Starts Oct 20 Where is Rocky II? HHHH D: Pierre Bismuth (France, Germany,<br />

Belgium, Italy <strong>2016</strong>) documentary<br />

28<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

WHAT’S ON — Film<br />

Review<br />

Notes On Blindness<br />

Worth a thousand words<br />

Documentary festival Doku.Arts returns<br />

with a focus on game-changing essay films.<br />

One of the most reliably compelling shindigs in the Berlin<br />

film calendar is back for a landmark 10th instalment, under<br />

the moniker “Essaydox” and with video essays on the<br />

mind. The fest opens strong with the acclaimed Note on Blindness,<br />

a compassionate, formally daring work which takes the personal<br />

audio recordings of the late Australian theologian John Hull, who<br />

went blind at the age of 45, and brings them to the screen via lipsynched<br />

actors and evocative cinematography. Also screening Oct<br />

7 and 11, it’ll be accompanied by English-language narration for<br />

blind audience members and even its own VR app. Closing night<br />

selection Beyond Zero: 1914-1918, the latest by film archaeologist<br />

Bill Morrison, arranges damaged footage from WWI to Aleksandra<br />

Vrebalov’s disjointed string compositions, using the degradation<br />

of celluloid to remind us of the otherworldly trauma of war. In<br />

between these tentpole screenings, check out an examination of<br />

Samuel Beckett’s foray into filmmaking (Notfilm: a Kino-Essay by<br />

Ross Lipman); a riveting account of ethnographer Ella Maillart’s<br />

1939 journey to Afghanistan (Ella Maillart – Double Journey); and a<br />

master class with late American auteur Sidney Lumet (By Sidney<br />

Lumet)... and so much more! — Rory O'Connor<br />

Doku.Arts Oct 6-23 Zeughauskino, Mitte<br />

Peter Middleton/James Spinney<br />

Preview<br />

Tear jerkers<br />

The PornFilmFestival is back, and it's<br />

time to get out the tissues.<br />

Not like that, you perv – you'll need the Kleenex for the<br />

touching, troubling features on offer this year, from the<br />

explicit yet heartwarming Berlinale fave Théo & Hugo to Todd<br />

Verow’s heartbreaking tale of artists, gentrification and<br />

loneliness (co-starring Penny Arcade!), This Side of Heaven,<br />

to Europe, She Loves, a take on intimacy during economic<br />

hardship. Documentaries also tug at the soft spots, even for<br />

terrifying reasons, like the excellent Chemsex, about gay sex<br />

and hard drugs. For long-term hope, gay old-age docs Sex and<br />

the Silver Gays and Desert Migration will do the trick. What of<br />

“porn” porn? The feminists are in your face with opening film<br />

The Bedroom and Michelle Flynn’s Momentum Vol. 4. Three<br />

focusses take centre stage: AIDS, racial politics and, uh, virtual<br />

reality! A host of lectures, workshops and a party are all there<br />

to stimulate hearts, minds and crotches, so don’t miss out.<br />

Full preview at exberliner.com. — Walter Crasshole<br />

PornFilmFestival Oct 26-30 Kino Moviemento, Kreuzberg<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong>

Brussels-based artist Pierre Bismuth on his playful<br />

and confounding quasi-documentary Where is Rocky II?<br />

By Paul O’Callaghan<br />

WHAT’S ON — Film<br />

“It was not my intention to<br />

do something this weird!”<br />

Saint Amour<br />

D: Benoît Delépine,<br />

Gustave de Kervern<br />

(France, Belgium, <strong>2016</strong>)<br />

HHH<br />

The directors of<br />

Mammuth return with<br />

this broad, silly and<br />

surprisingly touching<br />

riff on Alexander<br />

Payne’s Sideways,<br />

featuring Gérard Depardieu's<br />

strongest<br />

performance in years<br />

as an ageing farmer<br />

trying to reconnect<br />

with his feckless son.<br />

Starts Oct 13.<br />

Sausage Party<br />

D: Conrad Vernon, Greg<br />

Tiernan (USA, <strong>2016</strong>)<br />

HH<br />

This outlandish<br />

animated tale of sentient<br />

edibles realising<br />

their grim fate offers<br />

a few surprisingly<br />

smart laughs, but<br />

soon gets stuck in a<br />

profanity cul-de-sac.<br />

Starts Oct 6.<br />

What happened to Edward<br />

Ruscha’s 1979 sculpture<br />

of a boulder hidden in<br />

California's Mojave Desert, and why<br />

is Ruscha so secretive about the<br />

project now? Bismuth attempts to<br />

find out in a film that deftly explores<br />

the way secrets and intangible truths<br />

stoke the fires of creativity.<br />

When did you first learn about<br />

“Rocky II”? I first read about it in<br />

2006, and I soon realised that no<br />

one in the art world knew about the<br />

piece. I persuaded a friend of mine<br />

to ask Ed Ruscha about it, but Ed<br />

really didn’t want to discuss it. So I<br />

thought that was extremely weird. In<br />

2009 I went to London to confront<br />

Ed directly during a press conference.<br />

I felt that if I made the film<br />

without evidence, nobody would<br />

believe the piece existed. The confrontation<br />

was perfect, because you<br />

can see the surprise in his eyes – he’s<br />

taken aback by the fact that I know<br />

about it. That was exactly what I<br />

needed to start the movie.<br />

How did you envisage your film at<br />

that point? The initial project was<br />

an art movie, a slow journey into<br />

the desert to look for something<br />

that was impossible to find. Then I<br />

moved towards the idea of a documentary,<br />

but I found myself simultaneously<br />

moving away from the conventions<br />

of the form. The finished<br />

film is really about the different<br />

regime of reality we’re confronted<br />

with in TV and film. I’d noticed<br />

that filmmakers often have to add<br />

signs of reality to make the audience<br />

believe that something‘s genuine. I<br />

decided to respect the documentary<br />

methology of unscripted events, but<br />

hide the signs of reality where possible.<br />

Would the audience still perceive<br />

it as true, or would we destroy<br />

the feeling of authenticity? That was<br />

the game I wanted to play.<br />

And why decide to depict screenwriters<br />

creating fiction based on<br />

the story? There were two questions<br />

I wanted answers to – where is the<br />

piece, and why did this artist decide<br />

to create something that was totally<br />

invisible? When I started casting for<br />

the detective, I found people who’d<br />

be able to find the piece, but wouldn’t<br />

necessarily be able to answer the question<br />

of meaning. Because the private<br />

detective is such a common cinematic<br />

element, I realised I already had one<br />

foot in the film world. That led me to<br />

think that the best people to explore<br />

the meaning would be screenwriters.<br />

What was it about Michael Scott<br />

that won him the private detective<br />

role? The main reason is that he was<br />

very square! He’s an ex-army officer<br />

and ex-policeman, totally overqualified<br />

for the job. I liked the fact that<br />

he made no judgement about the<br />

case – he didn’t think it was stupid.<br />

Did you know in advance that<br />

you’d be pairing him up with Jim<br />

Ganzer, the founder of skate brand<br />

Jimmy’z and inspiration for The<br />

Dude in The Big Lebowski? The<br />

way it appears in the film is exactly<br />

how it was. Michael really wanted<br />

to find Jim after flying to London<br />

and watching him in an old BBC<br />

documentary about Ruscha. And Jim<br />

turned out to be this totally amazing<br />

character. What I didn’t expect is<br />

that Michael would somehow fall in<br />

love with him – it was great to watch.<br />

Was it always your goal to make<br />

something this unusual? To be<br />

honest, I just thought I was making<br />

a documentary with a little twist. It<br />

was not my intention to do something<br />

this weird! The strange thing<br />

is if you try and explain the film,<br />

it sounds like something that not<br />

many people would be interested in.<br />

But the reaction we’ve seen at festivals<br />

is that audiences find it very<br />

entertaining and easy to follow. n<br />

Welcome to Norway!<br />

D: Rune Denstad Langlo<br />

(Norway, <strong>2016</strong>)<br />

HHHH<br />

This wonderfully wry<br />

migrant crisis comedy<br />

follows the exploits<br />

of a casually racist<br />

wannabe entrepreneur<br />

as he attempts<br />

to convert his family’s<br />

hotel into a refugee<br />

centre. Starts Oct 13.<br />

30<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

WHAT’S ON — Film<br />

Reviews<br />

his motley crew on a road trip through the<br />

backwaters of the Midwest, with a 16-seater<br />

van as their vessel, and a soundtrack<br />

that spans country, rock, hip-hop and<br />

Rihanna to carry them along. Working once<br />

again with masterly cinematographer Robbie<br />

Ryan, Arnold forges her own raw brand<br />

of Americana and, in the process, delivers<br />

perhaps the freshest film about young<br />

people in America since Larry Clark’s Kids<br />

in 1995. A triumph. — ROC<br />

Starts Oct 20<br />

Parched<br />

Starts Sep 29<br />

War Dogs<br />

D: Todd Phillips (USA <strong>2016</strong>) with Jonah Hill,<br />

Miles Teller<br />

HHH<br />

Based on a true story first published in<br />

Rolling Stone, War Dogs tells the tale of<br />

two bros who lie, scam and skew their<br />

moral compasses to become big-money<br />

arms dealers for troops in post-9/11 Iraq<br />

and Afghanistan. Phillips (The Hangover)<br />

breaks new ground by helming an amorality<br />

tale that nakedly yearns to be this<br />

generation’s Goodfellas: a crime drama<br />

about the warped pursuit of the American<br />

Dream, laced with slick comedic beats<br />

and voiceover narration. He emulates but<br />

fails to equal Scorsese’s significantly more<br />

ambitious efforts – the film frequently feels<br />

devoid of substance, and lacks insight<br />

into how governments and corporations<br />

benefit from conflict. Thankfully, Jonah<br />

Hill justifies the price of admission, stealing<br />

the show with his larger-than-life, scenerychewing<br />

turn as a progressively sinister<br />

antihero. — David Mouriquand<br />

Starts Oct 13<br />

American Honey<br />

D: Andrea Arnold (USA <strong>2016</strong>) with Sasha Lane,<br />

Shia LaBeouf<br />

HHHHH<br />

Arnold wrestles with the American Dream<br />

in this seductive head-rush of a road<br />

movie, her first film set Stateside. Star<br />

(newcomer Sasha Lane) is a young woman<br />

stuck in a bad relationship and a nowhere<br />

town, until she meets Jake (Shia LaBeouf),<br />

the enigmatic, Bill Sikes-esque ringleader<br />

of a gang of teenage outcasts who sell<br />

dodgy magazine subscriptions. Star joins<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />

Théo & Hugo<br />

D: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau<br />

(France 2015) with Geoffrey Couët, François<br />

Nambot<br />

HHH<br />

You don’t even realise how deep-rooted<br />

our Disney-enforced notions of romance<br />

are until you see the titular heroes of this<br />

sizzling film d’amour lock eyes for the first<br />

time. The connection is unmistakable, but<br />

the context seems all wrong. Kudos to the<br />

director duo for opening their 90-minute<br />

movie with a near 20-minute orgy in the<br />

basement of a gay sex club, where reason<br />

is drowned out by lust and no names are<br />

involved. Can there be love? Thanks to<br />

skilled, candid writing addressing the proud<br />

but lonely post-AIDS generation, the affirmative<br />

answer doesn’t feel lazy or sugarcoated.<br />

If anything, it’s characterised by a<br />

tenaciously uncynical tone of voice which,<br />

despite recognising the elusive quest for<br />

happily-ever-afters, wouldn’t trade anything<br />

for the ride. — Zhuo-Ning Su<br />

Starts Oct 27<br />

Parched<br />

D: Leena Yadav (India, UK, USA 2015) with<br />

Tannishtha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte, Surveen<br />

Chawla, Lehar Khan<br />

HHH<br />

Filmed on location in the dust-swept<br />

deserts of Rajasthan, Parched is a powerful<br />

portrait of four women – mother and<br />

widow Rani (Chatterjee), childless Lajjo<br />

(Apte), dancer and prostitute Bijli (Chawla)<br />

and Rani’s new daughter-in-law Janaki<br />

(Khan) – taking on patriarchy in rural India.<br />

Set against the (male) village elders, drunk<br />

abusive husbands and a new generation<br />

of angry young men, Leena Yadav’s film<br />

puts female emancipation firmly in the<br />

hands of women as, through the character<br />

of Rani, the endless cycle of loveless<br />

marriages and conjugal rape is called into<br />

question. It’s brash in its schemata of<br />

abuse and exploitation, and sometimes<br />

clumsy in its broad-stroke storytelling.<br />

Nevertheless, Parched packs a punch with<br />

its superb performances, moments of<br />

intimacy and life-affirming league of ladies<br />

defying convention. — Mark Wilshin<br />

Intro, ByteFM & KulturNews präsentieren:<br />


Di. 18.10. Einlass 19:00 Prince Charles<br />

virtualnights.com präsentiert:<br />

twocolors<br />

Do. 17.11. Einlass 20:00 Prince Charles<br />

CON BRIO<br />

Mo. 05.12. Einlass 19:00 Maschinenhaus<br />


Fr. 09.12. Einlass 19:00 Columbiahalle<br />

Faze, KulturNews & ByteFM präsentieren:<br />


Do. 30.03.2017 Einlass 19:00 Berghain<br />

Infos unter www.mct-agentur.com<br />

tickets > www.tickets.de und 030-6110 1313<br />

verlegt auf<br />

Thu Sep 29 // Maschinenhaus // 8 pm<br />


sin city actress & sister of director Robert Rodriguez<br />

with her own mix of tex mex and desert roots rock<br />

Wed Oct 12 // Kesselhaus // 8 pm<br />

MAGMA<br />

the French prog rock pioneers<br />

Fri Oct 14 // Kesselhaus // 8 pm<br />


a tribute to Rammstein<br />

Thu Oct 27 // Maschinenhaus // 8 pm<br />


with brand new album “Tropical Soul”<br />

Sun Nov 13 // Kesselhaus // 8 pm<br />


the drumming jazz icon in concert<br />

Sat Nov 26 // Kesselhaus // 8 pm<br />


20 years SCALA – the stage anniversary<br />


WHAT’S ON — Music<br />

Editor’s Choice<br />

Scheiß auf deutsche Texte!<br />

Don’t know your der from your das? Time to brush up<br />

on Germany’s top native-tongue talents. By Michael Hoh<br />

Doctorella<br />

Music news<br />

Reenacting Fichte<br />

From his ethnopoetic<br />

travelogues to his infamous<br />

book reading at<br />

Hamburg’s Star Club,<br />

HKW celebrates literary<br />

pop star Hubert<br />

Fichte’s work with a<br />

series of films, talks<br />

and performances at<br />

ACUD. Oct 1, 17:00<br />

Better than selfies<br />

Between Oct 9 and<br />

Dec 31, Harald Weiss’<br />

composition Vor dem<br />

Verstummen (“Before<br />

Silence Falls”), which<br />

premiered inside the<br />

Holocaust Memorial in<br />

2008, will be available<br />

again via smartphone<br />

app for visitors to<br />

listen to on-site.<br />

Ode to Joy<br />

On their fourth album<br />

Joy, Berlin’s multigenre<br />

wizards Brandt<br />

Brauer Frick once<br />

again infuse their<br />

analogue roots with<br />

digital concoctions<br />

mutually suited for<br />

concert halls and club<br />

venues. Out Oct 28.<br />

You’ve been attending the<br />

odd Stereo Total gig and you<br />

know an entire verse of “99<br />

Luftballons”, but you’re still hesitant<br />

to go see some local acts because of<br />

possible language barriers? Disregarding<br />

Die Sterne’s advice “Scheiß<br />

auf deutsche Texte” (“Don’t give a shit<br />

about German lyrics”), you’re missing<br />

out on a world of good music if<br />

you limit yourself to lyrics auf Englisch.<br />

Worry not: with these bands,<br />

you won’t need a B2 certificate to<br />

enjoy the show.<br />

Starting out as Die Kleingeldprinzessin<br />

(“small change princess”)<br />

playing solo gigs in the streets in<br />

the early 2000s, Berlin-based singer<br />

Dota has been spreading her highly<br />

dense poetics for the past decade.<br />

Even if you don’t understand what<br />

her lyrics mean, you’ll surely notice<br />

her expressive and rhythmic rhyme<br />

patterns, whether coated with<br />

electro pop, folk, bossa nova or, as at<br />

her Volksbühne gig, backed up with a<br />

band and a string ensemble.<br />

Also from Berlin, Sandra and Kerstin<br />

Grether have been leaving their<br />

mark on the German pop discourse<br />

since the 1990s, as avid advocates of<br />

(pop) feminism with riot grrrl influences<br />

aplenty. Apart from their pro-<br />

LGBTQ rights single “Testosteron,<br />

Get It On!”, their joint music project<br />

Doctorella concentrates more on the<br />

lighter side of things (compared to,<br />

let’s say, Sandra’s former band Parole<br />

Trixi), which will make it easier<br />

for you to let lyrics be lyrics. The<br />

attitude alone is worth checking out.<br />

Trickier to get for non-Germans<br />

will be PeterLicht, taking the stage<br />

at Theater am Ku’damm the same<br />

day. No less political than the<br />

Grethers, he appeared on screen<br />

with his existential, synth-heavy debut<br />

single “Sonnendeck” in 2001, and<br />

turned from indie pop sensation<br />

to Feuilleton darling in a heartbeat.<br />

Known for his penchant for poetics,<br />

he conquered the literary world by<br />

winning the Ingeborg Bachmann<br />

Prize in 2007 for his novella The<br />

History of My Assessment at the<br />

Beginning of the Third Millennium.<br />

Between that and albums like Lieder<br />

vom Ende des Kapitalismus (“Songs<br />

about the end of capitalism”), he<br />

skilfully bridges the gaps between<br />

übercool, high culture and political<br />

statement – which you might not<br />

guess from his sometimes cheesy<br />

arrangements. Lyrics vary from<br />

deliberately simplistic to cunningly<br />

complex, so there’s something for<br />

every skill level.<br />

So much for the old school. Let’s<br />

take a look at some of Germany’s<br />

up-and-coming talents whose albums<br />

are fresh off the printing press.<br />

When he’s not manically strumming<br />

his guitar on stage with the Stuttgart<br />

noise-rock combo Die Nerven, Max<br />

Rieger certainly seems to enjoy a<br />

bit of gloomy introspection. After<br />

three successful Nerven albums, he<br />

decided to go solo under the moniker<br />

of All diese Gewalt, boasting a<br />

dense and droning post-punk palette<br />

with brooding vocals. Catch him<br />

live on his first ever-tour with his<br />

debut Welt in Klammern (“World in<br />

Braces”) at Roter Salon.<br />

Meanwhile, fellow noise-rockers<br />

Friends of Gas have been doing the<br />

toilet tours for about two years<br />

now. With their debut album Fatal<br />

Schwach (“Fatally weak”) out on Staat-sakt<br />

on Oct 28, they’re due to skyrocket<br />

in no time. And if you need<br />

a little break from all the Deutsche<br />

Texte but aren’t ready to toss out<br />

your textbook yet, this might be<br />

your best choice: frontwoman Nina<br />

Walser sings almost half the band’s<br />

songs in English. ■<br />

Dota Sun, Oct 9, 20:00 Volksbühne, Mitte | Doctorella Fri, Oct 21, 20:00 Monarch,<br />

Kreuzberg | PeterLicht Fri, Oct 21, 20:00 Theater am Kufürstendamm,<br />

Charlottenburg | All diese Gewalt Mon, Oct 24, 20:00 Roter Salon, Mitte |<br />

Friends of Gas Sat, Oct 29, 20:00 West Germany, Kreuzberg<br />

32<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

WHAT’S ON — Music<br />

Preview<br />

Bringing buzuk back<br />

Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Montreal audiovisual<br />

duo Jerusalem In My Heart on his love<br />

affair with the Middle Eastern instrument.<br />

The root of everything we do is something I composed on the<br />

buzuk, even the crazy electronic stuff. The buzuk’s pretty<br />

much been our source of inspiration – and frustration,<br />

because of my sometimes limited ability to translate ideas properly<br />

onto the instrument. Music is not a thing in our family. I didn’t play<br />

instruments; I knew nothing about it. So, the buzuk seemed like the<br />

one Middle Eastern instrument that I could pick up, compared to say<br />

an oud or a violin or a ney where you have to have formal training.<br />

The instrument itself isn’t really common. It’s very much a<br />

shepherd’s instrument; very basic and lute-like. People always<br />

play it in informal settings. In a typical Middle Eastern orchestra,<br />

you’d never see a buzuk. The Rahbani Brothers, both very accomplished<br />

composers [and playwrights], brought the buzuk back<br />

into popular culture in the 1960s. I remember seeing one of their<br />

plays on TV. The sound was so thin and wiry, and the guy was just<br />

improvising on it. It sounded so beautiful to me.<br />

On stage, I have my buzuk that I got custom-made here in Montreal,<br />

this crazy pedal board with granular delays, pedals that cut<br />

up the sound and a device that converts pitch to midi. Basically<br />

I’m playing all these electronic synthesizers with my buzuk. The<br />

instrument becomes like a tool more than a musical instrument.<br />

So, my relationship with it is constantly changing. — MH<br />

Jerusalem in My Heart Thu, Oct 20, 19:00<br />

Ehemaliges Stummfilmkino Delphi, Weißensee<br />

Clubbing<br />

Black Lives Matter Soli-Party<br />

Berlin’s queer, feminist and sex-positive clubbing collectives,<br />

from Mint to Berries, come together to raise money<br />

for Berlin black initiatives at Schwuz. Oct 2, 23:00<br />

Trade<br />

Seeking some mid-week club action? Merge on the<br />

dance floor on Wednesdays at Ohm. Turning from zero to<br />

cutting-edge in a year, Trade presents Jay Boogie, Rasuul<br />

and Luke Isaac this month. Oct 5, 21:00<br />

BeatGeeks WKND SPCL<br />

The fifth edition of this producer-focussed hip hop shindig<br />

at Gretchen sees performances by Dexter, KevBeats<br />

(K.I.Z. producer) and a first: up-and-comer Bluestaeb<br />

complete with band. Oct 14-16, 20:00<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />

ryan sheridan<br />

very special guest: mrs. greenbird<br />

08.10.16 · Columbia Theater<br />

red fang<br />

+ torche<br />

12.10.16 · Huxleys<br />

watsky<br />

+ jez dior<br />

14.10.16 · Bi Nuu<br />

soja<br />

Jospeh Yarmush<br />

14.10.16 · PBHFCLUB<br />

daughter<br />

+ dan croll<br />

14.10.16 · Columbiahalle<br />

all them witches<br />

+ the great machine<br />

15.10.16 · White Trash<br />

søren juul<br />

16.10.16 · Grüner Salon<br />

toseland<br />

17.10.16 · Musik & Frieden<br />

jaimi faulkner + band<br />

+ belle roscoe<br />

17.10.16 · Auster Club<br />

the mahones<br />

23.10.16 · Musik & Frieden<br />

jamie lidell and<br />

the royal pharaohs<br />

23.10.16 · Astra Kulturhaus<br />

seasick steve<br />

24.10.16 · PBHFCLUB<br />

julia jacklin<br />

24.10.16 · Maze<br />

jay brannan<br />

25.10.16 · Privatclub<br />

drowners<br />

+ the esprits<br />

25.10.16 · Maze<br />

bear‘s den<br />

+ matthew & the atlas<br />

26.10.16 · Huxleys<br />

the album leaf<br />

27.10.16 · Bi Nuu<br />

the low anthem<br />

+ christopher paul stelling<br />

30.10.16 · Lido<br />

white lies<br />

+ the ramona flowers<br />

31.10.16 · Huxleys<br />

loyle carner<br />

31.10.16 · Lido<br />

silversun pickups<br />

+ pærish<br />

01.11.16 · Columbia Theater<br />

adam green<br />

01.11.16 · Musik & Frieden<br />

lucky chops<br />

02.11.16 · Huxleys<br />

allah-las<br />

02.11.16 · PBHCLUB<br />

doug seegers<br />

03.11.16 · Privatclub<br />

john grant<br />

+ arc iris<br />

03.11.16 · Berghain<br />

slaves<br />

06.11.16 · Frannz<br />

jeremy loops<br />

07.11.16 · PBHFCLUB<br />

jamie t<br />

07.11.16 · Astra Kulturhaus<br />

donavon<br />

frankenreiter<br />

08.11.16 · White Trash<br />

la pegatina<br />

09.11.16 · Lido<br />

iamx<br />

09.11.16 · Heimathafen Neukölln<br />

banks & steelz<br />

14.11.16 · PBHFCLUB<br />

www.trinitymusic.de<br />

the lumineers<br />

+ bahamas<br />

15.11.16 · Tempodrom<br />

the cadillac three<br />

+ tyler bryant & the shakedown<br />

15.11.16 · Frannz<br />

katie melua<br />

16.11.16 · Admiralspalast<br />

archive<br />

+ dr(dr)one<br />

21.11.16 · Admiralspalast<br />

saxon<br />

+ last in line + girlschool<br />

22.11.16 · Huxleys<br />

bizarre ride ii<br />

the pharcyde live<br />

25.11.16 · Cassiopeia<br />

kari bremnes<br />

25.11.16 · Columbia Theater<br />

bastille<br />

+ rationale<br />

25.11.16 · Max-Schmeling-Halle<br />

outlandish<br />

30.11.16 · Bi Nuu<br />

abc<br />

14.12.16 · Huxleys<br />

lindsey stirling<br />

09.03.17 · Max-Schmeling-Halle

WHAT’S ON — Music<br />

Interview<br />

“We had trouble removing a ‘cunt’.”<br />

Hyper-literate Norwegian musician Jenny Hval brings her mix<br />

of experimental pop, performance art and feminist body horror<br />

to Berghain Kantine on <strong>October</strong> 26. By Rachel Glassberg<br />

Don’t miss<br />

DAT Festival<br />

Noise DJs, experimental<br />

beatmakers<br />

and other electroacoustic<br />

weirdos get<br />

together at Kesselhaus<br />

for workshops<br />

and general merriment.<br />

Expect sets<br />

from T.Raumschmiere,<br />

Peter Knoll, Xing and<br />

more. Oct 7-9, 19:00<br />

Angel Olsen<br />

The indie-folker’s<br />

latest release My<br />

Woman is a peppier<br />

follow-up to 2014’s<br />

excellent countrytinged<br />

Burn Your<br />

Fire for No Witness.<br />

She’ll bring her more<br />

upbeat effort to Columbia<br />

Theater. Oct<br />

25, 20:00<br />

Noura Mint Seymali<br />

Hailed as the voice<br />

to bring Mauritania to<br />

the musical forefront,<br />

Noura Mint Seymali<br />

draws on Moorish<br />

tradition and psychedelic<br />

rock. She stops<br />

by Lido to tour her<br />

new album Arbina.<br />

Oct 27, 20:00<br />

Kelly Lee Owens<br />

Coming to Kantine<br />

am Berghain, the<br />

London-based<br />

singer-songwriter/<br />

producer is preparing<br />

to release her new<br />

EP Oleic, an eclectic<br />

collection of dreamy,<br />

ambient-inspired<br />

gems. Oct 30, 20:00<br />

Latest album Blood Bitch (Sacred<br />

Bones) takes on menstruation<br />

and vampirism to<br />

a soundtrack of Gothic organ lines,<br />

motorik beats and spoken-word<br />

collages. Like any Hval record, it<br />

requires careful lyrical unpacking,<br />

so much so that to prepare for our<br />

interview, we made a word map<br />

connecting Blood Bitch’s themes<br />

and references: “vagina”, “desire”,<br />

“Adam Curtis”, “Tilda Swinton”. We<br />

showed it to her.<br />

Be honest: is any of this on point?<br />

“Dogs”! “Cake”, nice. Well, this<br />

looks like what I do. I make these<br />

when I write an album, or when we<br />

record. I have walls filled with this<br />

stuff. Let me show you... [pulls up a<br />

smartphone photo] Ah, it’s mostly<br />

in Norwegian. But there’s “Europe”.<br />

“Jess Franco”. “Antonioni”. I wrote<br />

this for the press release, probably,<br />

but some of these were there early,<br />

as a sort of conceptual framework<br />

before we started recording. “Club”<br />

would’ve been there. “No social<br />

commentary”. “Getting lost”. “Eternal<br />

life” – I’m interested in eternal<br />

life as a club rhythm, something that<br />

feels like it comes out of forever and<br />

goes on forever.<br />

So you interpret your lyrics after<br />

you’ve written them? A lot of the<br />

more clear themes came after the<br />

album was finished. While I was<br />

writing and recording it, it was more<br />

about just wanting to explore things,<br />

seeing what the word “blood” would<br />

do in a lyric that otherwise would’ve<br />

seemed like social commentary. Put<br />

in drips of the supernatural. Take<br />

“Female Vampire”. The title, the fact<br />

that it’s about a mysterious vampire<br />

world, allowed me to write the lyric<br />

“I’m so tired of subjectivity”. It’s not<br />

just me in my regular clothes, saying,<br />

“I’m so tired of subjectivity, guys!”<br />

Is [co-producer] Lasse Marhaug<br />

involved in your writing process?<br />

Yeah, we decide things like: Should<br />

I say “blood” here? How do we<br />

remove the “cunt” from this lyric?<br />

We had one song, “Conceptual<br />

Romance”, where we had trouble<br />

removing a “cunt”. It was where<br />

“blood bitch” is now. We were trying<br />

to move out of the more explicit<br />

language and into a more mysterious<br />

investigation.<br />

It’s like the opposite of your last<br />

album, Apocalypse Girl, which gets<br />

quite explicit – “soft dick rock”<br />

and all that. It is. That time we<br />

wanted to work with something raw,<br />

and dry. There are several songs on<br />

that album with no reverb, which is<br />

quite unusual for a recorded piece. It<br />

doesn’t sound very natural.<br />

If that one’s dry, this one’s... wet?<br />

It’s very wet.<br />

How will you capture that onstage?<br />

Fake blood? No, I’ve already<br />

done that a lot. I think that was actually<br />

an inspiration for the album, the<br />

fact that I’ve been covered in blood<br />

paint so much. Lasse and I kept discussing<br />

Carrie. It’s a wonderful and<br />

“That was actually<br />

an inspiration for the<br />

album, the fact that<br />

I’ve been covered in<br />

blood paint so much.”<br />

34<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

WHAT’S ON — Music<br />

terrible way to embody what’s inside on<br />

the outside: what if you were menstruating<br />

all over yourself?<br />

Festival<br />

Inga Copeland<br />

You didn’t want to be photographed<br />

during this interview. Why not? Casual<br />

photo shoots – I understand why they’re<br />

necessary, but I find it very hard to give<br />

something that’s meant to be “natural”<br />

and “me”, when I don’t know what<br />

“natural” and “me” is. Photography, to<br />

me, is a medium that’s lying. I kind of<br />

agree with the Australian aborigines...<br />

That we’re stealing your soul? Exactly!<br />

Except you’re not, because you’re<br />

capturing what you think is the soul,<br />

but it’s just the surface. So I’m critical<br />

of the overuse of photos. I’m a media<br />

critic, and that’s very hard to combine<br />

with being an artist. I’m a media critic<br />

when I can have distance, sit at home<br />

and be like, “Grr!” [imitates pounding<br />

on computer keyboard]. We call it<br />

“thunder speech” in Norwegian. But<br />

then when I actually meet a journalist, I<br />

want to be that nice person... I think the<br />

best way for me to handle the situation<br />

is to see it as surrendering, as a ritual.<br />

You and I are having a ritual. I don’t<br />

want to try to control your piece – I’d<br />

rather go work on my songs and say<br />

something with music.<br />

Jenny Hval Oct 26, 20:00<br />

Berghain Kantine, Friedrichshain<br />

Tips<br />

Classical<br />

Internationales Klangkunstfest<br />

Get a healthy dose of contemporary<br />

classical with exhibitions, sound walks<br />

and interactive performances at<br />

Bibliothek am Luisenbad in Wedding.<br />

Oct 6-8, 19:00<br />

Arnold Dreyblatt Ensemble<br />

With Dreyblatt, the second generation<br />

of New York minimal composers<br />

makes an appearance at the BKA Theater’s<br />

club concert series together<br />

with The Orchestra of Excited Strings.<br />

Oct 21, 23:30<br />

Trio Mondrian<br />

Trio Mondrian juxtaposes Piano Trio Op.<br />

87 by Johannes Brahms with Diverging<br />

Roads, a new piece by Gilad Hochman,<br />

as part of the ID Festival at Radialsystem<br />

V (see page 42). Oct 22, 18:30<br />

Creamcake’s crop<br />

Looking for some arty<br />

with your party? The 3hd<br />

festival won’t disappoint.<br />

Always leaning toward the abstract<br />

when they’re not bumping Beyonce,<br />

Berlin party organisers Creamcake<br />

launched the first-ever 3hd Festival last year,<br />

an explosion of music, visual art and talks<br />

billed as a “new breed” of festival. This year<br />

seems even more spacey and philosophical:<br />

From Oct 11-15, performances at venues<br />

throughout the city (HAU, OHM and Vierte<br />

Welt, to name a few) will “offer potential<br />

solutions for fixing the problems of the present”.<br />

The question mark deployed at the end<br />

of the title “There is nothing but the future?”<br />

strikes up just the right amount of confusion.<br />

Even when their goals are ambiguous, the<br />

Creamcake gang excels when it comes to<br />

solid, multi-faceted music lineups. Former<br />

Hype Williams member and name-changer<br />

extraordinaire Inga Copeland fits into 3hd’s<br />

experimental bent with her amorphous,<br />

deconstructed beats. She’ll be at HAU2 on<br />

Oct 14 as part of a concert showcasing talent<br />

scoured from the internet, which will also<br />

feature dreamy soundscapes from AGF. A<br />

second performance at HAU2 will include<br />

Berlin’s moody synth-pop duo Easter and<br />

meditative sounds from Swiss-born, Nepalese-Tibetan<br />

electronic artist Aïsha Dev.<br />

Music aside, the program boasts other<br />

artsy events, advertised with lots of cryptic<br />

buzzwords like “violent”, “oppression”,<br />

“boundaries” and “healing”. The creative<br />

team DIY Church is working on an abstract<br />

symposium on social sculpture through sound<br />

and silence, whatever that means. If you leave<br />

feeling more uncertain than when you got<br />

there, just dance your anxieties away on the<br />

last night – Uniiqu3, DJ NJ Drone and Geng<br />

will be spinning during the closing bash at<br />

OHM. — Julyssa Lopez<br />

3hd Festival Oct 11-15 Various venues, see<br />

3hd-festival.com for details<br />

Luci Lux / Electronic Beats<br />


20.10. Berlin, Kesselhaus<br />


Support: KYLES TOLONE<br />

06.10. Berlin, Bi Nuu<br />


Credit?<br />

Support: BAYONNE<br />

11.10. Berlin, Berghain Kantine<br />


Support: PILL<br />

18.10. Berlin, SO36<br />

CALIBRO 35<br />

03.11. Berlin, Lido<br />


28.10. Berlin, Badehaus Szimpla<br />

C DUNCAN<br />

02.11. Berlin, Grüner Salon<br />


30.11. Berlin, Lido<br />

meltbooking.com<br />

facebook.com/wearemeltbooking<br />


Support: HOPE<br />

30.10. Berlin, Berghain Kantine<br />


Support: BONZAI<br />

06.11. Berlin, Postbahnhof<br />


Support: PUMAROSA<br />

07.11. Berlin, Columbia Theater<br />


Support: THOUGHT FORMS<br />

09.11. Berlin, Columbia Theater<br />

BEAK><br />

Support: MARIO BATKOVIC<br />

14.11. Berlin, Columbiatheater<br />



24.11. Berlin, Columbiahalle<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong>

WHAT’S ON — Art<br />


MONTH OF<br />


BERLIN<br />

Oct 1-31<br />

Editor’s Choice<br />

Picture windows<br />

This month, 129 photo exhibitions invite you into<br />

other worlds and times. By Amanda Ribas Tugwell<br />

Art news<br />

Art’s a-brewing<br />

<strong>October</strong> 22 is the<br />

opening of the KINDL<br />

Centre for Contemporary<br />

Art, adding<br />

1200sqm of art space<br />

to Berlin. The exbrewery’s<br />

first exhibitions:<br />

contemporary<br />

group show How Long<br />

Is Now? and a solo of<br />

Berlin-based painter<br />

Eberhard Havekost.<br />

A never-ending<br />

Manifesto<br />

Julien Rosefeldt’s<br />

video installation at<br />

the Hamburger Bahnhof,<br />

featuring Cate<br />

Blanchett reading a<br />

variety of manifestos,<br />

has been extended<br />

for a second time,<br />

from September 18 to<br />

November 11. By which<br />

time it’ll have been<br />

on for 10 months, so<br />

there’s no excuse not<br />

to’ve seen it.<br />

Money in the scene<br />

At the ABC art fair, the<br />

brand-new OUTSET<br />

museum benefit fund<br />

bought works by GCC<br />

and Dirk Skreber<br />

and donated them<br />

to the Neue Nationalgalerie.<br />

The latter<br />

pictures Skreber’s<br />

(non-Muslim) girlfriend<br />

topless in what looks<br />

like a niqab – a bit of a<br />

controversial choice.<br />

Part of a Europe-wide initiative<br />

between photo institutions<br />

in eight cities, locally organised<br />

by Kulturprojekte Berlin (the<br />

same folks behind Long Night of the<br />

Museums and Berlin Art Week), the<br />

biannual European Month of Photography<br />

Berlin feels more like a marketing<br />

angle than a thoughtfully curated<br />

festival. Which doesn’t mean there’s<br />

nothing to see. The 129 exhibitions<br />

going on from <strong>October</strong> 1-31 cover<br />

a huge range of venues, places and<br />

times: from photography giant C/O<br />

Berlin to tiny pop-up galleries; from<br />

modern-day Romania to 1900s Mitte.<br />

By now it might be too late to<br />

catch the official kick-off at C/O<br />

(Sep 29-Oct 2). But it’s still worth<br />

a trip out west to see the institution’s<br />

headlining exhibition of work<br />

by American photographer, filmmaker,<br />

writer and activist Gordon<br />

Parks, titled I am You. His powerful<br />

photos capturing the US civil rights<br />

movement haven’t lost any of their<br />

resonance today; they’ll be displayed<br />

along with Parks’ other work from<br />

the 1940s-70s, including fashion<br />

spreads for Condé Nast and clips<br />

from his cinematic oeuvre (Shaft!).<br />

The Bauhaus Archiv also reaches<br />

into the past to spotlight the unsung<br />

hero of Bauhaus photography, Lucia<br />

Moholy, and the works she made<br />

after fleeing from Berlin to London<br />

at the start of the Nazi era. Another<br />

prolific and historically important<br />

female photographer, Berenice Abbott,<br />

will show her famous large-format<br />

masterpieces of 1930s New York<br />

City at Martin-Gropius-Bau.<br />

Berlin’s own history won’t be<br />

neglected. Berlinische Galerie is<br />

digging into its collection to present<br />

photos of the city and its inhabitants<br />

from 1900-1980, ranging from Heinz<br />

Hajek-Halke’s playful experiments<br />

to Fritz Brill’s advertisements, even<br />

to Nazi propaganda from their Volk<br />

und Welt conservative newspaper<br />

archive. Many smaller institutions<br />

have followed suit: the Museum for<br />

Fotografie is showing lesser-known<br />

Mauer-era journalistic street shots<br />

by Bernard Larsson, and architecture<br />

buffs won’t want to miss Otto Hagemann’s<br />

documentation of Berlin’s<br />

iconic buildings from the 1920s-60s<br />

at the Landesarchiv. For those who<br />

want a glimpse into a very different<br />

Prenzlauer Berg, East Berliner Bernd<br />

Heyden’s bleak 1960s-era shots are<br />

up at the Willy-Brandt-Haus, alongside<br />

“Berlin Fragments” captured by<br />

architect Rainer König.<br />

Stefan Moses’ work at Johanna<br />

Breede Photokunst will offer up<br />

portraits of artists and thinkers who<br />

were influential here, like Hannah<br />

Höch, Otto Dix and Theodor W.<br />

Adorno. Zwitschermaschine’s Wild<br />

Wild Berlin brings together three<br />

different artists’ takes on Berlin<br />

over three decades, up to Mitte<br />

nightlife circa 2000. Even IMAGO,<br />

housed in Moritzplatz’s Aufbau-<br />

Above: Bernard<br />

Larsson, Straßenszene<br />

in Paris (1961)<br />

© Bernard Larsson<br />

Left: Gordon Parks<br />

Homeless Couple,<br />

Harlem, New York,<br />

(1948) © The Gordon<br />

Parks Foundation<br />

36<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

WHAT’S ON — Art<br />

haus, will open its doors to show life-size<br />

images taken with the 1970s predecessor of<br />

its massive 1:1 camera.<br />

With all that travelling back, what about<br />

going forward? Sprüth Magers has invited<br />

German photo art star Andreas Gursky to<br />

curate work by his MFA students at the<br />

Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, who frame the<br />

world in bizarre, cold landscapes – one even<br />

shooting with an iPhone 5. Swedish artist<br />

Martina Hoogland Ivanow also abstracts<br />

her surroundings in her solo at Grundemark<br />

Nilsson Gallery, and Abigail Reynolds and<br />

Lilly Lulay both independently challenge the<br />

two-dimensionality of the medium in their<br />

solos at Kuckei + Kuckei.<br />

All told, EMoP Berlin’s varied shows reaffirm<br />

photography’s tenuous position between<br />

document and art object, reality and fiction,<br />

past and present. One thing is for sure –<br />

photographs still offer us some of our best<br />

opportunities to be transported to worlds<br />

that have since vanished, and see through the<br />

eyes of artists long gone. n<br />

European Month of Photography Berlin<br />

Through Oct 31 citywide, see<br />

www.emop-berlin.eu for details<br />

Through Nov 12<br />

Chiharu Shiota:<br />

Uncertain Journey<br />

Blain|Southern, Schöneberg<br />

HHHHH<br />

The Berlin-based Shiota was<br />

dubbed the “most Instagrammed<br />

artist” by Sleek at last month’s<br />

Art Week for a reason. Uncertain<br />

Journey, which picks up where<br />

her showstopping Japanese<br />

Pavillion installation at last year’s<br />

Venice Biennale left off, is profoundly<br />

complex, utterly beautiful<br />

and a total must-see. Bright<br />

red thread interlocks hundreds<br />

of thousands of times in 3D triangulation,<br />

arching down to the<br />

hollow iron frames of what could<br />

be sunken ships. Awe, confusion,<br />

sadness and connectedness<br />

are woven into the random yet<br />

sophisticated structure, which<br />

brings form to everything from<br />

neural synapses to the circulatory<br />

system, the internet to infinity.<br />

In eight pieces upstairs, the<br />

same threaded triangles find their<br />

way onto canvases and houseshaped<br />

metal frames. At this smaller<br />

scale, lines and density can be<br />

more tangibly contemplated. But<br />

ever-lingering is the subconscious<br />

terrain of the consuming installation,<br />

which, when seen from above<br />

on the first floor, is so dense it’s<br />

pure red. A video of the installation<br />

process, which took 10 people<br />

three weeks to complete, will<br />

make its way onto Blain|Southern’s<br />

website soon. — ART<br />

Uncertain Journey,<br />

courtesy of<br />

the artist and<br />

Blain|Southern<br />

Christian Glaeser<br />

Berliner Festspiele<br />

Matana Roberts<br />

Michael Schiefel + Wood & Steel Trio<br />

Julia Hülsmann Quartet + Anna-Lena Schnabel<br />

Mette Henriette<br />

Wadada Leo Smith’s Great Lakes Quartet<br />

Mary Halvorson + Ingrid Laubrock<br />

Oddarrang<br />

Joshua Redman / Brad Mehldau duo<br />

Globe Unity Orchestra<br />

Myra Melford’s Snowy Egret<br />

Ingrid Laubrock + Aki Takase<br />

Yazz Ahmed’s Family Hafla<br />

Achim Kaufmann + SKEIN Extended<br />

Angelika Niescier / Florian Weber Quintet<br />

Nik Bärtsch / hr-Bigband<br />

DeJohnette / Coltrane / Garrison<br />

Aki Takase + Charlotte Greve<br />

Lucia Cadotsch Trio<br />

Wadada Leo Smith + Alexander Hawkins<br />

Julia Holter + strings<br />

Steve Lehman Octet<br />

Eve Risser’s White Desert Orchestra<br />

In cooperation with radio broadcasters ARD and Deutschlandradio<br />


WHAT’S ON — Art<br />

Interview<br />

“It’s like the future suddenly started”<br />

High-profile digital detective Constant Dullaart wages war with<br />

Facebook in Synthesising the Preferred Inputs. By Amanda Ribas Tugwell<br />

Don’t miss<br />

Hicham Berrada<br />

The beauty is in the<br />

details in abstract HD<br />

shots of magnetised<br />

iron particles at WN-<br />

TRP. Through Oct 30.<br />

Yves Scherer<br />

Found objects, paintings<br />

and taxidermy<br />

make a “space collage”<br />

in this rumination on<br />

being single at Galerie<br />

Guido Baudach.<br />

Through Oct 31.<br />

Sinta Werner<br />

See 3D photographs<br />

and the mindblowing<br />

illusion of pixels in<br />

real space at Alexander<br />

Levy. Through<br />

Oct 30.<br />

The British View<br />

Six hundred years’<br />

worth of German<br />

history come to the<br />

Martin-Gropius-Bau<br />

via 200 pieces from<br />

the British Museum’s<br />

collection. Through<br />

Jan 9.<br />

Up now at Future Gallery, two<br />

of the Dutch-born, Berlinbased<br />

artist’s new bodies<br />

of work delve into hidden systems<br />

within the ever-more corporatised<br />

spaces of the internet. In one,<br />

pattern-seeking AI convolutional<br />

networks “draw” images using data<br />

from the photos we post on Facebook<br />

and Instagram, which are then outsourced<br />

to China to be painted. In the<br />

second, Dullaart incorporates the<br />

third-world-country SIM cards used<br />

to generate the Facebook bot army<br />

he created in his studio last year.<br />

Why make art that involves<br />

Facebook and Instagram? A lot of<br />

people don’t know about the whole<br />

business of fake Facebook identities,<br />

but they’re huge in politics, and<br />

in quantifying cultural validity. I’m<br />

saying: hey, this is a huge market,<br />

look at how construed and weird<br />

this social validation system is. Even<br />

when I bought 2.5 million Instagram<br />

followers as part of a piece, I actually<br />

thought I was a better<br />

person because more people<br />

“liked” me. It’s so easy<br />

to make yourself believe<br />

in this kind of competitive<br />

social validation system.<br />

Of course I see big dangers,<br />

and I think everyone has<br />

to keep their minds open,<br />

educate themselves as<br />

much as they can, and take<br />

a position. I think a lot of<br />

these issues are political,<br />

and yet they are not reflected<br />

in the political debate.<br />

Is your work a warning<br />

to us all? I do see it as<br />

a warning, but I’m not a<br />

preacher or a teacher or<br />

anything. I don’t want to be<br />

too didactic, or mansplain.<br />

I sometimes make the<br />

analogy that now there are<br />

more people looking at a<br />

screen than looking out the<br />

window. This contemporary<br />

landscape is so incredibly<br />

complex, and we need comparably<br />

complex reflections on it. We need<br />

to make new contemporary paintings<br />

– we can’t just make the same<br />

old paintings of this new landscape.<br />

The iPhone came out in 2007. That’s<br />

only nine years ago, not even a generation,<br />

and we all think it’s normal.<br />

And there were enormous cultural<br />

shifts, like now everyone can wander<br />

around a strange city and find their<br />

way. That’s huge! It’s like the future<br />

suddenly started.<br />

Art about digital technology tends<br />

to be relegated to niche categories<br />

– net art, post-internet art,<br />

etc. Why do you think that is?<br />

With every new medium there are<br />

complexities that not everyone understands.<br />

When I started out in the<br />

early 2000s, there were people who<br />

said, “We don’t know the dialect<br />

that you’re speaking,” and I had to<br />

validate my work by saying, “Well,<br />

I’ve read this Dutch book and I<br />

think it’s the best book ever but it’s<br />

not translated. I can’t ignore that<br />

I think it’s one of the best books.”<br />

Now even my mom understands<br />

that maybe there’s some cultural<br />

relevance to talking about the decisions<br />

that are made within software<br />

and on the internet.<br />

So you’re not discouraged by the<br />

categories? I’m just really happy<br />

that I’m a part of the conversation.<br />

It’s interesting to speculate about<br />

the potential of how all this technology<br />

is being used, and I think<br />

this is what art should be doing.<br />

We should ask, “What would happen<br />

if somebody used this tool in<br />

that way? That would be weird, or<br />

that would be fucked up.” I think<br />

it’s a responsibility of artists to<br />

misuse the tools.<br />

Synthesising the Preferred Inputs<br />

Through Oct 15 Future Gallery,<br />

Schöneberg<br />

Karolina Spolniewski<br />

38<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

WHAT’S ON — Art<br />

Through Oct 22<br />

Roger Ballen and<br />

Asger Carlsen: No Joke<br />

Dittrich & Schlechtriem, Mitte<br />

HHHII<br />

Ballen and Carlsen are showing the results<br />

of their artistic exchange over email and<br />

Skype for the last few years – and they’re<br />

pretty disturbing. Black and white, primarily<br />

nude photographs have been drawn on and<br />

digitally collaged, disfiguring body parts and<br />

infusing American Apparel-esque shots with<br />

McCarthy, Basquiat, Kentridge and Sherman.<br />

The works confront the dark corners of the<br />

mind, where alien forms, creepy masks, giant<br />

spiders and dead animals lurk. Drawn figures<br />

loom voyeuristically around young, classically<br />

beautiful female bodies combined with the<br />

ageing bodies of the artists. Due to the flawless<br />

digital collage characteristic of Carlsen’s<br />

work everything feels “real” even after it has<br />

met Ballen’s charcoal-smudged dark spaces,<br />

which went big with his 2012 Die Antwoord<br />

video “I Fink You Freeky”.<br />

The horrifically captivating series of 37 images<br />

is being shown in full for the first time,<br />

and mark the perfect fusion of the two artist’s<br />

terribly individual ways of imagining the<br />

intangible world around them. You’ll wish you<br />

could un-see them, but you won’t be able to<br />

look away. — ART<br />

Right: Roger Ballen<br />

and Asger Carlsen,<br />

courtesy of Dittrich<br />

& Schlechtriem<br />

Top centre: Trisha<br />

Baga, LOAF, Société<br />

Far right: Florian<br />

Misenberg, courtesy<br />

of the artist<br />

and Wentrup<br />

Through Nov 5<br />

Trisha Baga: LOAF<br />

Société, Schöneberg<br />

HHHHI<br />

The NYC artist’s solo is visual free association<br />

in high form. Both of her 3D video installations<br />

suck you into her deep curiosity with<br />

subjects and objects. Home-video-style<br />

footage of people, bizarre everyday scenes<br />

of mannequin legs hanging above a clothing<br />

store and taxidermied animals are equally<br />

intriguing through her lens.<br />

Light and darkness vie for screen time, and<br />

in 3D, flashlight beams elevate the leaves of<br />

a bush to a psychedelic vision. In another<br />

darkened room, small spots and black lights<br />

illuminate the surface of an IRL cat scratching<br />

tower turned shelf, holding everything<br />

from hand sanitiser to a rough ceramic<br />

sculpture of a cat. Another bright room with<br />

white carpet covered pedestals showcases<br />

more ceramics, of a printer, a painting and<br />

Wonder Bread. Baga’s scattered universe<br />

confidently walks the line between art made<br />

post-internet, and the aesthetics of the material<br />

world. Ultimately it reads as a development<br />

in age old questions: what is real? What<br />

can we truly know? — ART<br />

Through Oct 19<br />

Florian Meisenberg:<br />

“Um, nice guy, good hospitality,<br />

but.. y’know (...)”<br />

Wentrup, Kreuzberg<br />

HHHII<br />

Meisenberg’s third solo at Wentrup covers<br />

the walls of a large bright room with<br />

canvases of different shapes – circles,<br />

arches and teardrops – each evoking a<br />

window or an icon from afar. Lines on the<br />

beige-backgrounded paintings create vague<br />

spaces within them, and in the foreground<br />

are abstracted symbols, cartoonish clouds<br />

and figures and even planetary forms.<br />

A 30-minute video shows banal tennis<br />

court scenes, and scrolling on top of it in<br />

large white letters is a meandering monologue<br />

from a secret recording of a banker<br />

complaining on the phone as he commutes<br />

from New Jersey to Wall Street. In front of<br />

the video is a white carpet, and more words<br />

are projected onto it, detailing confidential<br />

content including Hillary’s leaked emails.<br />

The exhibition text reveals that the font was<br />

extracted from WikiLeaks docs.<br />

The problem here is that the connecting<br />

points between all these intriguing elements<br />

seem just out of reach. We recommend you<br />

try and decrypt it, but you might leave with<br />

more questions than answers. — ART<br />

Trevor Good<br />

Schloss<br />

Neuhardenberg<br />

in concert<br />



Silver Tour<br />

Friend’n Fellow<br />

Saturday, 08. 10. <strong>2016</strong><br />

Switch<br />

Nils Petter Molvær & Band<br />

Saturday, 29. 10. <strong>2016</strong><br />

Only Yule<br />

Flying Pickets<br />

Saturday, 12. 11. <strong>2016</strong><br />

Bookings<br />

schlossneuhardenberg.de<br />

033476 600-750

WHAT’S ON — Stage<br />

Editor’s Choice<br />

Hexes and history<br />

Sophiensaele’s Witch Dance Project unearths and<br />

updates a spooky choreographic classic. By Lily Kelting<br />

Jocelen Janon<br />

Stage news<br />

Waltzing into the ballet<br />

Spanish choreographer<br />

Nacho Duato is<br />

ending his supershort<br />

leadership<br />

of the Staatsballet<br />

Berlin in 2019, to be<br />

replaced by freescene<br />

Berliner Sasha<br />

Waltz. A bit of a<br />

controversial choice,<br />

but we’re into it.<br />

Berlin stages on top<br />

In case you needed<br />

proof that Berlin has<br />

the best theatre in<br />

the world: Germany’s<br />

Theater heute<br />

magazine calls a tie<br />

between the Maxim<br />

Gorki and the Volksbühne<br />

for “stage of<br />

the year.”<br />

Free-scene networking<br />

Looking to crack<br />

into the industry?<br />

Talk shop at the<br />

Branchentreff, the<br />

annual meeting of<br />

Berlin’s independent<br />

theatre scene. This<br />

year’s conference<br />

will be held <strong>October</strong><br />

6-8 at Heimathafen<br />

Neukölln.<br />

Weimar Germany, 1926.<br />

Mary Wigman sits with<br />

her knees bent on a bare<br />

stage, no music. She spreads her fingers<br />

wide and pumps her bent arms<br />

through the air, as if she’s swimming,<br />

then opens her knees to a straddle<br />

and stomps forward in a squat, as<br />

though charging the audience. This<br />

dance, Hexentanz II (Witch Dance II),<br />

was the nail in the coffin of classical<br />

ballet. At the time, Wigman was a<br />

fresh young artist who dared to dance<br />

without pointe shoes and move in<br />

angular, expressionist ways. In <strong>2016</strong>,<br />

she is known as one of the most important<br />

figures in dance, ever.<br />

Hexentanz II is about two minutes<br />

long – you can watch it on You-<br />

Tube (and I recommend that you<br />

do!). But the short piece’s impact is<br />

larger than ever. From <strong>October</strong> 6-9,<br />

Sophiensaele is hosting the four-day<br />

symposium Witch Dance Project.<br />

It’s produced by a group called<br />

Tanzfonds Heritage, a production<br />

company that funds projects bringing<br />

dance history to life. Since 2014,<br />

they’ve produced both restagings of<br />

and riffs on dance classics so they<br />

don’t die out of popular consciousness.<br />

Take Oskar Schlemmer’s Bauhaus-era<br />

Triadic Ballet: you could go<br />

your whole life not recognising the<br />

distinctive, geometric costumes – or<br />

you could see the piece and then begin<br />

to see his influence everywhere.<br />

Or Anita Berber – she’s known more<br />

for her scandalous biography than<br />

for her gender-blurring dance moves,<br />

which another Tanzfonds Heritage<br />

project attempted to correct.<br />

Even though they’re all about heritage,<br />

these projects are ultimately<br />

concerned with the future of these<br />

canonical performances. Even a<br />

relatively straightforward attempt to<br />

stage a historically important piece<br />

runs into a fundamental problem<br />

with dance history: it’s kind of an<br />

oxymoron. Dance is ephemeral,<br />

there’s no script, no good notation<br />

for movement. Even minor film buffs<br />

can tell their Tarantino from their<br />

Tarkovsky, but only real die-hards<br />

know about someone like Mary Wigman<br />

– which makes events like Witch<br />

Dance Project so important. In the<br />

second half of Hexentanz II, Wigman<br />

lept from her concave crouch into<br />

the air: huge, expansive. But since it<br />

wasn’t caught on film, nobody really<br />

knows how it goes. And so much<br />

is lost on film, anyway – her heavy<br />

breathing, the smell of sweat.<br />

All of which is to say: it is so, so<br />

hard to talk about dance. It’s easier,<br />

though, to dance about dance, which<br />

is why inviting 10 choreographers to<br />

riff on Hexentanz is a pretty brilliant<br />

way to keep Wigman’s impulse alive<br />

and the conversation going. These<br />

10 pieces might not look like the<br />

original, but they’re asking the same<br />

question: how does the figure of the<br />

witch disturb ideas about what it<br />

means to move like a woman?<br />

Then there’s another question: can<br />

you divorce historical dances from<br />

their historical contexts? What about<br />

the fact that the “natural movement”<br />

that became so important for German<br />

expressionist dance sounds an<br />

awful lot like Nazi descriptions of<br />

the “natural body” that bubbled up<br />

around the same time? Or Wigman’s<br />

uneasy appropriation of “primitive”<br />

movements based on a problematicat-best<br />

understanding of non-Western<br />

dance? Here, the Witch Dance<br />

Project team intervenes via its invited<br />

choreographers, many of whom are<br />

queer, feminist and/or non-white. It<br />

makes sense – feminist reclaiming of<br />

witchiness is nothing new. Layer this<br />

on top of a non-European perspective<br />

and you can kind of see where<br />

the Witch Dance Project is coming<br />

from. If the lectures and film screenings<br />

aren’t your thing, maybe a modern<br />

wicca workshop by someone who<br />

goes by Warbear might be more your<br />

speed? Understanding the impact of<br />

Hexentanz means looking at dance<br />

history in new ways – maybe even<br />

looking beyond dance itself. ■<br />

Witch Dance Project Oct 6-9<br />

Sophiensaele, Mitte<br />

40<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

WHAT’S ON — Stage<br />

Preview<br />


Roma TV<br />

Playing at the Delphi this month,<br />

The Journey/Drom turns the Balkan<br />

migration crisis into a live talk show.<br />

A<br />

story<br />

about the plight of the Roma people, caught between<br />

discrimination in the Western Balkans and rejection in<br />

Germany, has the potential to get pretty bleak. Since Germany<br />

added more Balkan countries to its “safe list” last year, the<br />

chance the community has at gaining asylum here has become<br />

virtually nonexistent. Sounds like the perfect fodder for a serious<br />

documentary or overly sentimental dramatisation, but leave it<br />

to the team at Delphi, the former silent film house turned alt<br />

performance venue, to turn it into something totally unexpected.<br />

An international collaboration helmed by Delphi artistic director<br />

Brina Stinehelfer, The Journey/Drom, illustrates the struggles of<br />

the Roma by assuming the format of an absurdist television talk<br />

show – think “the worst made-for-TV version of the OJ Simpson<br />

trial, combined with Dr. Phil,” Stinehelfer says.<br />

The style is a wink at the sensationalised depiction of Roma<br />

people in the media, but an absurd approach might also be one of<br />

the only ways to depict some of the struggles they face. Through<br />

a partnership with Berlin’s Roma Trial, Serbia’s Kulturanova and<br />

Budapest’s Pro Progressione, Stinehelfer and her artistic team<br />

produced the show, making sure they travelled along the Balkan<br />

route themselves to get a first-hand look at the dead ends Roma<br />

people face no matter what direction they go. Germany is a closed<br />

door, and southeastern Europe is almost horrifically hopeless.<br />

“People are living in shacks that they’ve made themselves out<br />

of scrap metal and cardboard. They have no electricity, they have<br />

no running water, babies get bitten by rats...” Stinehelfer says.<br />

“This is Europe in <strong>2016</strong>, and there are people dying of dysentery<br />

because they’re eating from the garbage.”<br />

The Gorki presented a sneak peek of the show back in April as a<br />

work-in-progress, coinciding with the International Day of the Roma.<br />

Stinehelfer now brings a fully realised version to the Delphi’s singular<br />

space, in which theatregoers will double as a live studio audience.<br />

The script, which came directly out of actual experiences with<br />

people in the Balkans, plays with stereotypes and prejudices in<br />

a way Stinehelfer says doesn’t fall into the “refugee victim” trap<br />

and brings new depth to trite gypsy images and stories. “Everything<br />

onstage happened to a real person – and everything we’re<br />

saying is a theatrical version of the truth,” she says. Sounds like<br />

the talk show ideal. — Julyssa Lopez<br />

Nihad Nino Pušija<br />


and the Tanztheater<br />

until 9 January 2017 in Berlin<br />

Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin<br />

Niederkirchnerstraße 7 • D-10963 Berlin<br />

www.pina-bausch-ausstellung.de<br />

21-23 Oct <strong>2016</strong><br />


In Kooperation mit<br />

der Pina Bausch<br />

Foundatioan, Wuppertal<br />

Media partner<br />

www.idfestival.de<br />

Laurent Philippe, performance of the Pina Bausch piece Vollmond © Laurent Philippe<br />

The Journey/Drom Oct 27, 29, 20:00<br />

Ehemaliges Stummfilmkino Delphi, Weißensee<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />

Migration told through<br />

Israeli-German art

WHAT’S ON — Stage<br />

Don’t miss<br />

Berlin Burlesque<br />

Festival<br />

Not to be confused<br />

with Burlesque Week,<br />

the fest’s expanded<br />

programme brings<br />

together neo-burlesque<br />

and cirque<br />

with old-school<br />

glamorous disrobing.<br />

Oct 20-23, various<br />

venues<br />

Clap.<br />

This piece begins<br />

where most<br />

performances end<br />

– it’s an exploration<br />

of applause by the<br />

free-scene group<br />

Objective Spectacle.<br />

Oct 21-23, 20:00,<br />

Ballhaus Ost<br />

Schaubühne for a fiver<br />

Berlin theatre tickets<br />

are always pretty<br />

cheap, but <strong>October</strong><br />

10 is “Theatre day”,<br />

which means half-off<br />

even the €10 tickets<br />

at the Schaubühne’s<br />

English-surtitled<br />

production of The<br />

Invention of the RAF.<br />

No excuses!<br />

Interview<br />

“ Where is my family?”<br />

Portland, Oregon-based playwright Andrea Stolowitz<br />

searches for answers about her family in Berlin Diary<br />

– Schlüterstraße 27.<br />

The play is a conversation<br />

between a character named<br />

“Andrea Stolowitz” and her<br />

great-grandfather, Max, as she tracks<br />

down her family members in archives<br />

and graveyards.<br />

Can you tell us a bit about Berlin<br />

Diary? The play is an epic odyssey<br />

that starts in my real life, when I am<br />

handed this diary. My great-grandfather<br />

fled Berlin in 1936 and left a<br />

diary for his grandchildren. Which<br />

I didn’t read for a very long time,<br />

because it’s half in German with very<br />

small script. After a shooting in my<br />

house when I lived in North Carolina,<br />

I turned back to this question of<br />

“Who is my family, and why is it so<br />

Preview<br />

Jerusalem in our hearts<br />

On Oct 22, the<br />

ensemble Sferraina<br />

will be performing<br />

a combination<br />

of 17th-century<br />

Baroque music<br />

and the Yemenite<br />

music of the same<br />

period.<br />

small?” How is the past the present<br />

and the present the past? So I came<br />

to Berlin and used this diary to track<br />

down the mysteries of the past so I<br />

can solve them.<br />

This feels like a very Berlin story.<br />

There’s so much history upon<br />

history upon history – and it’s<br />

all labelled. Everything. I mean,<br />

when you think of everything that<br />

has happened in any one spot for<br />

the last 900 years... but then, it’s<br />

another level when it’s just personal<br />

and there are no signs at the<br />

addresses that you find.<br />

Why base the play on your own<br />

life? I really don’t like one-person<br />

shows or confessional memoirs. All<br />

that stuff is really dangerous terrain,<br />

because it’s mostly, in my view,<br />

bad. And then the Holocaust itself<br />

is a whole other thing. It feels like<br />

there is nothing you can say about it.<br />

And so that’s another writing trap.<br />

“Semi-autobiographical”, “one-person<br />

show”, “the Holocaust” – these<br />

are all “ugh, not that topic” topics.<br />

So this is a play about now, and what<br />

this historical event means in my<br />

life right now: Where is my family? I<br />

want a family. — LK<br />

Berlin Diary – Schlüterstraße 27<br />

Oct 6-9, 12-15, 20:00 English Theater<br />

Berlin, Kreuzberg<br />

There are parts of Neukölln where the patois of<br />

Hebrew and Arabic might make you think you’re in<br />

Tel Aviv. Delve in at the ID Festival at Radialsystem<br />

V: the annual festival showcasing German artists<br />

with an Israeli background. Of which there are<br />

many. The word on everyone’s lips: migration! Still,<br />

it seems more than a little tone-deaf to make this<br />

the theme of a festival by and about Israelis. One of<br />

the few pieces which tackles the theme explicitly is<br />

Makembo!, an adaptation of the Joseph story “drawing<br />

on classical rabbinic exegesis” not only featuring<br />

a bunch of Nazi references but with an abused<br />

African refugee as the lead character. We’d say it’s<br />

a little on the nose, except that it sounds like an<br />

absolute mess. The more abstract end of the program<br />

looks better, like the visual-art-inspired dance<br />

theatre piece Dancing to the End by the group Total<br />

Brutal. Or No Mad, which places a trombonist and a<br />

dancer into surreal situations both in film projections<br />

and on stage. The chamber music performances,<br />

at the very least, won’t offend. — LK<br />

ID Festival Oct 21-23<br />

Radialsystem V, Friedrichshain<br />

Grrr. I’m dancing.<br />

This performance, in<br />

which Mathis Kleinschnittger<br />

wears a fur<br />

coat and becomes a<br />

dancing bear, looks<br />

about as weird and<br />

wonderful as you<br />

would expect. Oct<br />

1-2, 19:00, Dock 11<br />

Neda Navaee<br />

42<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

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OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong> 43

WHAT’S ON<br />

Calendar<br />

<strong>October</strong> <strong>2016</strong><br />

Picks, highlights and can’t-miss events<br />

for this month in Berlin.<br />

Left: The Kills. Above: German Comic Con,<br />

photo by Tobias-Droigk. Right: Pornfilmfestival:<br />

The Bedroom.<br />

SAT<br />

1<br />

Sophie Calle Artist Talk<br />

— Photography At C/O,<br />

the European Month of<br />

Photography (see page 36)<br />

opening continues with the cult<br />

French conceptual artist on her<br />

intimate and sometimes<br />

voyeuristic work. Starts 18:00.<br />

SUN<br />

2<br />

Black Lives Matter<br />

Soli-Party — Party<br />

Dance against racism!<br />

Berlin’s queer/feminist/<br />

non-white party scene comes<br />

together to present this all-night<br />

fundraiser for local black<br />

initiatives. Schwuz. Starts 23:00.<br />

MON<br />

3<br />

Day of German Unity<br />

— Holiday Enjoy your<br />

day off to celebrate the<br />

26th anniversary of German<br />

reunification – there’ll even be a<br />

funfair at the Brandenburg<br />

Gate! Just don’t forget to stock<br />

up at Lidl the Saturday before.<br />

TUE<br />

4<br />

Lucia Moholy: The English<br />

Years — Photography<br />

The European Month of<br />

Photography gives the underappreciated<br />

Bauhaus photographer<br />

the spotlight with an exhibition<br />

showcasing the work she made<br />

after fleeing Nazi Germany for<br />

London. Through Feb 27.<br />

Bauhaus Archiv. Opens 19:00.<br />

WED<br />

5<br />

Gold Panda — Music<br />

With his loud yet<br />

relaxed indie electronica,<br />

British producer/musician<br />

Derwin Schleckers is a perfect<br />

fit for Berghain, even if it is<br />

only Wednesday. Starts 20:00<br />

THU<br />

6<br />

Doku.Arts — Film<br />

The 10th edition of the<br />

international art film<br />

festival (see page 29) delves<br />

into essay cinema. This year<br />

features a great lineup with<br />

many directors present, like at<br />

striking opener Notes on<br />

Blindness. Through Oct 23.<br />

Zeughauskino. Starts 20:00.<br />

Italian Film Festival — Film<br />

The four-day celebration of<br />

cinema Italiano includes a retrospective<br />

on director Paolo<br />

Virzì, who’ll be present at the<br />

opening screening of his 1997<br />

comedy Ovosodo. Babylon.<br />

Starts 20:00.<br />

Witch Dance Project — Dance<br />

Discover your inner queer<br />

shaman over four days of<br />

performances, films, readings<br />

and interactive rituals based on<br />

Mary Wigman’s groundbreaking<br />

Hexentanz (see page 40).<br />

Through Oct 9. Sophiensaele.<br />

Starts 18:30.<br />

FRI<br />

7<br />

Festival of Lights<br />

— Installation<br />

An upside of it getting<br />

dark earlier: 10 nights of fantastical<br />

light projections illuminating<br />

Berlin’s most famous<br />

monuments and landmarks,<br />

plus live music and art events.<br />

Through Oct 16. Starts 19:00.<br />

SAT<br />

8<br />

Lichtspiele Youth Film<br />

Festival — Film Let’s<br />

hear it for the kids at<br />

this showcase of shorts made<br />

by children, teens and young<br />

adults. City Kino Wedding.<br />

Starts 11:30.<br />

The British View — Exhibition<br />

How do the Brits see Germany?<br />

Curated by the British Museum,<br />

this show displays 200 objects<br />

that retell German history<br />

through a British lens, from<br />

Albrecht Dürer’s Rhinocerus to<br />

Napoleon’s hat. Through Jan 9.<br />

Martin-Gropius-Bau.<br />

SUN<br />

9<br />

Easterndaze — Film/Music<br />

Eastern Europe’s<br />

fertile, noisy DIY scene<br />

comes to Berlin for 10 days of<br />

concerts and documentaries.<br />

It all wraps up tonight with a<br />

screening of Belgrade music<br />

doc Beograd Underground.<br />

Lichtblick. Starts 20:00.<br />

MON<br />

10<br />

EXBlicks: Rebirth of a<br />

Nation — Film/Party Join<br />

Exberliner and American<br />

Voices Abroad for a pre-election<br />

warm-up with voter registration,<br />

drinks and snacks, then catch the<br />

DJ Spooky remix of one of the<br />

most notorious American films in<br />

history. Lichtblick. Starts 20:00.<br />

TUE<br />

11<br />

3hd Festival — M usic/Art<br />

Screw the future, let’s<br />

focus on the present at<br />

the Creamcake collective’s music,<br />

performance and visual art fest.<br />

Through Oct 15. Various locations.<br />

Starts 18:00. (see page 35)<br />

WED<br />

12<br />

How Berlin Got the<br />

Blues — Film/Music<br />

A soldier by day and<br />

bluesman by night, Eb Davis<br />

changed the city’s musical<br />

landscape pre-Mauerfall. Catch<br />

the European premiere of the<br />

documentary on his life, followed<br />

by a live concert by the<br />

man himself. Babylon Kino.<br />

Starts 20:00. (See page 26)<br />

Women & Leadership: The Path<br />

Ahead — Discussion Panel The spirited<br />

ladies of The American Women’s<br />

Club of Berlin have invited<br />

four female executives (from<br />

IBM to Siemens) to share their<br />

experiences. Kimberly Emerson of<br />

44<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

WHAT’S ON<br />

Human Rights Watch (see page 23)<br />

will open the evening. Volkswagen<br />

Group Forum. Starts 19:00.<br />

FRI<br />

14<br />

Uncertain States — Art<br />

This group exhibition<br />

matches objects from the<br />

likes of Walter Benjamin and<br />

Bertolt Brecht with 25 contemporary<br />

works reflecting crisis, flight,<br />

instability, violence and loss.<br />

Through Jan 15. AdK. Starts 19:00.<br />

SAT<br />

15<br />

German Comic Con<br />

— Conference Get your<br />

cosplay gear ready for<br />

Berlin’s first-ever Comic Con,<br />

featuring an impressive guestlist<br />

of nerd-approved names like<br />

Christopher Lloyd, James<br />

Marsters and Robert Englund (aka<br />

Doc, Spike and Freddy). Through<br />

Oct 16. Messe Berlin. Starts 10:00.<br />

TUE<br />

18<br />

The Cure — Music<br />

Who doesn’t want to<br />

re-experience those angsty,<br />

dramatic teenaged days when The<br />

Cure was your perfect medicine?<br />

Mercedes Benz Arena. Starts 19:30.<br />

THU Berlin Burlesque Festival<br />

20 — Cabaret Acts from all<br />

over the world spin fire,<br />

do flips and get naked. Whether<br />

you’re watching people take their<br />

clothes off or twirling those nipple<br />

tassels yourself, it’ll be a blast.<br />

Through Oct 23. Various venues.<br />

FRI<br />

21<br />

ID Festival — Stage<br />

This year’s German-Israeli<br />

arts and culture festival<br />

bears the timely theme of “migration”<br />

and “refuge”, as explored<br />

through three days of performance.<br />

Through Oct 23. Radialsystem V.<br />

Starts 17:00. (See page 42)<br />

SAT<br />

22<br />

The Kills — Music<br />

Get your post-punk<br />

grunge on with chainsmoking<br />

badass Alison Mosshart<br />

(also of The Dead Weather),<br />

touring latest album Ash & Ice.<br />

Tempodrom. Starts 20:00.<br />

TUE<br />

25<br />

Angel Olsen — Music<br />

Whether backed up by a<br />

rock cacophony or<br />

shockingly sparse folk arrangements,<br />

the indie darling’s voice<br />

is always centre stage. She hits<br />

Berlin with her brand-spankingnew<br />

album My Woman. Columbia<br />

Theater. Starts 19:00.<br />

WED<br />

26<br />

Pornfilmfestival — Film<br />

Berlin’s raunchiest underground<br />

film festival<br />

returns to Germany’s oldest<br />

cinema for the 11th time. Bring<br />

your mom! (Seriously – it’s<br />

not all hardcore). Through<br />

Oct 30. Moviemento. (See<br />

page 29)<br />

THU<br />

27<br />

Scores — Art/Music<br />

Toss out your sheet<br />

music at this<br />

audiovisual exhibition, for<br />

which artists like Saâdane<br />

Afif and Ari Benjamin Meyers<br />

created far-out interpretations<br />

of the musical score.<br />

Through Nov 13. Hamburger<br />

Bahnhof. Starts 19:00.<br />

Tacit Futures — Conference<br />

Can movement and borders<br />

be controlled through<br />

democratic processes? The<br />

Berliner Gazette investigates<br />

this question through workshops,<br />

performances, talks<br />

and... cooking! Through Oct<br />

29. Volksbühne.<br />

MON<br />

31<br />

Adia Victoria — Music<br />

Celebrate Halloween<br />

with ghostly Southern<br />

gothic blues courtesy of the<br />

up-and-coming Nashvillebased<br />

singer-songwriter.<br />

Privatclub. Starts 20:00.<br />

<strong>October</strong> Programme in English<br />

28.9.–8.10. / HAU1, HAU2, HAU3 FESTIVAL<br />

The Aesthetics of<br />

Resistance –<br />

Peter Weiss 100<br />

Festival with Judica Albrecht, Alexand­<br />

Liane, Halil Altındere, Mareike Bernien,<br />

Boris Buden, Guillermo Calderón,<br />

Volkan Cidam, Phil Collins, Ekaterina<br />

Degot, T**lin, Ion Dumitrescu, Nicoleta<br />

Esinencu, Liz Fekete, Oliver Frljić, Bogdan<br />

Georgescu, Alex Gerbaulet, Enna<br />

Gerin, Fabian Hinrichs, Sandra Hüller,<br />

Serhat Karakayali, Jana König, Tomasz<br />

Konicz, Nina Kronjäger, Anja Lemke,<br />

Hannah Lichtenberger, Doris Liebscher,<br />

Agnes Julia Mann, Rabih Mroué, Grigoris<br />

Panoutsopoulos, Mira Partecke,<br />

Miquel Ramos, Raze de Soare, La Resentida,<br />

Stefanie Schüler­Springorum,<br />

Mima Simić, DJ Sohrab, Andreas Spechtl,<br />

Robert Stadlober, Valery Tscheplanowa,<br />

Joseph Vogl, Mark Waschke, Zeev<br />

Sternhell a.o.<br />

11.10. / HAU2 / Concert MUSIC<br />

Mark Ernestus’<br />

Ndagga Rhythm<br />

Force / afterwards: DJ Mark Ernestus<br />

My Perfect Berlin Weekend<br />

New York native and Neuköllner<br />

Brina Stinehelfer is a theatre/performance<br />

artist and the artistic<br />

director of Ehemaliges Stummfilmkino<br />

Delphi, a former silent<br />

film theatre hosting two of this<br />

month’s must-sees: musicians<br />

Jerusalem In My Heart (see page<br />

33) and play The Journey/Drom<br />

(see page 41).<br />

Karolina Spolniewski<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />

FRIDAY<br />

19:00 Dinner at my fave sushi spot Tabibito<br />

(Karl-Marx-Str. 56, Neukölln), a really tiny,<br />

cute and delicious family-owned place. 21:00<br />

See my friends at Engels (Herrfurthstr. 21,<br />

Neukölln) for the Friday drag show. 23:00<br />

Some serious dancing at Schwuz (Rollbergstr.<br />

26, Neukölln) or Sameheads (Richardstr. 10,<br />

Neukölln) – I like to keep it local when I have<br />

work the next day.<br />


13:00 I go to Ehemaliges Stummfilmkino<br />

Delphi (Gustav-Adolf-Str. 2, Weißensee) to prepare<br />

for the event that night. No matter if it’s<br />

theatre, music, dance or a film, it’s always a joy<br />

to be in this beautiful space. 20:00 Showtime! I<br />

stay till the bitter end to lock up.<br />

SUNDAY<br />

14:00 If the weather is nice I love grilling in<br />

Hasenheide (Neukölln). 20:00 Either see a<br />

show at HAU (Stresemannstr. 29, Kreuzberg)<br />

or a film at Rollberg Kino (Rollbergstr. 70,<br />

Neukölln).<br />

14.+15.10. / HAU2 MUSIC PERFORMANCE<br />

Creamcake<br />

3hd Festival: There is nothing left<br />

but the Future?<br />

With AGF, Inga Copeland, Soda Plains ft.<br />

Negroma, COOL FOR YOU, Nile Koetting,<br />

Aïsha Devi & Emile Barret, Easter, HVAD,<br />

Kara­Lis Coverdale<br />

16.10. / HAU3 DIALOGUE<br />

Violence of<br />

Inscriptions #0<br />

Sandra Noeth & Arkadi Zaides<br />

21.–23.10. / HAU1 THEATRE<br />

She She Pop<br />

50 Grades of Shame<br />

Ein Bilderbogen nach Wedekinds “Frühlings Erwachen”<br />

German with English surtitles<br />

21.–23.10. / HAU3 DANCE<br />

Adam Linder<br />

Kein Paradiso / English (language no problem)<br />

28.–30.10. / HAU2 THEATRE<br />

Kornél Mundruczó /<br />

Proton Theatre<br />

Látszatélet / Imitation of Life<br />

Hungarian with German and English surtitles<br />


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savour. Sredzkistr. 43, U-Bhf Eberswalder<br />

Str. / Pflügerstr. 25, U-Bhf<br />

Schönleinstr. Tue-Sun 11-23, www.<br />

chutnify.com<br />

CAFÉS<br />

GODSHOT — Prenzlauer Berg<br />

Godshot belongs to the top of the<br />

league, with excellent coffee and<br />

super-friendly staff. Above all, they<br />

know their stuff. Take your time and<br />

enjoy the casual, laid-back atmosphere<br />

of a great neighbourhood and<br />

one of their delicious cakes.<br />

Immanuelkirchstr. 32, U-Bhf Senefelderplatz,<br />

Mon-Fri 8-18, Sat 9-18,<br />

Sun 13-18, www.godshot.de<br />

BARETTINO — Neukölln<br />

The name means “small bar”, and<br />

this is a unique combination of great<br />

food and good coffee from Italy and<br />

Brandenburg. Everything is fresh<br />

and made with love: The huge breakfast<br />

selection, Italian dishes, lots<br />

of delicacies, toasted paninis and<br />

homemade cakes… Join our events!<br />

Reuterstr. 59, U-Bhf Hermannplatz,<br />

Tel 0176 6464 5307, Mon-Sun<br />

9-22, www.barettinoberlin.com<br />

NAPOLJONSKA — Mitte<br />

Located just off Zionskirchplatz,<br />

this vegetarian café offers organic<br />

and homemade delicacies. Enjoy a<br />



ADS@<strong>EXBERLINER</strong>.COM<br />

range of hearty breakfasts reaching<br />

from spinach omelettes to pancakes<br />

and French breakfast. Here you<br />

can sip your organic latte in a cosy<br />

atmosphere with the young and old,<br />

locals and travellers. Kastanienallee<br />

43, U-Bhf Rosenthaler Platz, Tel<br />

030 3117 0965, Mon, Fri 08.30 -18.00,<br />

Tue-Thu 8.30-16:00 Sat- Sun 09-<br />

19.00, www.napoljonska.de<br />


— Charlottenburg Enjoy a coffee in<br />

one of Berlin’s finest cafés, known<br />

for its courteous staff and pleasant<br />

atmosphere in the elegant and<br />

much-loved Literaturhaus villa. The<br />

perfect stop during a shopping trip<br />

on nearby Ku’damm. Fasanenstr.<br />

23, U-Bhf Uhlandstr., Tel 030<br />

8825 414, Mon-Sun 9:30-24, www.<br />

literaturhaus-berlin.de<br />

PRACHTWERK — Neukölln One of<br />

a kind in Neukölln, Prachtwerk is a<br />

spacious café, music venue and gallery.<br />

With a wide variety of local and<br />

organic items, Prachtwerk serves<br />

up Five Elephant Coffee, beer from<br />

Neukölln’s Rollberg Brauerei, housemade<br />

baked goods, tasty cocktails<br />

SPLUFFIN STORE — Friedrichshain<br />

Spluffin Store is a new kind of small<br />

bakery specialising in hybrid pastries,<br />

mainly Spluffins, which cross<br />

muffins with Berlin’s very own Splitterbrötchen.<br />

The store offers more<br />

than 20 different sweet and savoury<br />

Spluffin variations, and even some<br />

vegan options. Best enjoyed with<br />

a great cup of coffee. Revaler Str.<br />

12, U-Bhf, S-Bhf Warschauer Straße,<br />

Thu-Fri 9-18, Sat-Sun 10-20, www.<br />

spluffin.berlin<br />

KREMANSKI — Kreuzberg<br />

Kremanski offers tasty breakfast,<br />

high-quality coffee, lunch (Mon to<br />

Fri), homemade cakes and icecream,<br />

special beers, drinks, good<br />

music and cultural events. The<br />

friendly and talented staff will make<br />

you feel welcome, inspired and<br />

relaxed. The perfect hangout right<br />

at Kotti, all day long! Adalbertstr.<br />

96, U-Bhf Kottbusser Tor, Mon-Thu<br />

8.30-23, Fri 8.30-2, Sat 12-2, Sun 12-<br />

23, www.kremanski.de<br />


CHUTNIFY — Prenzlauer Berg, Neukölln<br />

Desperate for an alternative to the<br />

usual over-sauced curry? Get set<br />

to rejoice! Boasting a lip-smacking<br />

selection of South Indian fare,<br />

Chutnify is the go-to spot if you’re<br />

hunting for authenticity. Be it crispy<br />

dosas, tantalising thalis or zinging<br />

salads, there’s a dish for everyone to<br />

CHUPENGA — Mitte<br />

When the lunchtime queue for a<br />

burrito looks like Berghain, you<br />

know there’s got to be something<br />

good waiting. Luckily, it moves<br />

quickly, thanks to Chupenga’s<br />

efficient production line. You can<br />

pick and choose the ingredients for<br />

your burrito, naked burrito, salad or<br />

tacos for a fixed price. Mohrenstr.<br />

42, Tel 030 239 369 61, U-Bhf<br />

Hausvogteiplatz, Mon-Fri, 11:30-20,<br />

www.chupenga.com<br />

BASTARD — Kreuzberg From Bastard<br />

with love: whether it’s breakfast,<br />

lunch or dinner, this restaurant is<br />

not just for those who were born out<br />

of wedlock. Choose from the changing<br />

seasonal menu created with love<br />

for fresh ingredients and fine food.<br />

Our tip: try the homemade stoneoven<br />

bread! Reichen berger Str. 122,<br />

U-Bhf Görlitzer Bahnhof, Tel 030<br />

5482 1866, Mon, Wed-Sun 9-16.30,<br />

www.bastard-berlin.de<br />

AUSTERNBANK — Mitte<br />

Fresh oysters, premium fish and<br />

exceptional meat dishes are served<br />

at Austernbank. Culinary splendor<br />

as well as the extraordinary<br />

architecture make this a must-go-torestaurant.<br />

The former bank vault is<br />

located inside the Humboldt Carré,<br />

one of Berlin’s most beautiful buildings.<br />

For gourmets: lobster cocktail<br />

“à la Rosso” is prepared in front of<br />

the guests. Behrenstr. 42, U-Bhf<br />

Französische Str. Tel 030 7677 52724<br />

46<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

ADVERTORIAL — The Berlin Guide<br />


— Friedrichshain The best Californiastyle<br />

Mexican street food joint in<br />

Friedrichshain. Delicious freshly<br />

made burritos and quesadillas<br />

served by a collection of fun-loving<br />

international people. Once a week,<br />

challenge the NHE team in a game<br />

of rock-paper-scissors and win a<br />

half-price meal! Kopernikusstr. 22,<br />

S+U-Bhf Warschauer Str., Mon-Sun<br />

from 12, www.nohabloespanol.de<br />

CRUNCH KANTINE — Moabit<br />

Crunch Kantine is about quick,<br />

simple, affordable food made from<br />

fresh and cooked with love. Our<br />

philosophy on vegetarian cooking:<br />

everything fresh and delicious and<br />

we hope that meat eaters won‘t<br />

notice that there is NO meat. 12<br />

dishes on the buffet each day with<br />

80% of them vegan. Siemensstr.<br />

16, S-Beusselstr., Tue-Sat 12-20, Sun<br />

12-17, www.crunchkantine.com<br />

MANI IN PASTA — Kreuzberg<br />

Many restaurants claim to offer<br />

hand-made tagliatelle, but at Mani<br />

in Pasta you can actually see it happening!<br />

The Italian trio prepares and<br />

sells fresh pasta at Markthalle IX.<br />

They also offer daily traditional or<br />

experimental dishes to enjoy on the<br />

spot. Some meaty, some vegetarian,<br />

all delicious! Eisenbahnstr. 42-43,<br />

U-Bhf Görlitzer Bahnhof, Mon, Wed,<br />

Sat 10-18, Tue, Fri, 10-20, Thu 10-22,<br />

www.maniinpasta.de<br />

3 SCHWESTERN — Kreuzberg<br />

Housed in a former hospital<br />

turned art centre, this spacious<br />

restaurant with big windows<br />

overlooking a lovely garden serves<br />

fresh, seasonal German and<br />

continental dishes at reasonable<br />

prices. Breakfast on weekends and<br />

holidays. Live music and parties<br />

start after dessert. Mariannenplatz<br />

2 (Bethanien), U-Bhf Kottbusser<br />

Tor, Tel 030 6003 18600,<br />

Mon-Sat from 11, Sun from 10,<br />

www.3schwestern-berlin.de<br />

DABBAWALLA — Schöneberg<br />

Dabbawalla’s tasty vegan lunch<br />

offerings are freshly made and<br />

inspired by the ayurvedic cuisine.<br />

Main dish is the generous Thali<br />

which changes daily; also popular<br />

are the salads, cakes and the sweet<br />

‘Chia-dream’. The cosy deli is also a<br />

small health food store. Hohenstaufenstr.<br />

64, U-Nollendorfplatz or<br />

U-Eisenacher Str.; Mo-Sa 11.30h-16h,<br />

www.dabbawalla.berlin<br />

CAFÉ MORGENLAND — Kreuzberg<br />

On weekends and holidays you’ll<br />

find a great buffet here, complete<br />

with gourmet cheese, fresh fruit and<br />

veg, crêpes and other vegetarian<br />

dishes, cold cuts, shrimp cocktails<br />

and more. Set menus from €5.<br />

During Happy Hour drinks are just<br />

€3.50 after 20:00. Reservations<br />

suggested. Skalitzer Str. 35, U-Bhf<br />

Görlitzer Bahnhof, Tel 030 6113 291,<br />

Mon-Fri 9-1, Sat-Sun from 10,<br />

www.morgenland-berlin.de<br />

English menus and serve organic<br />

meat. Kantstr. 148, S-Bhf Savignyplatz,<br />

Tel 030 3138 038, Mon-Sun all<br />

day, www.schwarzescafeberlin.de<br />


— Friedrichshain All Italian, delicious<br />

handmade pizza to-go or enjoy<br />

with the relaxed and fun crew.<br />

They have been feeding Berliners at<br />

festivals, parties and markets, and<br />

recently opened their own restaurant<br />

in Friedrichshain. One of the<br />

best pizzas in town, made with love<br />

for food. Vegetarians and vegans<br />

are also welcome! Colbestr. 3,<br />

U-Bhf Samariterstraße, Mon-Sat<br />

12-23, Sun 17.30-23, facebook.com/<br />

zerostresspizza<br />

PUNE — Prenzlauer Berg The place to<br />

go to especially on Sundays for a<br />

great Indian buffet after a stroll on<br />

the nearby Mauerpark fleamarket.<br />

They offer a large menu with various<br />

meaty, vegetarian and vegan dishes,<br />

and daily lunch specials. Don’t skip<br />

the cocktail happy hour! Oderberger<br />

Str. 28, U-Bhf Eberswalder Str.,<br />

Tel 030 4404 2762, Mon-Sat 12-24,<br />

Sun 11-24, www.pune-restaurant.de<br />

DOLORES — Mitte & Schöneberg<br />

Founded 10 years ago as a street food pioneer in the German capital,<br />

Dolores serves excellent California-style burritos and quesadillas<br />

– inspired by San Francisco’s Mission district. Recommended by<br />

Time Out, New York Times and Lonely Planet. Voted #1 value for<br />

your money by Exberliner readers. Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 7, S+U-Bhf<br />

Alexanderplatz, Tel 030 2809 9597, Mon-Sat 11:30-22, Sun 13-22.<br />

Bayreuther Str. 36, U-Bhf Wittenbergplatz, Mon-Sun 11-22, www.<br />

dolores-berlin.de<br />


— Charlottenburg Since the 1970s,<br />

Schwarzes Café on Savignyplatz has<br />

been a cult favourite among artists,<br />

anarchists, foreigners and Charlottenburgers.<br />

They‘re open 24/7, have<br />

NALU DINER — Prenzlauer Berg<br />

They call themselves the Homeland<br />

of the Freefill, but Nalu is much<br />

more: here you’ll score US-style<br />

breakfasts, comfort food and great<br />

cheeseburgers plus tasty lunch<br />

and dinner specials. Finish your<br />

meal with a malted milkshake or<br />

root beer float! Dunckerstr. 80a,<br />

S-Bhf Prenzlauer Allee, Tel 030<br />

8975 8632, Mon 9-16, Tue-Sun 9-22,<br />

www.nalu-diner.com<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong> 47

ADVERTORIAL — The Berlin Guide<br />


CONTACT ADS@<strong>EXBERLINER</strong>.COM<br />



17-20, S-Bhf Hacke scher Markt,<br />

Mon-Fri from 12, Sat-Sun from 10,<br />

www.kilkenny-pub.de<br />

SOYLENT BAR — Friedrichshain<br />

The bohemian bar with its shabbychic<br />

style, flea-market furniture,<br />

boom boxes and street art collection<br />

is the place to go to knock back a<br />

few cocktails or try the unique selection<br />

of premium vodkas and hear<br />

an eclectic range of music from soul<br />

to electronic in a local and intimate<br />

atmosphere. Gabriel-Max- Str. 3,<br />

S+U-Bhf Warschauer Str. Mon-Sun<br />

18–open end cafesoylent.eu<br />

KUMPELNEST 3000 — Schöneberg<br />

The legendary bar that made the<br />

Berlin nightlife scene what it is<br />

today. This brothel-turned-bar was<br />

Bono’s hangout during his visits to<br />

West Berlin 25 years ago. Kumpelnest<br />

hasn’t lost any of its authenticity<br />

or wild side over the years. Hipsters<br />

beware! Lützowstr. 23, U-Bhf<br />

Kurfürstenstr., Mon-Fri 19-5, Sat-Sun<br />

from 19, www.kumpelnest3000.com<br />

LPG BIOMARKT — Prenzlauer Berg & Kreuzberg<br />

Your all-organic neighbourhood supermarket supplies fruit and veggies,<br />

vegan groceries, meats, cheese and even cosmetics. They offer a<br />

huge selection of local and regional products, preferably from within<br />

200km from Berlin. Fill your basket with freshly baked bread and treat<br />

yourself to a selection of homemade sweet and savoury goodies. Found<br />

already in 8 locations in Berlin to offer you the fairest, cleanest and<br />

most delicious products nearby, from nearby. Reichenberger Str. 37,<br />

U-Bhf Kottbusser Tor, Mon-Sat 8-21, bakery from 7 Kollwitzstr. 17, U-<br />

Bhf Senefelderplatz, Mon-Sat 9-21, bakery from 7 www.lpg-biomarkt.de<br />

unfussy and original approach to<br />

every kind of event. 0179 1877838,<br />

www.marblesauce.com<br />

HOPS & BARLEY — Friedrichshain<br />

Serving home-brewed pilsner and<br />

dark beer, this is the place to go to<br />

get that proper brew-pub vibe in<br />

Friedrichshain. Cider and wheat<br />

beers are also on tap. Part brewery,<br />

part bar, the interior is beautifully<br />

decorated with antique tiles. Wühlischstr.<br />

22-23, S+U-Bhf Warschauer<br />

Str., Tel 030 2616 918 Mon-Sun 17-2,<br />

www.hopsandbarley-berlin.de<br />

SCHILLERBAR — Neukölln<br />

Fantastic breakfast well into the<br />

afternoon, and great cocktails at<br />

night. Behold the authentic red paint<br />

on the outside wall intended to<br />

threaten the bar upon opening, left<br />

there and affectionately responded<br />

to with hearts stating “Schiller loves<br />

you anyway” (in German, of course).<br />

Herrfurthstr. 7, U-Bhf Boddinstr.,<br />

Tel 0172 9824 427, Mon-Sun 9-2,<br />

www.schillerbar.com<br />


KOLLEKTIV — Neukölln A veganonly<br />

grocery store with a tiny café in<br />

cosy Rixdorf. Vegans will find almost<br />

anything they need. Non-vegans<br />

are welcome to discover interesting<br />

plant-based alternatives and organic<br />

products amongst 2000 items, fresh<br />

vegetables and lots of bulk ware for<br />

small portions. Karl-Marx-Platz 24,<br />

S+U-Bhf Neukölln, Mon-Tue, Thu-<br />

Fri 9-20, Wed 12-20, Sat 9-16,<br />

www.veganladen-kollektiv.net<br />


KWAN — Schöneberg Julien Kwan’s elegant<br />

store for Apple computers and<br />

other high-tech goodies is the place<br />

for those who want more than just<br />

a shop-and-go experience. Personalised<br />

service makes browsing the<br />

latest technology a true pleasure.<br />

Vorbergstr. 2, U-Bhf Kleistpark,<br />

Tel 030 6170 0510, Mon-Fri 10-14, 16-<br />

19, Sat 12-16, www.deinmac.de<br />


Natives and visitors alike converge<br />

to drink and party at this pub under<br />

the beautiful Hackescher Markt<br />

station. Enjoy homemade and<br />

international pub grub plus a vast<br />

selection of beers and spirits. Catch<br />

all the international sports on big<br />

screens. Live concerts two to three<br />

nights a week. Easy 24h access to<br />

public transport. Am Zwirngraben<br />


KARAOKE — Friedrichshain<br />

Monster Ronson’s is the world’s<br />

craziest karaoke club. Make out on<br />

their super-dark dance floor, get<br />

naked in the private karaoke boxes<br />

and sing your favourite songs all<br />

night. Warschauer Str. 34, S+U-Bhf<br />

Warschauer Str., Mon-Sun from 19,<br />

www.karaokemonster.de<br />

MARBLE SAUCE is a vibrant catering<br />

project in Berlin which focuses<br />

on contemporary cross-over food<br />

culture. Started by Caique Tizzi<br />

alongside a team of cooks and artists,<br />

Marble Sauce takes a unique<br />

and creative approach to event<br />

catering and has tailored its fresh,<br />


GEBHARD — Friedrichshain<br />

The talented master tailor makes<br />

trousers with a perfect fit according<br />

to your wishes and measurements.<br />

Go in, get measured, choose the<br />

48<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

ADVERTORIAL — The Berlin Guide<br />

fabric, and receive the best trousers<br />

of your life at her Berlin workshop.<br />

Her focus on detail guarantees that<br />

you will leave a happy customer.<br />

Schreinerstr.21, U-Bhf Samariterstr,<br />

Tel 030 293 687 37, www.nicola-gebhard-hosenanfertigung.de<br />

comes to life! Expect the unexpected!<br />

Rosenthaler Str. 39, S-Bhf Hackescher<br />

Markt, Thu 18.30-21.30, Fri-Sat 16.30-<br />

21.30, www.monsterkabinett.de<br />

TIB-SPORTZENTRUM — Tempelhof<br />

At Berlin’s oldest sport club you’ll find<br />

sports for young and old. Baseball,<br />

softball, ultimate frisbee, tennis, dance<br />

and more. Their sport centre has a<br />

gym, sport courses, 8 badminton and 2<br />

tennis indoor courts, and a sauna.<br />

Columbiadamm 111, U-Bhf Südstern,<br />

Mon-Fri 8-23:30, Sat 9-20:30, Sun<br />

9-23:30, www.tib1848ev.de<br />

HUMBOLDT-INSTITUT — Mitte Total<br />

beginner or advanced learner: the<br />

Humboldt-Institut has the right course<br />

for everyone. Small classes with intensive<br />

tuition ensure swift and effective<br />

learning. Intensive German courses<br />

are also available with accommodation<br />

on campus. Or choose a part-time<br />

course in the morning, evening or on<br />

Saturdays. Invalidenstr. 19, S-Bhf<br />

Nordbahnhof, Tel 030 5551 3221, www.<br />

humboldt-institut.org<br />

IITTALA SHOPS — Mitte, Schöneberg<br />

The Finnish brand Iittala designs timeless homeware which oozes luxury<br />

and elegance. The company founded in the 19th century is loyal to many<br />

classic and famous designs, but manages to combine them with modern<br />

graphics, bold colours and fresh ideas. The designs are meant for special<br />

moments or for everyday use, and to last a lifetime. Their colourful<br />

bowls, plates and cups let you enjoy your meals on a whole new level,<br />

and those beautiful candle votives will light up your autumn nights.<br />

Münzstr. 7, U-Bhf Weinmeisterstraße Friedrichstr. 158-164, S+U-Bhf<br />

Friedrichstraße KaDeWe Tauentzienstr. 21-24, U-Bhf Wittenbergplatz<br />


Join us on a trip to Berlin’s underground<br />

art scene! A unique theme park<br />

inhabited by automatic, singing, dancing<br />

monsters. Your guides: our performance<br />

artists from Transylvania. Visitors<br />

of all ages are invited to enjoy an<br />

invaluable art event where technology<br />

AMORE STORE — Kreuzberg<br />

The contemporary mom-and-pop<br />

store offers traditional Italian products<br />

but with a fun touch. Make great<br />

discoveries varying from cheese graters<br />

to freshly baked bread, and from<br />

colourful cotton socks to organic<br />

olive oil. All items sold are picked<br />

specifically to match the concept<br />

of the store: traditional Italian<br />

delicatessen and goods, with a pinch<br />

of pop culture and of course amore!<br />

Sanderstr. 12, U-Bhf Schönleinstr.,<br />

Tue-Fri 12-20, Sat 12-18<br />

ROLLBERG KINO — Neukölln With<br />

five screens, Babylon Kreuzberg’s<br />

bigger but lesser-known sister boasts<br />

one of the largest original language<br />

movie selections in Berlin. Located<br />

on the U8 near Hermannstraße in<br />

the Kindl Boulevard shopping centre.<br />

Rollbergstr. 70, U-Bhf Boddinstr.,<br />

Tel 030 6270 4645, www.yorck.de<br />



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OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong> 49


Start-ups<br />

By Sophie Atkinson<br />

Working<br />

the system<br />

A day of custom<br />

shoemaking is<br />

one of the many<br />

Descapes on offer.<br />

Looking to escape the daily, fulltime<br />

grind? Whether you’re looking<br />

to try on a new career or share your<br />

job with a buddy, Berlin start-ups<br />

Descape and Tandemploy promise<br />

to solve your work woes... how<br />

convincingly, though? By Sophie Atkinson<br />

Descape<br />

If you’re anything like yours truly, the onset<br />

of autumn is giving you some heavy<br />

back-to-school vibes and with them,<br />

renewed focus on all things career-related.<br />

You’re in Berlin, you’re part of the digital native<br />

generation, so there’s every chance you<br />

might look to start-ups for salvation.<br />

Descape offers work placements across the<br />

globe for money. Yup, you heard that right:<br />

you’re paying to work on your holiday. This<br />

is theoretically because the jobs on offer are<br />

dream jobs. This isn’t you fetching coffees<br />

and doing photocopying for a marketing<br />

department, but the opportunity to “try out”<br />

being a chocolatier, a llama breeder, a sailor, a<br />

vintner or even a ranger at a game reserve in<br />

Namibia. Plus, as co-founder Lena Felixberger<br />

clarifies, while the experience is authentic (“If<br />

you do a Descape at a bakery, obviously you<br />

have to get up early”), you shouldn’t be doing<br />

the gruntwork. “The idea is that you get an<br />

insight but you also have a really good experience<br />

because you paid for it.”<br />

Markus Hoffmann is the co-founder of the<br />

Costa Rica-based project Aiko Logi Tours,<br />

which offers Descape guests the chance to<br />

become rainforest rangers: planting trees,<br />

maintaining paths and reintegrating different<br />

kinds of animals. He argues that Descape<br />

works well for both sides: “It helps finance<br />

the rainforest preservation, but Descapers<br />

also show a special interest in our work.<br />

Since many Descapers stay for extended<br />

time periods, we can give them real projects,<br />

which in turn also speeds up our work.”<br />

Still, chasing your bliss doesn’t always<br />

come cheap. The cheapest Descape costs<br />

only €35, but the job’s not exactly thrilling:<br />

you’re paying to squat a cabin and cook for<br />

hikers in France for a day. Compare this<br />

with the most expensive work placement,<br />

which offers Descapers the opportunity to<br />

make their own pair of shoes in Baden-Baden<br />

for €2880 – ouch. But the role that really<br />

induced a spasm of eye-rolling was “barista”.<br />

You can pay the Berlin School of Coffee €260<br />

to learn how to make, well, coffee. Dude,<br />

ask your closest barista friend (it’s Berlin,<br />

This isn’t you doing<br />

photocopying for a marketing<br />

department, but<br />

the opportunity to “try<br />

out” being a chocolatier<br />

or a llama breeder.<br />

we all have one) for tips instead and spend<br />

the money you’ve saved on a trip to Rome to<br />

suck down some really impressive caffeine.<br />

This said, most Descapes seem to be priced<br />

around the €200 mark, which isn’t that big of<br />

a sum to invest towards some Oprah-esque<br />

dream following, or a holiday spent with<br />

exotic animals.<br />

If you’re looking for a longer-term work<br />

solution, Tandemploy might prove a tempting<br />

alternative. The premise: split a full-time job<br />

with another person so that you can do interesting,<br />

fulfilling work while still having time<br />

to do... whatever else it is you do in Berlin.<br />

Co-founder Jana Tepe set up the company after<br />

working in recruitment, and her lightbulb<br />

moment came when two candidates made<br />

a “tandem” application for one role: they<br />

would both work the job part-time, creating<br />

one full-time candidate. Two days later Tepe<br />

and her colleague Anna Kaiser quit their jobs<br />

at the recruitment company to found their<br />

own startup, hoping to popularise a more<br />

flexible form of working.<br />

The free service offers vacancies from<br />

companies across Germany that are open to<br />

tandem workers, and allows people to team<br />

up and apply for jobs with fellow workers<br />

in their industry. Tepe argues this benefits<br />

employers every bit as much as it does<br />

employees, with employers getting “what recruiters<br />

usually look for: someone who can<br />

speak five languages, who’s really creative<br />

but can also be analytical” by filling the one<br />

role with two candidates. It’s also pretty<br />

good for the employees: part-time roles, by<br />

law in Germany, all come with the health<br />

insurance, holiday leave and sick leave you’d<br />

associate with a non-freelance position. The<br />

number of days of paid leave assigned is proportional<br />

to how much you work, so you’d<br />

only get half the normal amount of holiday<br />

if you split the job 50-50, but who needs<br />

holidays if you’re only working half time,<br />

anyway? Plus, 20 of the companies who use<br />

the service are based in Berlin so you won’t<br />

have to relocate for your new part-time<br />

working life. So far, so blissful.<br />

50<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>


On the other hand, the interesting jobs<br />

don’t look so interesting: you won’t be<br />

applying for the role of scriptwriter on<br />

Deutschland 86 or something. They’re<br />

mostly office jobs: marketing, sales, HR<br />

and a sprinkling of tech, though Outfittery<br />

does offer Berlin-based fashion roles if<br />

you’re an aspiring stylist.<br />

Count Anna Kollenberg and Jens Landmann<br />

among Tandemploy’s success stories. The<br />

two work together in an account manager<br />

role at Skill Hero, which Kollenberg stresses<br />

is “very well paid by Berlin standards”. Their<br />

job is mostly based around customer service<br />

– training customers to use Skill Hero’s apps<br />

and filling the apps with content – but also<br />

has marketing and sales components and,<br />

given its complexity, Kollenberg believes it<br />

can be helpful to have a second person who<br />

knows exactly what she should be covering.<br />

Kollenberg referred to multiple occasions<br />

when she or Landmann acted to preempt<br />

each other’s mistakes – her failure to book<br />

a restaurant for a coding workshop she was<br />

organising, his idea to stage a workshop at<br />

their stall at a business fair that wasn’t open<br />

to spontaneous presentations. But it’s not all<br />

plain sailing. Kollenberg stresses, “Communication<br />

is a really tough thing in tandem.” She<br />

recalls a day when, thanks to a miscommunication,<br />

she ended up working from the wrong<br />

document, losing a day’s work and riling the<br />

CEO, who couldn’t understand why she was<br />

asking all the same questions Landmann had<br />

asked in a meeting a few days earlier.<br />

However, it sounds like the extra communication<br />

was well worth it for the pair<br />

– Kollenberg has used her spare time to<br />

become a part-time philosopher, offering<br />

“analytic thinking” philosophical seminars<br />

and workshops while Landmann volunteers<br />

at a refugee project where he is mentoring a<br />

young Afghan man and “helping him a bit to<br />

manage his day-to-day life here in Germany.”<br />

While we’d all love to become Lebenskünstler,<br />

with rising costs of living in Berlin, it’s<br />

a lucky few who can find jobs well-compensated<br />

enough to allow for halving working<br />

hours. If you’re really hoping for a working<br />

revolution, maybe the smartest option isn’t<br />

a start-up at all, but campaigning for the<br />

Pirate Party-supported unconditional basic<br />

income. But until that happens, if you need<br />

something to take the edge off the death<br />

throes of late capitalism, Descape or Tandemploy<br />

will have to do for now. ■<br />

AZ_B_Exberliner_Okt.16.indd 1 13.09.16 10:42<br />

Karolina Spolniewski<br />

Jana Tepe and Anna Kaiser of tandem working start-up Tandemploy (left, centre)<br />

and Lena Felixberger of paid work placement company Descape (right).<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong>


Start-ups<br />

By Sophie Atkinson<br />

N26’s growing pains<br />

Berlin’s fintech start-up N26 is now an honest-togoodness<br />

bank – ATM fees included. Is this really the<br />

future of banking? By Dyllan Furness<br />

Located on the top two floors of an old<br />

Stasi spy centre in Mitte, N26’s office<br />

space looks like a successful start-up<br />

starter pack: ergonomic chairs, bald and<br />

bearded product developers, a concrete wall<br />

graffitied by local artists. The custom-made<br />

carpeting is stitched with lines of code.<br />

As newbies in an industry as old as money,<br />

the banking app is on a mission improbable<br />

in Berlin and Europe at large, where<br />

big banks still roam like dinosaurs. Since its<br />

launch in January 2015, the start-up has progressed<br />

inch by inch, grown by tens of users<br />

at a time, and established itself as a digital<br />

alternative to antique institutions.<br />

But, up until two months ago, “Europe’s<br />

most modern bank” wasn’t even a bank.<br />

Number26 customers’ money was handled by<br />

Wirecard Bank, who held the banking license<br />

and eased the regulatory headache for the<br />

Berlin-based startup. Then, in July, with a<br />

customer base of over 200,000 and tens of<br />

millions of euros in investments, Number26<br />

earned its banking license and started batting<br />

in the big leagues. To celebrate the event, it<br />

simplified its name (a reference to the number<br />

of dice in a Rubik’s Cube) to N26.<br />

The banking license came as a metamorphosis<br />

for the start-up. The Wirecard partnership<br />

had limited how quickly N26 could expand<br />

but gave it a sense of security, enabling it<br />

to develop its IT system, infrastructure, user<br />

interface, and – perhaps most importantly –<br />

its relationship with its customers.<br />

“Banks have suffered as brands of trust since<br />

the financial crisis,” co-founder and CEO Valentin<br />

Stalf said. “But today, with all the transparency<br />

on the web, you can create a brand<br />

and create trust quite quickly.” He pointed to<br />

his company’s 4.5-star App Store rating.<br />

N26 builds its relationships in many<br />

ways. For one, it takes just eight minutes to<br />

register for an account online (in English,<br />

if you want) – a godsend for newbie expats<br />

intimidated by the prospect of walking into<br />

a Sparkasse. The mobile app is seamless<br />

and intuitive, and N26’s hip, digital brand<br />

provides a stark contrast to the concrete<br />

aesthetic of traditional banks – never mind<br />

that Trump-supporting German-American<br />

billionaire Peter Thiel is one of its most<br />

prominent investors.<br />

But the start-up’s biggest draw, for Berliners<br />

at least, was its lack of fees. This changed<br />

in July, when N26 started charging for cash<br />

withdrawals in Germany – a feature that<br />

was previously free and unlimited from<br />

any Mastercard ATM. In its Fair Use policy,<br />

customers who have their salary paid directly<br />

into their N26 account, who deposit at least<br />

€1000 into the account per month or who<br />

are younger than 26 are given five free ATM<br />

withdrawals per month; all others are offered<br />

three free withdrawals. After that, users have<br />

to fork up €2 per transaction. With plenty of<br />

traditional German banks offering free cash<br />

withdrawal and banking apps of their own,<br />

N26 no longer looked quite as sexy.<br />

From a business perspective, the move was<br />

necessary. For over a year, N26 swallowed<br />

the costs of its customers’ ATM withdrawals,<br />

as high as €2 per transaction in Germany. But<br />

cash is king in this country, and the constant<br />

withdrawal charges weren’t viable. For many<br />

customers who’d grown accustomed to freebies,<br />

the change felt like betrayal.<br />

As a matter of consequence, the start-up<br />

encourages its customers to pay with their<br />

card as much as possible. “It’s much better<br />

for our society to not use cash in terms of<br />

overall costs and fairness,” Stalf said, citing<br />

the “black money” system commonly used<br />

in Berlin restaurants and cafés. “Anyone<br />

who isn’t a criminal would benefit from<br />

getting rid of cash… And there will be much<br />

more effort from the EU to stop issuing<br />

cash to control issues like taxation and terrorist<br />

financing. The less cash there is, the<br />

more transparency there is.”<br />

Going cashless is a pretty tall order in<br />

Berlin, though. To walk his company’s talk,<br />

N26’s CTO Christian Rebernik decided to<br />

abandon cash and pay only with his bank<br />

card in March. “I like the transparency and<br />

I like the security of cards,” he says, but the<br />

effort came with inconveniences. Rebernik’s<br />

neighbourhood bakery and Späti only accept<br />

cash, so he began to buy his bread and beer<br />

at the supermarket. He had to ask a friend<br />

to cover the tab at a cash-only bar. “I didn’t<br />

know what I was getting into,” he admits.<br />

And N26’s transparency may come at<br />

the cost of security. It’s not always obvious<br />

which online actions are secure and which<br />

may be compromised. When you sign up<br />

for an account online, for example, you’re<br />

directed to a third party webcam chat to<br />

verify ID by snapping a screenshot of their<br />

face and passport – a modern process that<br />

feels somewhat intrusive. N26 also retains<br />

data about spending habits and locations,<br />

which Rebernik insists is kept for the sole<br />

goal of giving customers insight into their<br />

own transaction trends.<br />

Only a week after it earned its banking<br />

license, the start-up began to stretch its<br />

wings, partnering with Frankfurt investment<br />

start-up Vaamo to launch N26 Invest. The intuitive<br />

tool lures users into the stock market<br />

by letting them choose from three portfolio<br />

profiles – “cautious, balanced, or bold” – and<br />

invest with just a few clicks. In the coming<br />

months, N26 plans to introduce savings and<br />

credit features as well. As the app increasingly<br />

begins to resemble established banks,<br />

only time will tell if Berliners stick around<br />

for N26’s vision of the future. ■<br />

52<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

COLUMN— The Gay Berliner<br />

Letter to<br />

gay Touris<br />

Walter Crasshole empties his fag bag and vents<br />

on the issues of the day. This month: queer<br />

tourist do’s and don’ts.<br />

Summer has officially drawn to a close and with it, the end of<br />

tourist hook-up season. In some ways, I’ll be sad. And in a<br />

lot of ways, I’m shitting rainbows of happiness at all the stuff<br />

I won’t have to put up with for at least the next six months. Like<br />

that message on Grindr from “English visitor” I got in early September:<br />

“I want you to breed me,” with an accompanying picture<br />

of his asshole. That’s often a not-so-subtle code for chemsex: fucking<br />

on drugs like crystal meth or GHB without a rubber. “I don’t do<br />

drugs,” I told him – which is a lie, but I knew where this was going.<br />

And subsequent messages proved me right. I’m not the judgmental<br />

type – if that’s your thing, that’s your thing. But the truth is,<br />

I rarely get that kind of message in Berlin unless it’s high tourist<br />

season. Seems that visitors get the wrong impression from reading<br />

too much of the “gay sex mecca” hype! So on that note, here’s an<br />

open letter to next summer’s batch of Touris.<br />

Dear gay tourist: Welcome to our city. You make it brighter and<br />

more diverse, and are the lifeblood of much of our economy. Many<br />

of you don’t remain tourists for very long and decide to stay, contributing<br />

to the colourful shimmery fabric that makes Berlin different.<br />

On a gayer note, you fill up my Grindr grid so it’s not just the<br />

same 12 guys at Kottbusser Tor every night. That said, you’re not a<br />

Berliner yet, and it wouldn’t kill you to keep a few things in mind...<br />

Germans, and by extension Berliners, are a punctual folk. Assimilate<br />

a little and instead of trying to make a sex date for between<br />

6-9pm (or am!): commit, damn it. We’re not waiting on an IKEA<br />

desk delivery.<br />

I expect that you have a job back home, so why don’t you expect<br />

we have one here? I know it’s a common myth that we don’t work,<br />

but we do. So just because we were up until dawn Saturday night/<br />

Sunday morning, don’t get butthurt that I can’t meet at 2am<br />

Wednesday night.<br />

Be upfront about leaving the next day. Berliners may be hard,<br />

and its gays nonchalant about dating, but this isn’t just a petting<br />

zoo. Letting me know that you have a plane to catch in 18 hours<br />

informs how we play the game.<br />

Our lives don’t revolve around Berghain. Do you really need to<br />

spend all your time in the world’s most famous darkroom? How<br />

about a walk down Engeldamm? Even if romance isn’t in the cards,<br />

we can always duck into a bush.<br />

And chemsex: I’ve seen the documentary. I’m for whatever<br />

substances you indulge in, but at the same time, I’ve no desire to<br />

see Berlin turn into London. Otherwise I’d live in London, being<br />

a banker during the week and slamming tina come Friday. Berlin’s<br />

got its own kind of hedonism. Luckily, it seems our two cities have<br />

different ideas about being “open-minded” (another strangely<br />

ironic code for chemsex).<br />

And I’ve got an open mind for you, kids. Come, play, socialise<br />

and fraternise, build new communities and enjoy our city. Just<br />

don’t be an asshole. Or send me any more snapshots of yours. ■<br />

Learning<br />

german!<br />

goethe.de/berlin<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />

Sprache. Kultur. Deutschland.


Food<br />

By François Poilâne<br />

Meat the Americans<br />

Get your barbecue, burger and beer fix at three recent<br />

restaurants that beef up Berlin’s US food scene.<br />

The Pit<br />

If you’re wondering why Dallas native Adam<br />

Ramirez charges an extra euro for barbecue<br />

sauce, it’s because he doesn’t want you to use<br />

it. This is BBQ Texas-style, where the flavour<br />

comes from the meat (high-grade wagyu beef<br />

shipped in from Nebraska; pork from Brandenburg)<br />

and the oakwood smoke, imparted<br />

overnight via a room-sized custom-built<br />

smoker stashed in Marzahn. One bite of brisket<br />

and this August’s transition from pop-up<br />

to brick-and-mortar makes sense: it’s almost<br />

obscenely tender and juicy, with a pitch-black<br />

outer crust (“bark”) that’s addictive, if highly<br />

carcinogenic. That and the pork belly are so<br />

rich that we were begging for mercy by the<br />

end of our mixed platter (€38.50/two people),<br />

which also came with a slice of cornbread, a<br />

heap of coleslaw and a bowl of sweet-spicy<br />

beans stewed with leftover brisket ends. You’ll<br />

likely need a Stone IPA (€4.90) to cut through<br />

it all. Texans’ only authenticity quibble will be<br />

with the price – the much-beloved Wednesday<br />

short rib special runs €9 per 100g, and<br />

that’s without any sides! But good meat<br />

should be expensive, and for the sake of<br />

your own health, you ought to make this a<br />

once-every-six-months indulgence anyway.<br />

— JS Reichenberger Str. 120, Kreuzberg,<br />

Wed-Sun 18-22<br />

The Bird Express<br />

Originally conceived as a compact, take-outfriendly<br />

version of Berlin’s premier gourmet<br />

burger emporium (thus the “Express” in the<br />

name), The Bird’s newest location is actually<br />

a rather expansive sit-down bar and grill that<br />

took over Mitte’s hip hop club Kurvenstar in<br />

February. The menu’s expanded as well, from<br />

burgers to BBQ. Thanks to a smoker shipped<br />

over from Nashville, the dinner menu boasts<br />

American Angus brisket and pulled pork,<br />

available plain or in a sandwich (for which<br />

they use actual buns and not those English<br />

muffins that continue to ineffectually contain<br />

their burgers). Co-owners Jonathan Cook,<br />

from New York, and Michael Heiden, from<br />

Cologne, don’t pretend to be purists and<br />

offer a near-infinite array of sauces, from<br />

mustard to vinegar to salsa verde (hot, albeit<br />

one-note). We needed some to moisten up<br />

the dry-ish pulled pork, but the brisket (€16<br />

including bread, pickles and a side of beans<br />

or coleslaw) stood on its own, as did the<br />

Iberico pork loin ribs (€14), basted in a sweet<br />

Kansas-style glaze. It can’t compete with<br />

The Pit’s wagyu, but it’s solid barbecue. The<br />

menu still includes burgers (around €12), also<br />

available in miniature “slider” form at a competitive<br />

price (€2-3.50), appealing to Mitte<br />

business lunchers who don’t want to spend<br />

Karolina Spolniewski<br />

Above: Ribs,<br />

brisket, pulled pork<br />

and sliders from<br />

The Bird Express<br />

in Mitte.<br />

Left: A brisket and<br />

pork belly platter<br />

from The Pit in<br />

Kreuzberg.<br />

the rest of the day’s pitch meetings staving<br />

off the meat sweats. Vegans, rejoice: there’s<br />

even a beetroot-bean “Lousy Hunter” version,<br />

guaranteed animal-free. — JS Kleine<br />

Präsidentenstr. 3, Mitte, daily noon-midnight<br />

Stone Brewing Berlin<br />

Last month, at their year-old European brew<br />

hub in far-west Mariendorf, the San Diegan<br />

makers of Arrogant Bastard Ale unveiled their<br />

giant World Bistro and Gardens. It’s a meaty<br />

venture indeed: think upscale, sanitised White<br />

Trash with a spacious indoor dining area and<br />

tastefully landscaped California-esque outdoor<br />

patio. On tap are dozens of Stone’s palettebending<br />

ales, stouts and other medicinalstrength<br />

concoctions, like the 9.5 percent alcohol,<br />

Belgian-style “Victory Brewing Golden<br />

Monkey” (€5.80/0.3L). Food-wise, it’s all<br />

gastropub gourmet with that rough-aroundthe-edges<br />

quality you’d expect from bearded<br />

craft brewers. Stuff like “Chai-Spiced Moroccan<br />

Beef” with couscous (€18). The “chai” was<br />

hard to identify (it’s supposedly a blend of<br />

cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, ginger and<br />

saffron), but the organic beef was undeniably<br />

tasty. Then there are the homemade beef and<br />

pork merguez-style sausages (lamb and veal<br />

don’t jibe with their “philosophy”, €14) with<br />

braised onions, fried potatoes and mustard infused<br />

with Stone Ruination IPA. Yum. For the<br />

meat-averse, there’s stir-fried German-made<br />

“local tofu” with braised pairs and a decent<br />

homemade kimchi (€12)... With beers so far<br />

away from the German mainstream, Stone’s<br />

menu, while not cheap, could play a key role in<br />

getting locals to come back for seconds. — SG<br />

Im Marienpark 23, Mariendorf, daily noonmidnight<br />

(kitchen until 22)<br />

Maria Runarsdottir<br />

Updates on the Berlin food scene, in your inbox every<br />

two weeks. Sign up at exberliner.com/newsletter<br />

54<br />

54 <strong>EXBERLINER</strong> 150 <strong>153</strong>


Review<br />

Dandy Diner:<br />

Fast vegan in Neukölln<br />

The pink neon sign with a pig’s<br />

face on Karl-Marx-Straße is<br />

misleading: is this a butcher or a<br />

street food place serving pulled pork?<br />

The word “vegan” is invisible from the<br />

outside, and is found just once in tiny<br />

letters on the menu above the counter.<br />

Dandy Diner – weirdly, an offshoot<br />

of men’s fashion blog Dandy Diary –<br />

opened last April with a widely ridiculed<br />

hipster PR stunt gone wrong, their offer<br />

of free food on social media resulting in<br />

a veritable mob of thousands gathering<br />

outside. Nestled amidst Spätis and kebab<br />

shops, the cruelty-free burger joint<br />

attracts far fewer fans today. Around<br />

7pm on a recent Monday, only six or<br />

seven seats were filled. The interior is<br />

more pleasant than the exterior lets on.<br />

Vintage Tribe Called Quest is playing<br />

loud; a mellow pink light envelops a<br />

massive communal cast-concrete table.<br />

The menu is simple, like a welldesigned<br />

app: on the left, vegan burgers,<br />

Dandy Diner’s<br />

vegan cheeseburger:<br />

You want<br />

some chia pudding<br />

with that?<br />

on the right, vegan sandwiches. Our order<br />

came within a few minutes, and the<br />

Asian burger (marinated tofu, kimchi,<br />

daikon radish, crunchy nori and wakame<br />

topped with teriyaki sauce, €5.50) was a<br />

spicy bundle of flavour. The Italian one,<br />

though (shiitake-red bean patty with<br />

vegan cheese and aubergine sauce, €5.50)<br />

was formless, mushy and – sorry Dandy –<br />

a little boring.<br />

As for the sandwiches, served on hip<br />

chia-seed toast, they punch above their<br />

weight: small but dense. The avocado<br />

(€4.50) is just avo, chilli and radish on<br />

crunchy bread, a people-pleasing nobrainer.<br />

But the virtuoso of the night,<br />

which has sadly since been discontinued,<br />

was the pork-free “pulled mushroom”<br />

(€6.50): marinated, shredded ‘shroom<br />

topped with coleslaw, baby spinach and<br />

chipotle mayo. This was vegan food at its<br />

best, and we can only hope its replacement<br />

on the menu, “Berlin’s first vegan<br />

ceviche sandwich”, lives up to the same<br />

standard. Pile on a portion of decent fries<br />

(€2) and/or the excellent slaw made with<br />

egg-free mayo (€2.50), and your tummy<br />

will be perfectly happy going home without<br />

their chia pudding (€3).<br />

One significant criticism: Dandy’s<br />

claim is to be animal-free, not environmentally<br />

friendly. But still, does a vegan<br />

dinner have to generate so much waste?<br />

A tray full of burger boxes, sandwich<br />

paper and chip bags doesn’t really gel<br />

with the high eco-ethical standards set<br />

by veganism, does it? Dandy, you should<br />

work on that. — SG<br />

Dandy Diner Karl-Marx-Str. 9,<br />

Neukölln, Sun-Thu 12-22, Fri-Sat 12-23

COMIC —Ulli Lust<br />

56<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>


COLUMN — Ask Hans-Torsten<br />

Voting for Amis<br />

Hans-Torsten Richter answers your questions<br />

on surviving and thriving in Berlin.<br />

Write to hanstorsten@exberliner.com.<br />



Q<br />

Dear Hans-Torsten: I’m an American<br />

who lived in a couple different<br />

states before coming to Berlin – I’m not<br />

actually sure which one I’m registered to<br />

vote in. Still, I’d like to vote in the upcoming<br />

elections. How do I do that? And will my<br />

vote be counted for my ex-home-state, or in<br />

a separate pool of “overseas” votes? —Nicole<br />

A<br />

Dear Nicole: I guess this is the<br />

“American” issue, so I will ausnahmsweise<br />

answer a question about the tangled<br />

laws of your strangely organised democracy.<br />

The first thing to know is that the laws<br />

governing the election of POTUS are local –<br />

every state has its own peculiarities. But one<br />

thing seems to be clear: Americans living<br />

overseas should register in their last state<br />

of residence. You can register and request<br />

an absentee ballot quite effortlessly at www.<br />

votefromabroad.org, a nonpartisan website<br />

run by the group Democrats Abroad. A tool<br />

will create a “Voter Registration and Absentee<br />

Ballot Request” which you can print and<br />

send, fax or email (depending on local regulations).<br />

The “find answers” page will tell<br />

you the deadlines to submit registration and<br />

Write in and win!<br />

Don Giovanni<br />

Confused by German bureaucracy? Baffled<br />

by native customs? Send in your question<br />

to Hans-Torsten by noon on <strong>October</strong> 15<br />

and you could win two free tickets to a live<br />

high-definition broadcast of Mozart's Don<br />

Giovanni performed at the Metropolitan<br />

Opera New York at Cinestar Original Potsdamer<br />

Platz on <strong>October</strong> 22, 19:00.<br />

For giveaway terms and conditions see<br />

www.exberliner.com/terms<br />

ballot requests, and whether or not documents<br />

can be submitted electronically or<br />

only by post. Does your vote end up in some<br />

mysterious pile of overseas ballots? No, it<br />

counts towards the votes in your ex-homestate,<br />

obviously somewhat demotivating if<br />

your state isn’t a “swing” state.<br />

Q<br />

Dear Hans-Torsten: I moved here to<br />

work as an app developer for a start-up.<br />

This city is supposed to be leading the way<br />

into a high-tech future, but you still can’t pay<br />

by credit card anywhere. And what about the<br />

Bürgeramt?? You are required to register to be<br />

able to do anything, even get a bank account.<br />

Yet there are no appointments available<br />

online till December... arrgh. — Ken<br />

A<br />

Dear Ken: Sadly, not all of life can be<br />

remote-controlled with an app, though<br />

I agree the state of Berlin needs to rapidly do<br />

something about its overloaded, antiquated<br />

Bürgeramt registration system. The city is<br />

growing at a rate of 40,000 people per year<br />

and the authorities can't keep up. These<br />

days there are myriad ways of proving your<br />

identity online without actually showing your<br />

passport to a grumpy bureaucrat with dozens<br />

of kitten photos on her desk. Until that happens,<br />

though, one trick is to just show up at a<br />

Bürgeramt (any one will do, preferably one at<br />

the edge of the city, like in Pankow-Buch) and<br />

“bring some time with you” as we Germans<br />

say. They can’t kick you out if you show up<br />

during opening hours.<br />

Alternatively, as a high-earning developer<br />

you might be able to afford the €95<br />

all-inclusive service offered by the start-up<br />

www.buergeramt-termine.de. You don’t<br />

need to go anywhere, they actually go to the<br />

Amt for you. But if you savour the challenge<br />

of “cheating” a little bit in the dog-eat-dog<br />

competition for appointments, consider<br />

monitoring Berlin’s official online calendar<br />

for openings using a browser plug-in like<br />

Check4Change for Firefox or PageMonitor<br />

for Chrome. If set up correctly, the software<br />

will inform you when someone cancels an<br />

appointment – a cue for you to swoop in<br />

and snap it up for yourself.<br />

Workshops | Classes | Talks<br />

in English & German<br />



www.lubomyr.com<br />

Classroom & Shop<br />

Lychener Str. 7, 10437 Berlin<br />


+ GUESTS<br />



+ FOG<br />



06.12.<strong>2016</strong> 17.01.2017<br />

www.jose-gonzalez.com<br />


0382_AZ_Exberliner_BIG_03.indd 1 21.09.16 15:<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong>

COLUMN — Sex<br />

Ask Dr. Dot<br />

Our sex columnist answers<br />

your hard, pressing questions<br />

about doin’ it in Berlin.<br />

Drinking problem?<br />

You are not alone!<br />

alcoholics-anonymous-berlin.de<br />

030 787 5188 or 01803-AA HELP<br />

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• friendly service<br />

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Tel: 0049 30 47372964,<br />

Max-Beer-Str. 48, 10119 Berlin<br />

Office hours: 10.00 to 14.00<br />

58<br />

Q<br />

I am a Texan girl living here in Berlin<br />

for work. I’ve been dating a German<br />

guy for four years; he’s 30 and I’m 38. I’m<br />

crazy in love, but we break up and reconcile<br />

over and over again. I catch him cheating<br />

with other girls online, and when I confront<br />

him, he gets super angry and leaves me. Just<br />

as I’ve started to heal, he returns with a vengeance:<br />

flowers, poems, promises and lots of<br />

cunnilingus. So I take him back and we have<br />

a few months of bliss, until my inner voice<br />

urges me to check his iPhone and I see the<br />

same old bullshit again. Am I crazy for taking<br />

him back? Please lay it down straight for me.<br />

— Taste of Texas<br />

A<br />

Reading this reminds me of the film<br />

Groundhog Day. Same shit over and<br />

over again; a leopard never<br />

changes his spots. Staying<br />

with him will merely age<br />

you faster and turn you into<br />

a suspicious, vicious shrew,<br />

which is unappealing. The<br />

next time this happens, shut<br />

the door behind him and<br />

never take him back. Avoid<br />

alcohol, love songs and romantic movies for<br />

at least six months, as they will only make<br />

you susceptible to his pleas. Try dating older<br />

men, who are usually grateful and have most<br />

of that hunting shit out of their system.<br />

Q<br />

Is it normal to have a cock that<br />

points downwards, even when it’s<br />

hard? Mine looks like he is hanging his head<br />

in shame all the time. It’s embarrassing.<br />

— Downward Doug<br />

A<br />

Cocks, like tits, come in all shapes<br />

and sizes and point in every direction.<br />

Some curve to the side, some<br />

upwards (like a coat rack) and some<br />

downwards. There is no “norm” with pink<br />

parts. If you feel like your downward dick<br />

is a minus, try to make up for it: be funnier,<br />

more generous and give your partner plenty<br />

of firm foot rubs and they will let the odd<br />

shape slide. Consider yourself lucky if that<br />

is your main worry in life.<br />

Q<br />

Send all questions<br />

or problems, whatever<br />

they are, to:<br />

drdot@drdot.com<br />

What do you have to do in Berlin to<br />

keep a guy’s eyes just on you? I am 23,<br />

from Holland, and know that I am very hot.<br />

But still any guy I date or fuck is chasing<br />

other girls – either on the street, in person,<br />

or on their phones. Does true love not exist<br />

here, or what? —Dutch Delight<br />

A<br />

Sorry to break the news to you, but<br />

you are pretty much correct. Thanks<br />

to the internet, romance, love and giving<br />

someone your undivided attention have all<br />

left the building. Fuck the phone ninjas!<br />

Men live for challenge; this is why they<br />

play sports and fight wars. But dating is no<br />

longer a challenge now. No more calling a<br />

landline to see if their sweetheart is home.<br />

No yearning to see their lover or wondering<br />

how sex might be – they just<br />

open an app and shop for<br />

another lover or watch porn<br />

online. It’s not just Berlin,<br />

it’s a worldwide dilemma.<br />

So perhaps you should try<br />

to find a guy who does NOT<br />

have a smartphone or Facebook<br />

page, and you might<br />

find what you are looking for: real interaction<br />

from a grateful partner.<br />

Q<br />

Ciao, I am an Italian who has lived<br />

in Berlin for eight years. Lately, all<br />

of my female Italian friends have noticed<br />

that the men we date are bragging a lot,<br />

straight away, about how “great” they are<br />

at oral sex. Is this now normal behaviour?<br />

Men selling themselves like a product?<br />

We find it very off-putting. What are your<br />

thoughts? — Modest Monica<br />

A<br />

Short and blunt about this one: Men<br />

who brag about giving amazing oral<br />

sex before they have even had sex with you<br />

usually have a tiny dick. In other words “I<br />

have a small penis but I can make up for<br />

it with my oral techniques”. If you don’t<br />

believe me, try one of those bragging idiots<br />

out and get back to me. It’s the quiet, confident<br />

ones that are always the best in the<br />

sack. Fact.<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>


High art for the<br />

little people<br />

Dan Borden on the ulterior motives<br />

behind the city’s private art bunkers.<br />

Save Berlin<br />

By Dan Borden<br />

Does a painting exist if no one can see<br />

it? Today’s art collectors are confronting<br />

that existential question head on,<br />

throwing open their doors to the public to<br />

maximise eyeballs on their once-vaulted art.<br />

They’re also changing the cultural face of<br />

cities worldwide by creating landmark buildings<br />

– see the around-the-block lines at Los<br />

Angeles’ new Broad Collection.<br />

As with many things, Berlin set the trend...<br />

200 years ago. In 1815, Prussia’s King Friedrich<br />

Wilhelm III gave his subjects a one-time<br />

look at his royal art hoard. The exhibition<br />

was such a hit, he made it permanent – and<br />

Berlin’s Museum Island was born.<br />

Like today’s collectors, there was more to<br />

the king’s generosity than meets the eye. He<br />

was celebrating his triumph over Napoleon<br />

and showing off the war booty his troops<br />

had hauled back from Paris. Today’s magnanimous<br />

Berlin collectors get substantial<br />

tax benefits and a boost in value by “branding”<br />

their collections. Still, it’s an artful<br />

win-win: These open-door collections raise<br />

Berlin’s cultural profile and invent smart<br />

new uses for unloved-but-historic buildings<br />

that might otherwise face demolition.<br />

While these collectors<br />

soak up good karma,<br />

they also take comfort in<br />

knowing their treasures<br />

are still their own.<br />

The Boros bunker<br />

houses works by<br />

Ólafur Elíasson,<br />

Alicia Kwade,<br />

Ai Weiwei and<br />

myriad others.<br />

The duke and duchess of<br />

Scheunenviertel<br />

As West German art lovers Rolf and Erika<br />

Hoffmann watched Germany’s peaceful<br />

revolution of 1989, they hatched a vision of<br />

East Berlin as Europe’s new capital of Kunst.<br />

By the mid-1990s, they were lording it over<br />

Mitte’s arty makeover from atop their refurbished<br />

machine factory on Sophienstraße. At<br />

street level: art galleries and the beloved Barcomi’s<br />

café. Upstairs: artists’ studios and loft<br />

apartments. The topper was a luxurious new<br />

glass penthouse by architects Becker Gewers<br />

Kühn & Kühn where the Hoffmanns could<br />

live among modern artworks by premium<br />

names like Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and<br />

Bruce Nauman. The Sammlung Hoffmann<br />

not only jump-started Mitte’s transformation<br />

into an international art centre, it was<br />

also the first collection to open its doors to<br />

the public. Since 1997, tours are available by<br />

reservation every Saturday.<br />

Your bunker is my castle<br />

Taking his lead from the Hoffmanns, communications<br />

magnate Christian Boros moved<br />

his West German collection into the heart<br />

of Mitte, but picked a building with a much<br />

higher profile. The castle-like Reichsbahnbunker<br />

(photo) was built in 1943 to shelter<br />

train passengers from Allied bombs. When<br />

Boros bought it in 2003, the windowless<br />

concrete behemoth hosted a techno club<br />

and weekly sex parties. This ultimate white<br />

elephant got a genius makeover by designers<br />

Jens Casper, Petra Petersson and Andrew<br />

Strickland with galleries highlighting 21stcentury<br />

conceptual art (which even Herr Boros<br />

admits he doesn’t entirely understand)<br />

and, once again, a glass penthouse on the<br />

roof. The Boros Collection has eclipsed the<br />

Hoffmanns as Berlin’s must-see art mecca,<br />

with tours Thursday through Sunday booked<br />

out months in advance.<br />

Subterranean zen<br />

Berlin’s latest private museum is Désiré<br />

Feuerle’s stunning reuse of another World<br />

War II bunker. The shelter was built to<br />

protect S-Bahn electrical panels, but became<br />

flooded in 1945 when missiles punched a<br />

hole in an adjacent S-Bahn tunnel under the<br />

nearby Landwehr Canal. British architect<br />

John Pawson’s minimal re-do exploits the<br />

bunker’s otherworldly serenity, even keeping<br />

some of that water as an underground pond.<br />

Feuerle’s collection of ancient Asian artefacts<br />

contrasts with cleverly chosen contemporary<br />

work. Open for previews since April,<br />

the Feuerle Collection officially opens for<br />

weekend tours this month.<br />

While these collectors soak up good karma<br />

by putting their treasures in the public eye,<br />

they also take comfort in knowing those<br />

treasures are still their own. That beats the<br />

old way of sharing art: donating it to museums.<br />

These savvy collectors get to share<br />

their cake and keep it, too. And those doors<br />

that swung open to the little people can just<br />

as quickly slam shut. It’s no coincidence<br />

that these collections sit in isolated, even<br />

fortified buildings. They provide the ideal<br />

shelters for these multimillionaires to safely<br />

watch, surrounded by their treasures, when<br />

the next revolution comes. n<br />

NOSHE<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2016</strong><br />



Advertorial<br />

Berlin essentials<br />

Stuff and events selected from the<br />

best of what the city has to offer.<br />

Rock ‘n’ roll turkey<br />

Are you an American looking for a taste of home,<br />

or has reading this issue gotten you hungry for that<br />

most Ami of meals? Every year Hard Rock Café Berlin<br />

serves a traditional Thanksgiving menu. On November<br />

24 they offer a full three-course menu, which includes<br />

a corn chowder soup, a freshly carved turkey<br />

(served with traditional stuffing, mashed potatoes,<br />

fresh vegetables, gravy and cranberry sauce) and<br />

pumpkin pie with whipped cream. You can enjoy the<br />

whole three-course dinner for €25.95 or just select<br />

your favourite part. Reserve your spot now! Hard<br />

Rock Cafe Berlin, Kurfürstendamm 224, Charlottenburg,<br />

reservations at berlin_events@hardrock.<br />

com or 030 884 620<br />

Eye spy<br />

Sick of the same €99-and-under glasses brands overtaking<br />

Berlin? Treat yourself to an exceptional specs<br />

experience at eyeLounge.berlin. The optician and glasses<br />

store on Winterfeldtplatz celebrated its grand opening<br />

in July. It's a chic, cozy space where you can chill<br />

with a drink while shopping for new frames and getting<br />

your eyes examined. Check out German and European<br />

designer brands like Lindberg, Markus T., Munic Eyewear<br />

and Berlin's own Mykita. Get custom lenses made for you<br />

by German glass supplier Rupp + Hubrach or get fitted<br />

for daily, weekly or monthly contact lenses. Either way,<br />

you'll see better and come away with a brand-new look!.<br />

eyeLounge. berlin, Winterfeldtstr. 52, Schöneberg,<br />

Mon-Fri 11-19, Sat 11-16<br />

Picture this<br />

Want to learn more about photography than just how to take perfect<br />

selfies and instagram pics? Then PopUp GPP Berlin is for you! On the<br />

last weekend of <strong>October</strong>, Berliners get the chance to learn from four<br />

top photographers what it takes to get a good photo. Joe McNally, Zack<br />

Arias, Gregory Heisler and David Hobby share their insights and get you<br />

inspired at their intensive sessions held at Babylon Kino. Whether you<br />

want to learn about technique, boost your creativity and career or hear<br />

the stories behind some famous shots, the weekend offers something<br />

for everyone from beginners to pros. Get your camera ready and book<br />

your ticket at popupgpp.com for €299. PopUp GPP, <strong>October</strong> 29-30,<br />

9:30-18, Babylon Kino, Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 30, Mitte<br />

Halloween heroines<br />

Halloween falls on a school night this year, so on <strong>October</strong> 29, the<br />

Heroine Artists are jumping the gun at Bassy Club. This time, Berlin's<br />

most sexy indie-rock-wave-music party enters the club with a live<br />

band: Eat Lipstick. The crazy, drunk and trashy punk rock group<br />

fronted by the drag queen bastard child of Divine and Vivienne Westwood,<br />

Anita Drink, is set to put on a glitter-and-stardust-covered<br />

show to blow you off your high heels. Once you've recovered, you<br />

can dance your ass off to the best of rock, punk, new wave, NDW<br />

and electro served by DJ The Shredder and Damon Zurawski. Plus<br />

a special performance by Valentina DeMonia, sexy shot girls Betty<br />

Dynamite & Vega Vargas & a special guest performer Come dressed<br />

up and you'll save money and have fun! Oct 29, 21:00, Bassy Club,<br />

Schönhauser Allee 176a, Prenzlauer Berg<br />

To be featured on this page, contact ads@exberliner.com<br />

60<br />

<strong>EXBERLINER</strong> <strong>153</strong>

14|10<br />

A Night for<br />





Phillip Moll Piano<br />

Michael Alber Conductor<br />

Friday | <strong>October</strong> 14 <strong>2016</strong> | 20:00<br />

Philharmonie Berlin Kammermusiksaal<br />

Tickets: +49 (0)30 20 29 87 25<br />

www.rias-kammerchor.de<br />

#rias<br />

ein Ensemble der<br />

Foto © aiisha

Poster series inspired by an idea of AlexandLiane / Design: Jürgen Fehrmann / Photo: Dorothea Tuch<br />

➞ www.hebbel-am-ufer.de

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