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FRANKFURT

This Week’s Highlights: February 21 – 27

This Week's Highlights: Robot music in Berlin, Irish dance in Cologne, Dutch art in Frankfurt, and Dessau celebrates Kurt Weill.

This Week's Highlights: February 21 – 27
Performance of a Kurt Weill piece. Photo: DPA

BERLIN

Music/Concerts

Inhuman Music – Compositions by Machines, by Animals, and by Accident

Sir Elton Junk may be made of old tubes, scrap metal, and a discarded shopping cart, but this guy can rock like the best of them. His electro clinks and clanks come straight from his industrial heart. The music making robot, created by Berlin artist Kolja Kugler opens a series of concerts by non-humans Thursday. All weekend, music by birds, whales, and mechanical beings fills the room at the House of World Cultures.

Price: Various

Location: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10

Times: Thursday, February 21 – Sunday, February 24

Phone: 030 397 870

More Information: www.echtzeitmusik.de

A Celebration for the Queen – Historic Organ Concert

Oh how it sings! Pedals, pipes, and keys work together to create an invigorating tapestry of both jumpy modern melodies and solemn sacred songs on the Mighty Wurlitzer. The energetic electric organ joins the Berlin Philharmonic’s Karl-Schuke-Organ, the Gray Organ, and other historic organs at a special concert Sunday. The day-long celebration features music by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Johann Sebastian Bach, Maurice Ravel, and other organ composer greats at the Musical Instrument Museum.

Price: €8

Location: Musikinstrumenten-Museum, Tiergartenstrasse 1 (Entrance: Ben-Gurion-Strasse

Times: Sunday, February 24, 10am – 5pm

Phone: 030 25 48 11 78

More Information: www.mim-berlin.de

Events

Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen Meets Cocina Latina

Nothing like a hearty meal from West Africa or South America to spice up these chilly winter nights. Zoe Adjonyoh brings her London pop-up restaurant to Berlin’s City Stay Hostel on Saturday, offering two set menus. Indulge in the mashed yam balls and mutton stew of traditional Ghanaian kitchens, or the ceviche and empanada of the Latina cocinas across the Atlantic.

Price: €20

Location: City Stay Hostel, Rosenstrasse 16

Times: Saturday, February 23, 7-10:30pm

More Information: www.facebook.com

COLOGNE

Galleries/Museums

Paris 1.0

Next stop: Paris. Cologne’s Galerie Biesenbach is embarking on a journey around the world without leaving its pretty white-walled space on Sankt-Apern-Strasse. For its latest exhibition, five artists from the French capital offer a snapshot of the art scene in their little corner of the world. See Laurent Chéhère’s dreamy digital collages, Rebecca Bournigault’s provocative watercolours, Yassine Mekhnache’s big colourful canvases, and thoughtful portraits by Neïla Serrano and Sébastien Mathieu when the show opens Thursday.

Price: Free

Location: Galerie Biesenbach, Saint-Apern-Strasse 44-46

Times: Thursday, February 21, 6-9pm (Opening); Tuesday – Friday, Noon-6pm (Regular Hours)

Phone: 0221 169 3892

More Information: www.galerie-biesenbach.com

Dance

Irish Celtic – Spirit of Ireland

They’re a spirited bunch the Irish. And when they get their feet moving, there’s no stopping the stomping. From step dancing, to village tavern-style folk dancing, this jubilant stage show features an assortment of Celtic dance steps that will make an Irish heart sing. Tap your toes along to the rhythm of the bagpipes and fiddle at Musical Dome this weekend when the dazzling dancers of Irish Celtic step and kick in time to live tunes.

Price: €39 – 63

Location: Musical Dome, Goldgasse 1

Times: Thursday, February 21 and Friday, February 22, 8pm; Saturday, February 23, 4pm and 8pm; Sunday, February 24, 2pm and 6pm

Ticket Hotline: 01805 2001

More Information: www.musical-dome.de

DESSAU

Festivals

Dessau may be known for its link to the Bauhaus movement, but the Saxony-Anhalt city also shares a close relationship to another icon of Germany’s cultural landscape, Kurt Weill. A festival devoted to the great composer focuses on his time in New York, highlighting the impact he made on the Great White Way. See seminal works like “The Threepenny Opera,” and other musical theatre pieces, concerts, ballets, and films inspired by the master this week in Dessau.

Price: Various

Location: Various

Times: Friday, February 22 – Sunday, March 10

Tickets: 0341 14 990 900

More Information: www.kurt-weill.de

FRANKFURT

Galleries/Museums

Rineke Dijkstra – The Krazy House

The Dutch artist Rineke Dijkstra takes pictures of people. She has an exquisite ability to capture a range of human emotions in her images. Her series from the late 1990s, “The Krazy House” took the concept of portraiture one step further by using video to convey the subject’s personality through dance. See works from this series, and others, including two new videos, at MMK’s new exhibition. Free guided tours in English take place every Saturday afternoon.

Price: €10

Location: MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, 
Domstrasse 10

Times: Friday, February 22, 8pm (Opening); Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-6pm, Wednesday, 10am-8pm; through May 26 (Regular Hours)

Phone: 069  2123 0447

More Information: www.mmk-frankfurt.de

HAMBURG

Film

Bag It – Is Your Life Too Plastic?

As far as living consciously with regard to the environment, Germany does a pretty good job compared to the rest of the world. But it’s still good to get a little reminder every now and then about how bad plastic can be. Colorado-based filmmaker Suzan Beraza’s documentary about how our lives are so entwined with plastic has won a string of awards since its release in 2010. Catch a screening Sunday at the Museum of Art and Trade in Hamburg, and check out the exhibition “The Plastic Garbage Project” while you’re at it.

Price: €9

Location: Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
, Steintorplatz

Times: Sunday, February 24, 3pm

Register: 040 428134 402

More Information: www.plasticgarbageproject.org

Family Events

Felt Jewelery Workshop

Joseph Beuys had it right. Felt. It’s an essential fabric. Not only can you make interesting avant-garde artworks with the material, you can make pretty jewelery too! Gather among the stunning natural scenery at the Haus der Wilden Weiden and learn how to make beautiful necklaces, bracelets, and even cell phone cases from the soft, durable fabric. Adults and children ages six and up are invited to take part in the afternoon of cozy constructing.

Price: €9

Location: Haus der Wilden Weiden, Eichberg 63

Times: Saturday, February 22, 1pm

Register: 040 18 04 48 60 13

More Information: www.hoeltigbaum.de

MUNICH

Events

UAMO Festival 2013

Whether its a toddler stacking blocks, or grandma dealing a game of gin rummy, everyone likes to play, making the theme of this year’s UAMO Festival “Play Time” especially universal. The Urban Art and Media Organisation has hosted this four-day art festival since 2003, and this year’s program is as entertaining as ever. Take a “Stop Trick” workshop and learn about animation; get an overview of the historic paper theatre genre; and don’t miss the opening party on Thursday. Performance artists, a live band, and DJs will have you in a playful mood all night.

Price: €8

Location: Einsteinstrasse 42

Times: Thursday, February 21 – Sunday, February 24

More Information: www.uamo.info

Music/Concerts

Marc Ribot Ceramic Dog Collective

They’ve been called “the rawest band in ages,” by Time Out New York, an apt description to be sure. Marc Ribot’s projects are multitudinous, ranging from a Cuban rock band to this one, a wild free-punk trio that merges guitar, bass, and drums with a cacophonous raw energy. See the talented New York-based threesome at Unterfahrt Thursday.

Price: €22

Location: Jazzclub Unterfahrt, Einsteinstrasse 42

Times: Thursday, February 21, 9pm

Tickets: 089 448 2794

More Information: www.unterfahrt.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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