What’s on in Germany: January 12 – 18

This Week's Highlights: Greek gods in Cologne, short films from Britain in Berlin and gallery openings in Leipzig.

What's on in Germany: January 12 – 18
Photo: The Lichtspielklub Short Film Festival



British Shorts

Stories about sad bears and Stasi dogs come to life on the big screen this week at the 5th Lichtspielklub Short Film Festival. Dame Judi Dench stars in Chris Foggin’s 12-minute comedy about online dating, which screens at Thursday’s opening series followed by a live band and DJ.

Price: €6

Location: Sputnik Kino 1 and Sputnik Kinobar, Hasenheide 54 and HBC, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 9

Times: Thursday, January 12 – Monday, January 16

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Transient Museum

When 25 young artists put their heads together and produce a spontaneous group show you can expect the atmosphere to be charged. Get infected by youthful talent Friday night when the 25-day exhibition of paintings, photography, drawings, prints, lithography, installations and videos opens in Berlin.

Price: Free

Location: Transient in the Freies Museum, Potsdamer Strasse 91

Times: Friday, January 13 – Monday, February 6

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Maya and Friends Art Salon

Once a month the soprano Maja Fluri hosts a gathering of visual, literary, and performing artists at the elegant Belle Etage hotel on Lietzen Lake in Charlottenburg. This month features works by painter Bernhard Grychta, and performances by actor Armin Sengenberger, tenor Oliver Uden, and pianist Giedre Kiseviciene.

Price: €15

Location: Belle Etage am Lietzensee‎, Lietzenseeufer 10

Times: Saturday, January 14, 7:30pm

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The Return of the Gods

Prussian royals had a thing for Olympus, Dionysus, and other Greek and Roman gods. A new exhibition at the Roman-Germanic Museum in Cologne brings together a collection of reliefs, vessels, and statues from ancient Greece to the Roman Era.

Price: €25

Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-5pm; Friday, January 13 – August 26

Location: Römisch-Germanisches Museum, Roncalliplatz 4

Phone: 0221 2212 44 38

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Musicians from the Frankfurt Opera and the Museum Orchestra occasionally perform concerts geared toward a younger set. And by young, we mean six-years-old and up. Take the tots to see a one-hour performance of Pinocchio Sunday.

Price: €14 (Adults); €7 (Children)

Times: Sunday, January 15, 11am and 1pm

Location: Oper Frankfurt, Willy-Brandt-Platz

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The Who’s Tommy

Didn’t get a chance to see “Tommy” last month? You’re in luck, The English Theatre Frankfurt extended their production of Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff’s epic rock opera until April. Get acquainted with the “Pinball Wizard” this week when the anglophone troupe performs The Who’s Tommy.
”See me, feel me, touch me, heal me.”

Price: €29-42

Location: The English Theater Frankfurt, Gallusanlage 7

Times: Thursday, January 12, 7:30pm; Friday, January 13, 7:30pm; Saturday, January 14, 7:30pm; Sunday, January 15, 6pm; Tuesday, Jan 17, 7:30; Wednesday, January 18, 7:30pm; Additional dates until April 1.

Tickets: 069 242 31620

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The Flood – Hamburg 1962

Maybe you’ve heard stories about the great storm that ravaged Hamburg half a century ago leaving a tremendous flood. It was a major event in Hamburg’s history, and if you live there, or are just visiting, you should know about it. A new exhibition at Ballinstadt, Hamburg’s museum of immigration, drops quite a bit of knowledge about the devastating event. See photos and read first hand accounts from survivors when it opens Friday.

Price: €12

Times: Daily, 10am-4:30pm; January 13 – February 29

Location: Ballinstadt, Veddeler Bogen

Phone: 040 319 79 160

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Spinnerei Gallery Tour

Once a cotton mill, Leipzig’s Spinnerei is one of the coolest spots in Germany to see art. Since 2005, an array of artists and galleries have set up shop in the sprawling historic complex, and each season they band together for a full day of art openings. The former factory turned cultural centre hosts its winter gallery tour Saturday. Get inspired by 20 new art exhibitions.

Price: Free

Times: Saturday, January 14, 11am-9pm

Location: Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei
, Spinnereistrasse 7

Phone: 034 14 98 02 00

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Mediterranean Sea Film Days

Cinema from Egypt, Tunisia, France, Italy, and other countries lucky enough to be located on the Mediterranean Sea screen this week in Munich. Many deal with Arab Spring themes and most are shown with English Subtitles. Don’t miss Ahmad Abdalla’s Microphone, a portrait of the underground music and art scene in Alexandria, Egypt, which will be shown at the festival opening Friday.

Price: €7, €9 (Opening)

Location: Gasteig, Rosenheimer Strasse 5

Times: January 13-22

Tickets: 089 54 81 81 81 (.14/min)

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Musica Viva Abo 2 – Colours, Light and Bubbles

A trio of accomplished composers of varying stripes are the focus of a concert this Saturday at Residenz. Emilio Pomarico conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra through works by French composer Olivier Messiaen, South Korean composer Younghi Pagh-Paan, and the 103-year-old American composer Elliott Carter.

Price: €5 – 30

Location: Residenz, Herkulessaal, Residenzstrasse 1

Times: Saturday, February 14, 8pm

Tickets: 089 5900 10 880

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Saskia E. Akyil – Secrets of a Summer Village

A 17-year-old American girl spends a month with a Turkish family on the Aegean coast and learns about cultural differences, family ties, and summer love in Saskia E. Akyil’s new novel Secrets of a Summer Village. The Munich-based American author reads from her book

Saturday at the Munich Readery followed by a reception with Turkish wines and pastries.

Price: Free; Reservations required

Location: The Munich Readery, Augustenstrasse 104

Times: Saturday, January 14, 7pm

Phone: 089 121 92 403

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Have your say: How would YOU shape Berlin?

“Berlin enabled me to become the kind of person I want to be,” Canadian Mo Moubarak tells us.

Have your say: How would YOU shape Berlin?
Photo: Getty Images

 Produced by The Local’s Creative Studio in partnership with Berlin Partner for Business and Technology

Have your say: How would YOU shape Berlin?

Have your say: How would YOU shape Berlin?

“Berlin enabled me to become the kind of person I want to be,” says Canadian Mo Moubarak. It’s a sentiment that resonates with many international people who moved to the German capital to work in a vibrant atmosphere of innovation and progress.

From its thriving startup scene to its enviable cultural highlights, Berlin is one of the world’s most exciting cities – and, with the rare sense of freedom and opportunity it offers, the city continues to attract global talent during the pandemic.

Moubarak, one of the founders of the successful digital recruitment firm MoBerries, is effusive about the city he has made his home: “I came here as a 19-year-old with €3,000 in my pocket, and went on to run my own company. You know what makes this city incredible? Your word means everything – that’s what matters. Not your money.”

While living in Berlin is an unforgettable experience, that doesn’t mean it comes without its challenges for internationals, however. That’s why The Local has partnered with Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, the city’s public-private development partnership, to explore the experiences of three international people living and working in the German capital. 

From the level of English to digitalisation, we’re also inviting you to make your voice heard on how Berlin could become even more welcoming to new arrivals. 

Want to make Berlin an even better place for internationals? Take the 5-minute Talent Berlin Survey (one reader who completes it will win two years of free access to The Local Germany)

Photos: Getty Images

Hurdles and challenges

Problems securing accommodation, lack of clarity in regards to visas and long waiting times for appointments were some of the concerns voiced by Claire Waggoner, an American copywriter who moved to Berlin in 2019.

Although she loves life in the capital for its vibrancy and cultural heritage, she states: “Making the choice to move here was pretty much the only ‘easy’ thing about moving from the US to Germany. There were two major challenges: securing an apartment and getting the ‘letters of intent’ required for my freelancer’s visa.

“If I could have spoken with a government employee before my visa appointment, I would have been much more confident going into that initial appointment.”

Priyanka Nair, originally from India, came to Berlin in 2016 to study an MBA, before moving into HR. She says she faced similar challenges. 

“I could manage with the bureaucracy as I spoke German but wondered how those who couldn’t speak the language would manage,” she says. “Getting appointments with different agencies was difficult. I sat up late looking for appointments at government offices like the foreign or registration offices.

“Like for everyone, finding accommodation was the hardest part.”

Having said that, Priyanka is hugely enthusiastic about the city she now calls home and the opportunities to integrate by getting involved with group activities.

“Do you like Improv? There are meetups weekly. Want to stand up for a cause? There are various demonstrations you can participate in. Love sport? You can join any sports club or do a marathon. The point is, there is something for everyone here. You can be whoever you want.”

Create the Berlin you want to live and work in: take the Talent Berlin Survey (for every completed survey, Berlin Partner will plant a tree)

Share your views and experiences

The examples above are some of the hurdles that Berlin Partner – a partnership between the city government and local business – wants to learn more about. To reach out to the many internationals who have made the city their own, Berlin Partner has created the new Talent Berlin Survey.

The short, confidential survey gives you the chance to share your view of life in Berlin, so you can help shape and improve all the important aspects of the relocation and settling in process. It’s a unique opportunity to tell the state government how you think Berlin can become a more welcoming city for international newcomers like yourself.

“Berlin is the most international city in Germany, and it’s changing all the time,” says Burkhard Volbracht, Head of Unit Talent International at Berlin Partner. “From my experience, we’ve seen a lot of people come to Berlin in recent years – and the government thinks that they’re all settling in smoothly.

“We feel that this is the wrong picture. Some people do struggle and have problems, and they do need the right person to speak with, or the right door to open. What we at Berlin Partner want to identify are concrete points where we can be better – for example, language competencies or better digital services. We want to be able to roll out the red carpet, in a sense.

“We think that this is the first opportunity for those coming to Berlin to really tell us how they found moving to the city”.

Mo Moubarak
Claire Waggoner
Priyanka Nair

Shape Berlin’s future (in just five minutes!)

Have you moved to Berlin to work, or are you in the process of moving? Here’s your chance to help build the kind of city that suits both your career and lifestyle needs.

Spending five minutes to complete the survey will not only help build a friendlier, more inclusive German centre of innovation, but for every survey completed, Berlin Partner will plant a tree, contributing to sustainability efforts in the Berlin area.

The Local is also offering a two-year membership for one reader that completes the survey – that’s two years of insider insights, advice and explainers for life in Germany.

Want to help shape Berlin’s future in just 5 minutes? Take the Talent Berlin Survey. One lucky reader who completes the survey will receive two years of free access to The Local Germany