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FRANKFURT

This Week’s Highlights: February 14 – 20

This Week's Highlights: Motorcycles in Munich, Yoko Ono in Frankfurt, and a new video art exhibition in Berlin.

This Week's Highlights:  February 14 – 20

BERLIN

Music/Concerts

Labor Sonor – The Sound of the Second Hand Clapping

The artists involved in Berlin’s Echtzeitmusik scene are among the city’s most innovative, contemplative, and experimental. A new series sees musicians from that quirky crowd interpreting each other’s works. Originally made to be played, and probably improvised upon, by the composer, pieces were transcribed and given to other talented music makers for a “second hand performance.” See what guitarists/electronic composers Annette Krebs and Burkhard Stangl do with each other’s music Monday night.

Price: €6

Location: KuLe, Auguststrasse 10

Times: Monday, February 18, 8pm

More Information: www.echtzeitmusik.de

Galleries/Museums

Animation and Video Works Curated By Katie Armstrong

Berlin institutions have a soft spot for artists based in their own city. But since Eigen + Art opened their new location in the former Jewish Girls School in Mitte last spring, the German capital has a new space devoted to international artists who aren’t based in Berlin. Next up is a group video show curated by the New York animation artist Katie Armstrong. See works by talented folks who don’t live in Berlin when the new exhibition opens Thursday.

Price: Free

Location: Eigen + Art Lab, Auguststrasse 11-13

Times: Thursday, February 14, 5-9pm (Opening); Tuesday – Saturday, 11am-6pm; through March 23

Phone: 030 246 28 40

More Information: www.eigen-art.com

COLOGNE

Music/Concerts

Anne-Sophie Mutter and Sinfonia Varsovia

A violin superstar, Anne-Sophie Mutter is known for her command of the classical repertoire, but she’s also a champion of contemporary music, having premiered works by the likes of Krzysztof Penderecki and Witold Lutosławski. On Thursday night, the German musician joins Warsaw’s Sinfonia Varsovia for an evening of works by Antonin Dvorak, Arvo Part, Benjamin Britten, and Lutoslawski. British baton waver Michael Francis conducts.

Price: €25 – 150

Location: Kölner Philharmonie,
Bischofsgartenstrasse 1

Times: Thursday, February 14, 8pm

Phone: 0221 20 4080

More Information: www.koelner-philharmonie.de

Bloc Party

Thank goodness the guys are back from their hiatus. The London band was always good at getting the party started, and it looks like they haven’t lost any of that electro-guitar vigor we’ve all come to love so much. Watch Kele Okereke and the boys rock the stage at E-Werk Monday.

Price: €31.50

Location: E-Werk Köln, Schanzenstrasse 36

Times: Monday, February 18, 8pm

Ticket Hotline: 0221 2801

More Information: www.e-werk-cologne.com

Unit Asia

Made up of musicians hailing from Asian countries, Unit Asia brings their thoughtful jazz fusion tunes to Europe this month. Witness the Japanese-Malaysian-Thai quintet go from mystical new-age melody makers to seething rock/jazz soloists in a single set. The group plays a free concert at The Japan Foundation in Cologne Friday.

Price: Free

Location: Japanisches Kulturinstitut Köln (The Japan Foundation), Universitätsstrasse 98

Times: Friday, February 15, 7pm

Tickets: 0221 940 55 80

More Information: www.jki.de

FRANKFURT

Galleries/Museums

Yoko Ono – Half A Wind Show

Yoko Ono turns 80 on Monday. It seems like just yesterday she and John Lennon were holding their “Bed-In for Peace” at an Amsterdam hotel. How time flies. Always one for out-of-the-box ideas, the Japanese artist has fostered an extraordinary oeuvre in her long career. Schirn Kunsthalle’s retrospective features some of her earliest works like “Instructions for Paintings” and “Grapefruit.” If you’re still holding a grudge for her alleged role in the Beatles’ break-up, let it go and celebrate the great lady as she turns 80.

Price: €10

Location: Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
, Romerberg

Times: Tuesday, Friday – Sunday, 10am-7pm; Wednesday & Thursday, 10am-10pm

Phone: 069 29 98 820

More Information: www.schirn.de

Music/Concerts

Winter Journey – Twenty-Four Songs By Franz Schubert Set to Poems By Wilhelm Muller

The composer Franz Schubert was so taken by the poetry of Wilhelm Muller that he wrote two song cycles based on his verse. The second, “Winter Journey” was written in 1827, the same year the Dessau poet came to his unfortunate death at the mere age of 33. Hear vocalist Jan Kobow and pianist Michael Guenther perform “Gute Nacht,” “Gefror’ne Traenen (Frozen Tears),” and the 22 other songs about love and loneliness Saturday in Frankfurt.

Price: €15

Location: Bolongaropalast, Bolongarostrasse 109

Times: Saturday, February 16, 8pm

Tickets: 09 395 997 811

More Information: www.clavier-am-main.de

HAMBURG

Theatre

Jerome Bel and Theatre Hora – Disabled Theatre

Don’t underestimate the mentally disabled. Acclaimed choreographer Jerome Bel worked with Theatre Hora, a Zurich based company made up of actors with mental disabilities to create the aptly titled piece Disabled Theatre. The play challenges social conventions about disabled people’s relationship with the creative process and offers a new perspective on intellect and art.

Price: €15 – 22

Location: Kampnagel, Jarrestrasse 20

Times: Thursday, February 14, 8pm; Friday, February 15, 8pm; Saturday, February 16, 8pm

Tickets: 040 270 949 49

More Information: www.kampnagel.de

Music/Concerts

The New World Songs – Songs From North America, Australia, and New Zealand

It may be second nature to look to Europe for culture, but the “New Worlds” have their own unique styles of music too. This week, New Zealander Eve Hirsch, American Audrey Bashore, and Australian Andrew Young sing traditional and contemporary tunes from their homelands, while Paul Matthews tickles the ivories. Enjoy an evening of Anglophone song at The Irish Rover, and have a Guinness while you’re at it.

Price: €13

Location: The Irish Rover, Grossneumarkt 8

Times: Thursday, February 14, Friday, February 15, Saturday, February 16, 7:30pm; Sunday, February 17, 3pm

Tickets: 040 317 31 41

More Information: www.roverrep.net

MUNICH

Events

International Motorcycle Exhibition

Get out the leather jacket, strap on your helmet, and ride like the wind to Munich this weekend. The International Motorcycle Exhibition celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. From Harley Davidson to Honda, BMW, and Suzuki, the world’s most esteemed motorcycle manufacturers have set up their shiny new models at the MOC Event Center. Go and lust over the latest sport bikes, scooters, cruisers, and touring bikes.

Price: €12

Location: MOC Event Center, Lilienthalallee 40


Times: Friday, February 15 – Sunday, February 17, 9am-6pm

Phone: 07071 156 91

More Information: www.imot.de

Galleries/Museums

Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life

A girl sits on a bench designated “for Europeans only,” while her black nanny caresses her neck from the bench behind her. The photo, which is part of a new exhibition at the Haus der Kunst offers a view of life during apartheid. It joins over 500 photographs, artworks, films, videos, documents, posters, and periodicals to present the history of apartheid in South Africa. Go to the panel discussion Thursday when historians, filmmakers, and photographers talk about Drum Magazine, a historic publication that featured shots by both black and white photographers.

Price: €8

Location: Haus der Kunst, Prinzregentenstrasse 1

Times: Thursday, February 14, 7pm (Panel Discussion); Monday – Sunday, 10am-8pm; Thursday, 10am-10pm; February 15 – May 26 (Regular Hours)

Phone: 089 21127 113

More Information: www.hausderkunst.de

INTEGRATION

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

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