Die Bärliner - The Bard College Berlin Student Blog
Tag "Festival"
on the Bard College Berlin Student Blog

► Monday: MyFest 2017

Join Berliners as they honour worker’s day by joining the Street festival and 1st of May parades. This year’s MyFest is against violence. It challenges previous violent clashes between the police and demonstrators by reclaiming the spaces around the Kiez in Kreuzberg and celebrates with peaceful festivity, culinary delights, performances, and live concerts.

  • When: 11:30
  • Where: Mariannenplatz, 10997 Kreuzberg
  • Admission: free
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► Monday: One Year Home

Initially intended as a short-term project, the intensity of the encounters and photographs shot for ‘One Day as a Refugee’ resulted in a long-term collaboration between the photographer Lorenz Kienzle and the Syrian filmmaker Omar Akahare. Using photographs and film representations, the two arists document and explore the daily lives of refugees in Guben and Lietzen.

  • When: 11:00-18:00
  • Where: Käthe Kollwitz Museum  – Fasanenstraße 24, 10719
  • Admission: 4
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Two girls nap on a sleeper train in Railway Sleepers Credit: World Film Festival of Bangkok

Two girls nap on a sleeper train in Railway Sleepers. (Credit: World Film Festival of Bangkok)

I only went to see two films at the Berlinale International film festival, and I only stayed awake for one and a half of them. Despite the negative review my nap seems to suggest, the effort with which I attempted to keep my eyes open tells a different story. Both films, Centaur and Railway Sleepers, were wonderful — beautifully shot with subtle but imaginative narratives. The festival lived up to my expectations twofold, and my expectations were far from low.

Founded in West Berlin in 1951, the Berlinale was originally conceived by an American film officer of the US Army as a propaganda tool during the Cold War.  It was meant to be a showcase of the so-called “free world.” Hitchcock’s Rebecca was the very first film to be shown, and, for the first years, the festival was dominated by American and British works. It wasn’t until 1955 that a German film won the top prize. Originally, East Berliners were also able to see films for lower prices at specific screenings. These screenings ended in 1961, but the propaganda continued as the wall went up, with 500 movie posters hung to be visible to East Berliners. The festival grew from there, eventually shedding the US influence. Now it is one of the most highly attended and well-reputed international film festivals in the world, as well as one of the most influential. After two films watched and 10 euros spent, I understand why.

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► Monday: Interfilm Festival Opening


Start your week on a positive note by attending the Opening Night Gala of one of Europe’s most important short film festivals: the Interfilm. The opening ceremony of the week-long film festival will not only host international guests and Berlin celebrities, but will also show a selection of films and live music! Make sure to check out the daily program for the festival and make your pick.

  • When: 21:00
  • Where: Volksbühne –  Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, 10178 Berlin
  • Admission: 8€
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Comic Invasion Berlin

An impression from the opening of the 5th Comic Invasion Berlin (credit: Ronni Shalev).

We have come a long way from weekly superhero installments and 4-panel strips in the Sunday paper. Comics today are everywhere, and they can range from graphic novels to near-abstract illustrations. They are created using pencils, paint, collage, digital mediums and just about any other tool that can make an image.

Why do I think that comics are today’s most relevant art form? In an age of mass image sharing and self-published internet art, narrative illustrations are the natural successor to multimedia creativity. Existing alongside paper editions that make use of classical painting mediums, internet publications have .gif images for panels. Comics, one could argue, is the art form that is best suited for development in today’s internet age. The idea of combining simple text with narrative illustrations has been around since ancient times, but the past years have allowed digital art to integrate with classic drawing methods to create original and unique storytelling by blurring the borders between literature, illustration, and fine art.

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One of the bars where Boddinale was held.

One of the bars where Boddinale was held.

It’s February in Berlin and that means it’s time to go to the movies. With the number of film festivals happening this month, your options for venues are virtually limitless. Whether the attractively dinky Boddinale, the online VELOBerlin, or the respectable Berlin Independent Film Festival, any film buff or curious viewer can get their fill of moving pictures.

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'Hier ist Kunst' - this year's festival motto

‘Hier ist Kunst’ – this year’s festival motto

Known for its scope as the largest annual art festival in Berlin, this year’s 48 Stunden Neukölln, taking place from the 14th to the 16th June, managed to attract a lot of media attention and visitors to the often disregarded Berlin district – Neukölln.

The specific aspect of the festival is its openness when it comes to participation. Every artist or resident, living in Neukölln, is welcome to register and thereby get involved. There is no jury that decides what fits the program, and as long as the deadlines are met, all cultural events imagined by Neuköllner artists, performers, dancers, and freelancers are welcome for presentation. The main concept of the festival is therefore ‘open access to everyone’, which presents itself as an opportunity for the realization of artistic and cultural projects that in the end improve the quality of life in the area.

Nine Small Prints Can Alone Constitute A Whole Exhibition - according to this Neukölln artist

Nine Small Prints Can Alone Constitute A Whole Exhibition – according to this Neukölln artist

48 Stunden Neukölln, organized by Kulturnetzwerk Neukölln e.V., is held for exactly 48 hours – from 7pm on Friday to 7pm on Sunday. All parts of the program take place in the “Altstadt” of Neukölln and a new motto is chosen each year. This year’s eye-catching motto, found on almost every building, as soon as one approached the Neukölln area, was Hier ist Kunst, or Here is Art: a catchy phrase that invited all visitors to join the Neukölln art world.

Of course, as many festivals of open nature such as this one, 48 Stunden Neukölln too had a lot of very qualitative and some less artistically–rich program. I would say, however, that its main goal of improving the cultural conditions in Neukölln was quite successful – the whole area seemed enlivened during the two days of the festival, with many visitors both from this district and from all over Berlin. The atmosphere was cheerful: music, art, theatre, and different voices of expression overflowed Neukölln during this period.

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National Crafts

Umbrellas in Malaysia tend to represent an artistic expression – carefully knit flowers on orange background can make every woman feel royal

On June 15th Berlin had the honor of hosting a unique annual event, taking place in several embassies around the city: All Nations Festival 2013. The idea of the festival is to open the doors of different embassies and cultural institutions to visitors for a day, once a year, and present ethnic and cultural customs of various countries to all those interested in diversity and multiculturalism. At their first visit to one of the embassies, all visitors receive an All Nations Passport, which is stamped at all the participating institutions they go to that day. The whole experience is thus closely related to travelling––one could feel as if one had gone to a dozen countries in just one day by going to the institutions that display their respective countries’ ethnic and national marks. The event is also usually assigned a theme each year––this year’s theme was Aberglaube, or Superstitions.

Ideally, the eighteen participating institutions this year (Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Chinese Cultural Center, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Iraq, Yemen, Korean Cultural Center, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Nepal, Palestinian Mission, South Sudan, Chad, Venezuela, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung) would have prepared something in the light of the theme, e.g. whether Friday 13 really is an unlucky day in different countries, or how myths influence superstition. However, the six embassies and cultural centers I went to––of Malaysia, Malta, South Sudan, China, and Korea, and the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung – mostly focused on presenting their general national peculiarities in the form of traditional clothing, food, art and crafts. Nonetheless, even without closely sticking to the assigned theme, the All Nations Festival was an extremely interesting, diverse, and colorful experience!

If you would have liked to know why Korean tea is so well-known amongst tea experts, how your name would look written in calligraphy, where the natural pigments in China come from, how the South Sudanese indulge in food, or why Malaysia is the new top-choice for summer travels––the All Nations Festival was a place for you!

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