Die Bärliner - The Bard College Berlin Student Blog
Susan Gillespie speaks at the alumni gathering of December 11th 2016 (Credit: Tamar Maare)

Susan Gillespie speaks at the alumni gathering of December 11th, 2016 (Credit: Tamar Maare)

My past experience with the college reunions of friends and relatives included marching bands, brightly-colored seersucker, and the revival of retro kegger culture. The Bard College Berlin alumni event, which took place this past December 11th of 2016, was tame in comparison, infused with the muted but eccentric quality of BCB itself. Student art from the Open Studios event still decorated the walls of the Factory. Former students greeted each other with inside jokes and embraces; professors and faculty also filled the small room. A pile of black, mid-length coats were stacked in the waiting room in classic BCB fashion (some things, like style choices, apparently don’t change after graduation).

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 Regina with one of her best friends and adopted sister-in-law, Yasiname (Credit: Regina Knapp)

Regina with one of her best friends and adopted sister-in-law, Yasiname (Credit: Regina Knapp)

When I asked Regina if I could interview her, she seemed taken aback.

“Interview me?” she asked.

“Yes,” I affirmed, and we sat down for a quick chat. Although this was not nearly enough time to cover the expanse of her life and career, it was nonetheless enlightening. I know Regina Knapp as my Culture Change and Exchange Professor. Our class aims to understand how to write a good academic research paper. We were also able to learn about different aspects and forms of each other’s cultures as Regina encouraged us to speak of our cultures in relation to the topics we were studying. I remember initially being fascinated by her and her accent as she talked about her life in Papua New Guinea. Her accent is a product of the vast array of experiences she has had in her life: It is partly German through her upbringing and partly British, possibly from her travels to and from Papua New Guinea, with the occasional Australian slip. In class, she is very straightforward in her approach to anthropology: “It’s the study of humans, basically,” she says. It combines various aspects of human existence like development, language, and culture to try to understand humankind in their societies.

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► Monday: Kreuzberg – Amerika

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As a part of the collaborative project Werkstatt für Photographie 1976 – 1986, this exhibition traces the history and influences of the Berlin based photography institute to commemorate its 40th anniversary. The renown of this institute is a result of its innovative approach towards photography as an independent form of art and a means of cultural expression. Over 250 photographs, both iconic and lesser known, are featured in this exhibition. They include works from 70s and 80s West Berlin as well as the United States.

  • When: 11:00 – 20:00
  • Where:  Amerika Haus – Hardenbergstraße 22–24, 10623 Berlin
  • Admission: 6€
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► Monday: Medieval Christmas Market

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Imagine a gate opening in the art, culture and clubs hub of Friedrichshain to transport you to the medieval ages. In this historical Christmas market, you won’t find the usual kitsch; you’ll find everything from live medieval performances in music, acrobatics, and a fire-show, to unique handicrafts, and a tavern serving hot mead. Everyone will be dressed in costume and all the masterfully crafted decorations make the experience truly memorable.

  • When: 14:00-22:00
  • Where:  RAW Gelände – Revaler Straße 99, 10245 Berlin
  • Admission: 2€
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Berlin, Again (Credit: Ronni Shalev)

Berlin, Again (Credit: Ronni Shalev)

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Three of today’s biggest populists: America’s Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen of France and the Hungarian Viktor Orban. (Credit: David Parkins, The Economist.)

Three of today’s biggest populists: America’s Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen of France and the Hungarian Viktor Orban (Credit: David Parkins, The Economist.)

Should populists be demonized? Today especially, after Donald Trump’s latest victory in securing a seat as President of the United States of America, this topic is incredibly relevant. But one might ask: How did he win? Trump’s campaign was largely centered around garnering anti-systemic attention from voters that cited exasperation at their treatment by the current government and its long-standing convoluted bureaucracy. Voters united around a common goal: to elect anybody but Hillary Clinton, the ultimate representation of the so-called system. So, is Donald Trump a populist? Is he a voice for the people? And how do we then categorize Bernie Sanders? Has populism as a phenomenon been demonized all over the world? Are Donald Trump’s election and the entire Brexit campaign examples of the adverse results of populism?

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► Monday: Not my Revolution, if …

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Staged as a musical, the stories of a fictional anti-globalization activist unfold satirically. Angie O. is the kind of activist you would come across in every movement, from Occupy Wall Street, to anti neoliberalism in the Maxican jungle, to hugging trees, protests against banks, and the list goes on. The performance tackles issues of hypocrisy, economics and self-serving factors as a motivation for activism in today’s neoliberal world and how activism can be a productive force in challenging and redefining the status quo.  

  • When: 20:00
  • Where:  Stresemannstr. 29, 10963 Berlin
  • Admission: 11€
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A poem in two parts.

Pt. I

I was born to this old and broken house

and now it sits, aflame,

and I weep.

we live in a mostly burning neighborhood;

we watch as we set our own fires;

we know we have been swimming in gasoline

since we moved in.

“why are you shocked?”

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