Die Bärliner - The Bard College Berlin Student Blog
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 …


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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A scene from Berlin Diary (Credit: Jerun Vahle on NPR Berlin)

A scene from Berlin Diary (Credit: Jerun Vahle on NPR Berlin)

Backless chairs are a bold choice for a theater, I thought as I sat on a stiff ledge at English Theater Berlin, the city’s international performing arts center. Backless chairs say, “You will be so riveted by this play that you won’t even consider leaning back.” Backless chairs also say, “Comfort is not the point of this experience. As such, the expectations were high for Berlin Diary, which premiered this past October.

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► Monday: Lucia Christmas Market


What better way to start a cold Berlin week than by embracing the winter and going to a Christmas Market? The Lucia Christmas market, which is named after the Nordic goddess of light, promises a festive and Christmassy atmosphere. The unique aspect of this particular market is its Scandinavian twist. It welcomes you with the mouth-watering smells of Scandinavian and German foods and drinks, traditional Scandinavian music and cultural performances, as well as plenty of handicrafts.

  • When: 15:00-22:00
  • Where: Knaackstr. 97/or Sredzkistr. 1/or Schönhauser Allee 36-39 – Kulturbrauerei, 10435 Berlin
  • Admission: free
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This article originally appeared on Public Seminar and has been republished here with their kind permission.

View Through Torn Flag (Credit: Karen Axelrad, Flickr)

View Through Torn Flag (Credit: Karen Axelrad, Flickr)

America: we need to talk. And we are not going to like what we hear. But avoiding hearing what we don’t like to hear is what has brought us to a place where nearly the entire political and media establishment agree is a low point in the moral and intellectual character of American politics.

The conversation, it seems to me, we need most to have, and of which we seem least capable of having, is not so much about the election or its results, but rather about what makes it impossible for people who voted differently Tuesday, and all the people who didn’t vote at all (something like 45% of those eligible), to speak with one another about the election and its results.  We need to speak about our shame — and by “our” shame, I mean America’s shame. Not the shame that some of us cast upon others of us, and not the shame that some certain demographic ought to feel before the just and justified “elite” that is moral and intelligent enough to cast blame.

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Detail of Mike Kelley's Educational Complex, 1995 (Credit: Artspace)

Detail of Mike Kelley’s Educational Complex, 1995 (Credit: Artspace)

It was 19 hours in Pankow, Berlin. The cold was eating away at my extremities. But I was on a mission. My plan was to arrive at my dorm to freshen up fast enough to get to Laura López Paniagua’s lecture on the work of Mike Kelley only a modest 5 minutes late. Being an Arts and Society student here at BCB, this lecture was to be a sacred right of passage. I arrived in my dorm and applied my aromas and silks. Just steps away from my door, I realized I did not know where this lecture was being held. I looked through my email history with ferocity. I found the location: the lecture hall, naturally. But what is this “lecture hall”? I have had lectures in many rooms here at Bard Berlin. I racked my memory. This was as hard as any question on a test. I deduced it must be the structure across from the admin building. I realized I do not know the numbers of any of these buildings. They all seem to be 24, whether it be Platanenstr.,  Kuckhoffstr., the list goes on. 24, 24, 24. I arrived and ascended the staircase. I got into the building and, to my relief, there were middle aged men and women milling around, empty wine glasses, and some nice bottled water ready to fill them. I was not late after all.

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