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FRANKFURT

This week’s highlights: March 8 – 13

This Week's Highlights: Short plays in Berlin, new books in Cologne, and a festival for women in Hamburg.

This week's highlights: March 8 – 13
Photo: DPA

BERLIN

Theatre

English Theatre Berlin – Ten Minute Play Contest

Who has the attention span to sit through a full-length play in this day and age? Theatre in ten minutes sounds more on par with the Twitter population. All kidding aside, short theatre, like the short story and the short film is an art form all its own. See five ten-minute plays in Berlin this week when English Theatre Berlin and Shakespeare im Park stage new works by multi-lingual expat playwrights like Claire Delaby and Alberto Di Gennaro.

Price: €13

Location: English Theatre Berlin, Fidicinstrasse 40

Times: Friday, March 8 – Tuesday, March 12, Thursday, March 14, and Saturday, March 16, 8pm

Tickets: 030 691 1211

More Information: www. etberlin.de

Film

Art Film Fest No. 1

We’re all products of our environments. Irish filmmaker Una Quigley ponders how environment affects one woman’s notion about her gender and identity in the short film The Gifted Water. Catch a showing Friday night at the Neukolln art space, Centrum where the 14-minute movie screens as part of a weekly art film series this month.

Price: Free

Location: Centrum, Reuterstrasse 8

Times: Friday, March 8, 8pm

Phone: 0176 49 33 02 50

More Information: www.centrumberlin.com

COLOGNE

Literature

lit.Cologne International Literature Festival

Cologne resounds with the sound of books being read aloud this week as the biggest literature festival in North Rhine-Westphalia swings through town. In addition to the German readings, there are a few in French, Dutch, Russian, and over twenty in English. Be sure to catch McSweeney’s main man Dave Eggers read from his latest novel A Hologram for the King Tuesday, and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan discusses his new book Interventions: A Life in War and Peace next Saturday.

Price: Various

Location: Various

Times: Wednesday, March 6 – Saturday, March 16

More Information: www.litcologne.de

Children’s Activities

Cars for Kids

If your toddlers are like most kids their age, they probably enjoy scooting around in toy cars. So when they see the lot full of plastic jeeps, race cars, and motorcycles at IKEA this weekend there’s bound to be a few squeals of joy rippling through the brisk March air. Bring your two to seven-year-olds over to the four-wheeled extravaganza Saturday.

Price: Free

Location: IKEA, Butzweilerstrasse 51

Times: Saturday, March 9, 10am-6pm

Phone: 0221 258 2585

More Information: www.cars-kids.de

FRANKFURT

Galleries/Museums

The Empty House

American architect Richard Meier designed Frankfurt’s Museum of Applied Arts in 1985. Over the years a few odds and ends were added to the structure, distracting from the original design. But all that clutter has been stripped away, leaving the stunning architectural gem gleaming gloriously in all its naked splendour. See the museum building like it was intended to look when after a three-month renovation the landmark structure shows off its birthday suit. Berlin artist Olaf Nicolai performs in the space Friday, and architects lead guided tours Sunday.

Price: Free; €5 (Olaf Nicolai performance)

Location: Museum Angewandte Kunst
, Schaumainkai 17

Times: Friday, March 8. 10am – Saturday, March 9, 8pm; Sunday, March 10, 10am-6pm

Phone: 069 2123 4037

More Information: www.museumangewandtekunst.de

Music/Concerts

Duo Fado Instrumental – Magic of the Portuguese Guitar

Take one Portuguese guitar, one Spanish guitar, add a pinch of bandoneon (a tango instrument that looks like an accordion), and you’ve got a lovely sound steeped in the tradition of Portuguese fado. Duo Fado Instrumental is Jan Dijker and Oliver Jaeger, a German-Dutch duo that play a program of instrumental fado music Sunday morning in Frankfurt. Have a glass of port before you head to the concert and it will be easier to convince yourself you’re actually in the Algarve.

Price: Free

Location: Frankfurter Künstlerclub, Nebbienschen Gartenhaus, Bockenheimer Anlage

Times: Sunday, March 10, 11am

Phone: 069 235 734

More Information: www.frankfurter-kuenstlerclub.de

HAMBURG

Festivals

International Women’s Festival

From Persian pop singers to Sri Lankan Bollywood dancers, the performers at this festival pack a whole lot of girl power. The month-long event features a vibrant international cultural program that celebrates the diversity, creativity, and strength of women from around the world. See music, theatre, and dance performances, join in on a discussion about sexism, and learn how to make apple crumble at a cooking workshop.

Price: Various

Location: Most events take place at Kulturladen St. Georg,
 Alexanderstrasse 16

Times: Sunday, March 3 – Thursday, April 4

More Information: www.frauenfestival.de

LEIPZIG

Readings

Teta Moehs Reads From “Of Thee I Sing”

United States President Barack Obama likens the children of America to homegrown heroes like Georgia O’Keeffe and Jackie Robinson in his book Of Thee I Sing – A Letter To My Daughters. The point is, we’ve all got the potential to make our dreams a reality. Hear Public Affairs Officer Teta Moehs read from the story in English Wednesday and then go do something with your life, like become a famous artist or baseball player.

Price: Free

Location: Bibliothek Volkmarsdorf, Torgauer Platz 3

Times: Wednesday, March 13, 10am

More Information: www.leipzig-liest.de

MUNICH

Readings

Joey Goebel’s “I Against Osborne”

James wears a suit to high school, he likes black and white movies and considers himself “the last gentleman.” The year is 1999 and the setting is a big high school in small town Kentucky in American author Joey Goebel’s new novel I Against Osborne. On Monday, the German actor Robert Stadlober joins Goebel in a reading at the Munich Literature House. Meet literature’s latest teen hero.

Price: €10

Location: Munich Literature House, Salvatorplatz 1


Times: Monday, March 11, 8pm

Register: 089 29 19 340

More Information: www.literaturhaus-muenchen.de

Music/Concerts

Music For Goals

Is there a better messenger than music? Musicians are gathering at Muffathalle Saturday to deliver a message of racial and religious tolerance through song. A joint venture between musicians and football associations, the goal of the evening is to end racism, xenophobia, and anti-semitism, not only within society, but also on the football field. Set your mind free Sunday night when Nneka, Moop Mama, Nomfusi, Adriano Prestel, and Roger Rekless and Boshi San take the stage.

Price: €25

Location: Muffathalle, Muffatwerk, Zellstrasse 4

Times: Sunday, March 10, 8pm

Phone: 089 458 750 10

More Information: www.musicforgoals.com

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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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