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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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"Sequelitis" chart (credit: Hollywood Reporter)

Hollywood Reporter has affectionately dubbed this new phenomenon”Sequelitis” (credit: Hollywood Reporter)

2016 has been a historically awful year for Hollywood. Cinemas have not sold this few tickets per person in the US since the Great Depression. Meanwhile, sequels have become Hollywood’s new addiction.The number of sequels among the top-grossing Hollywood movies has doubled in the past 10 years. At the same time, we see that several sequels failed at the box office this year while Marvel movies are still living up to their usual numbers.

Could this signal the decline of the long-standing sequel strategy?

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BCB student Clara Holder in discussion with other participants (Credit: Tamar Maare)

BCB student Clara Holder in discussion with other participants
(credit: Tamar Maare)

Over the past couple of months, students of Bard College Berlin have been instrumental in setting up an ongoing program for the mutual cultural exchange and language development process between refugees, students, teachers and anyone from the neighborhood or Berlin community at large who might want to drop by. This program, Campus Conversations, is currently run by Bono Siebelink (BA2 HAST), Clara Holder (BA1 HAST) and Kerstin Weil (BA1 EPST) on the Bard College Berlin campus and is overseen by our Admissions and Recruitment Officer and Civic Engagement Coordinator, Xenia Muth. The current focus of the program is on German language learning, but it has the potential for much more than just that. As their page on the BCB website outlines, “we plan on diversifying the types of lessons offered as more people become involved.”  

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shadow lines

The Shadow Lines (Credit: La Collection/Laurent Goldstein)

In 1964, in the heart of the city of Dhaka, Tridib is brutally murdered. He is a main character in Amitav Ghosh’s renowned novel The Shadow Lines.  His death, along with many others, comes with what is known today as the East Pakistan riots. Recently, India and Pakistan have seen a tremendous escalation in riots resulting from their national conflict over the Indian administered territory of Kashmir, a state in North India. The Shadow Lines is a beautiful conception of events of post-Partition India that underscores the gross tension between the two nation states and the riots that took place in the wake of the Partition of India.

The novel explores the notion of borders — the effects of its physical, psychological and geographical manifestation. Ghosh’s novel deals with the effects of World War II in London and post-Partition India. It also concerns itself with the riots that spread across cities of India into Dhaka, the capital of then-East Pakistan and nowadays Bangladesh. The riots created an inevitable sense of disillusionment amongst the inhabitants within these borders. A dangerous sense of jingoism arose. The riots got worse, and so did the pseudo-nationalism.

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► Monday, October 3rd: Day of German Reunification Celebrations

berlin

End your long weekend by participating in Berlin’s 26th anniversary of the German Reunification – which followed the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 –  at the huge street festival by the Brandenburg Gate. Not only will you get to take part in cheerful and celebratory atmosphere of a very important historical occurrence, but you’ll also have the chance to enjoy plenty of beer gardens, diverse snacks and an entertainment programme: Look forward to stage performances, a concert, horseback riding and horse races, big wheel funfair ride, and karaoke at the Berliner Dom.

  • When: 11:00
  • Where: Straße des 17. Juni, 10557 Berlin
  • Admission: free
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► Monday, September 26th: Golem!

golem

The myth of the Golem – a monstrous artificial life form – has been an inspiration to a wide range of cultural narratives and has shaped the way in which topics such as: man-made creation vs. divine creation, power and, redemption, are thought about. This exhibition traces the historical and cultural development of the figure of the Golem in all its facets and usages, from Jewish mystical rituals to literature and pop-culture.

  • When: 10:00-10:00
  • Where: Jewish Museum: Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin
  • Admission: 3€ for students
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winter-cycle-of-acceptance-1

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L&T Welcome Session

L&T Welcome Session on Monday, August 8th (Credit: Andrea Riba).

On behalf of Bard College Berlin’s very own student-driven  blog, Die Bärliner, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all new and returning students and faculty! My name is Margarethe Hattingh. I will be serving as editor of Die Bärliner  for the 2016-2017 academic year, taking over from David Kretz who graduated in May. In his final blog article, David wrote about how we are all fellow travellers in this world, “passing through” a shared space and time here at BCB. Whether you have come to BCB for a semester, a year, or four, or are still unsure of where the wiles and ways of time will take you, Die Bärliner looks forward to the time that we will spend “passing through” here together.

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