Berlin has long been a magnet for outsiders, from provincial Prussians centuries ago to Brooklyn hipsters today. Strangers at first, these newcomers eventually make the city their own and reshape its social fabric.
This process continued even while Berlin was divided during the Cold War, but 20 years after reunification, the German capital has become an increasingly attractive destination for foreigners hoping to start a new life.
Julia Lipkins’ multimedia project for The Local lets these new Berliners tell their own stories.
A transgender woman and an authority on English literature, Sophie plays mother to Berlin’s expat community in her bookshop.
Sophie is the founder of Another Country, a store with an impressive selection of English-language books that has become a mecca for the city’s foreign residents. For more than 20 years, she has resided in Kreuzberg, a district dominated by immigrants, students and artists. “I can’t imagine being in a city that I could love more than I love Berlin,” she says.