Die Bärliner - The Bard College Berlin Student Blog
Alain Badiou speaks in 2010 at Fnac Montparnasse (Paris) (photo from Wikipedia)

Alain Badiou speaks in 2010 at Fnac Montparnasse, Paris (photo from Wikipedia)

Legend has it that when Jacques Derrida spoke, one had to arrive two hours early to get a seat. On Youtube we see recordings of Lacan and Deleuze speaking for huge audiences in packed lecture halls. When Jacques Rancière and Alain Badiou spoke in Berlin last year they filled a huge theatre to the last spot. It comes thus as quite a surprise, perhaps even as a mild disappointment, when one arrives to Badiou’s seminar a mere 30 minutes early, breathless after a final sprint through the hallways of the École Normal Supérieure, to find a lecture hall not much bigger than Bard College Berlin’s—only half filled.

Read more

Crowd and space at abc. Photo by the author.

Crowd and space at abc. Photo by the author.

Berlin Art Week—for six days in September, virtually every gallery and exhibition space in the city opens its doors to showcase artists from across the globe. The event was headlined by a few bigger events and exhibitions, namely the opening of the week at Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts) and the impossibly large event: “abc art berlin contemporary.”

I was lucky enough to have a ticket to the abc event even before I arrived in Berlin—a gift from a family friend back in the States who couldn’t make the trip for this week-long exhibition. With essentially no knowledge of what sort of event I was attending, nor any expectation of what I would find there, I hopped on the U-Bahn with my roommate Kellan to check out the happenings.

Read more

Pespektive. Photo by the author

Photo by the author

I have always dreamt of having a blog and writing about my experiences regularly, so I was very happy to be able to write for the Bard College Berlin Student Blog. But soon I realized that blogging is not as easy as I thought: there is a variety of people who want not only to be entertained, but also to read about something they have not heard of before. Additionally, my predecessors set high standards. First I was overwhelmed and could not think of a topic to write about regularly. I spent a lot of time walking through the streets of Pankow after my classes were over, waiting to be inspired with the perfect idea, but to no avail.

After one of these walks, I went as usual to our lovely cafeteria to have dinner. The food was, as always, delicious. Instead of drinking coffee (what every college student seems to do at nearly every hour of the day, I included), I decided to drink the “Women’s Balance YogiTea.” Normally just looking at the packaging disturbs my balance. The tea bags are wrapped in pink paper, which I consider very sexist. And also, why should only women drink this tea to be in balance? Amazingly I really felt more balanced after drinking it. Moreover, a little note written on the tea bag gave me a nice surprise. Since these notes are written in German, not all students of Bard College Berlin can appreciate them. My little note that day told me: “To be happy, we have to change our perspective.”

Flavia in Potsdamer Platz

Flavia in Potsdamer Platz

This is why I decided to start a column with the title: “Say Yes to Berlin!”. I want to change my perspective by doing things that I normally would not do. It is my aim to say “yes” to every challenge that is suggested to me by the readers. The only rule is: it has to be connected to studying at Bard College Berlin or to the beautiful city of Berlin. Every two weeks I will post an article. For suggestions, questions or new challenges, I am reachable via e-mail: f.tienes@berlin.bard.edu. Thanks for your help and I look forward to accepting some challenges!

Acting for Peace team, Pfunds/Austria. An inspiring outing to a teepee village and the people who made the whole experience possible. Photo by Inasa Bibic.

Acting for Peace team, Pfunds/Austria. An inspiring outing to a teepee village and the people who made the whole experience possible. Photo by Inasa Bibic.

Dont hate the circumstance, you may miss the blessing. – Marshall Rosenberg

I am running towards something unknown in a never-ending direction, with no lights, and no passers-by. The night is cold, and my sight clouded, long thin shadows run alongside me – I don’t know where to turn. I am utterly lost. In the imaginative realm of the mind, the dissolution of my supposed path is already taking place. I see the next five months of my life becoming increasingly blurry, out of focus, disappearing from my sight. When the known becomes the unknown and the other unknown is taken away from you, as if I am spinning down the vortex of an unpredictable rabbit hole. This is how I felt one warm summer day in mid-July, when my afternoon nap nightmare of losing the grip on my supposed life for the next few months came true. I received a decisive email that in that moment had already started a process of inner transformation – without me even knowing how it might change the course of my life.

My exchange to Al Quds Bard Honors College in Palestine for the fall was canceled, due to the reawakened upheavals in the Gaza Strip and the general instability of the Palestinian state.

What is peace? Is it a mirage, a chemical hallucinogen, or a myth? Whatever it was, in this moment it seemed like the most distant, unfamiliar concept – one I could never truly understand. However, as it usually happens, life had already pulled an ironic joke on me – in two weeks, before I was scheduled to leave for Palestine, I was supposed to go to Imst, a tiny Alpine town in Austria, to work at a UWC short course – titled: “Acting for Peace – The Art of Conflict Transformation.”*

Read more

September 2014 — Sunset over Rosenthaler Platz, Berlin.

Sunset over Rosenthaler Platz. Photo by the author.

How can one convey a complete upheaval of comfort and routine, a loss of language and comprehension and direction? Is it possible to put into words the magic of discovering a new place for the first time? So have we, the Bard in Berlin cohort, experienced a complete cycle of disorientation and reorientation in moving to Berlin for this fall semester. The sixteen of us hail from Bard College, Al-Quds, Simon’s Rock and the Kansas City Art Institute. We are proud to join our fellow Bardians in a place that feels like home, but is really nothing like it.

As each in our group goes on their own adventures, works their internship, discovers a cool hole in the wall café or can decidedly say they have eaten the best Turkish food in the city — we expand our reach, taking in all that we can and are constantly searching for more. This city is monumental and massive, old and new, kinky, concrete and just plain crazy. One could only dream of seeing it all.

To get a grasp on our first few weeks in Berlin, I have composed a collaborative poem using language gathered from several members of the Bard in Berlin cohort. Our journey through the semester is both an individual and collective experience. This poem is an attempt to coalesce some of our best moments thus far, and to look towards our next three months studying, living and working in Berlin.

Read more
© Diego Cornejo & Esther Vargas

© Diego Cornejo & Esther Vargas

Out of the various social media platforms one uses everyday, LinkedIn, quite unsurprisingly, is the one most relevant to future career planning purposes. Started in 2003 as a platform through which professionals can connect across networks, it has grown rapidly with current membership of over 200 million users. To tell us about the importance of LinkedIn and the advantages that come with having a profile on the platform, the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program hosted Fiona Korwin-Pawlowski, Live Below the Line Campaign Associate at Global Poverty Project and BGIA alumna.

Fiona attended the program in 2009 and has since worked at various places such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Rescue Committee and completed a graduate program at New York University. She first ran us through how LinkedIn works and then explained the different membership types and the basic structure and interface of the platform. We then proceeded  to the important part: must you have a profile?

Read more
Tahrir Square, Egypt, 2011 (photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy)

Tahrir Square, Egypt, 2011 (photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy)

As an Egyptian living abroad for the past couple of years, I have realized that my daily morning routine has come to be something like this: click the snooze button a dozen times, get up, shower, brush teeth, get dressed, attempt to eat breakfast in three minutes and run out to catch the Subway / U-Bahn / Soviet-style tram to school or work, and finally––refresh the BBC Arabic app on my iPhone with a single thought “I wonder what the Egyptians have done today?”.

Read more