This Week’s Highlights: March 21 – 27

This Week's Highlights: Spiders in Munich, street cinema in Frankfurt, and a modern art exhibition opens in Berlin.

This Week's Highlights: March 21 – 27
Photo: DPA



From Beckmann to Warhol – 20th and 21st Century Art from the Bayer Collection

In the early 1900s Bayer employees had some pretty nifty art hanging on their office walls. CEO Carl Duisberg laid the foundation for the company’s collection when he commissioned Max Liebermann to paint his portrait in 1909. Later, staffers could decorate their spaces with works by the likes of Max Beckmann and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Today the stock lists iconic artists from most every movement from the last two centuries in its holdings. Get an overview of modern European and American art history this week when the show starts at Martin-Gropius-Bau.

Price: €9

Location: Martin-Gropius-Bau, Niederkirchnerstrasse 7

Times: Wednesday – Monday, 10am-7pm; Friday, March 22 – June 9

Phone: 030 254 860

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MaerzMusik 2013 Part II – Break and Change: Turkey, Levant, Maghreb

Music from the eastern Mediterranean may conjure images of ouds, cane flutes, and tambourines. But in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and their neighboring Near East countries, contemporary music is alive and well. Through Sunday, composers and musicians from this culturally rich region perform at various venues around Berlin during MaerzMusik. Don’t miss Berlin-based Ensemble Adapter play the music of Turkish, Kurdish, and Jordanian composers Saturday at Radialsystem V.

Price: €10-25

Location: Various

Times: Through Sunday, March 24

Tickets: 030 254 89 100

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An Evening With – The Plant: A Journal About Ordinary Plants and Other Greenery

You needn’t be a botanist to enjoy The Plant, a new journal full of stories, photographs, and illustrations on flora from around the world. But you should at least call yourself a “plant lover” if you go to Saturday’s event with Art Director Carol Montpart at the do you read me?! magazine store’s reading room. Each issue is devoted to a different leafy wonder, and edition four promises plenty of eloquence about the common house plant Maranta aka “prayer plant.” Go and see how our simple potted companions can inspire such sophisticated prose.

Price: Free

Location: do you read me?! Reading Room and Shop,
 Potsdamer Strasse 98

Times: Saturday, March 23, 7pm

Phone: 030 695 49 695

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Bauhaus in Calcutta

Back in the 1920s, the European avant-garde found kindred spirits over in India. With “modernism” as a common language, these two cultures paired up at a “Society of Oriental Art” exhibition that merged works by Bauhaus artists with figures from the Indian avant-garde. See historic pieces by Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Uma Prosad Mookerjee, Shanta Devi and others at a new exhibition opening Tuesday night in Dessau.

Price: €6

Location: The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Gropiusallee 3

Times: Tuesday, March 26, 7pm (Opening); 10am-6pm, Daily; Wednesday, March 27 – Sunday, June 30

Phone: 0340 650 80

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Zusammen Ensemble – Franco-German Songs

Fifty years ago, the Elysee Treaty sealed the fate of France and Germany. Friends for life. Celebrate half a century of cross-border camaraderie at a concert of Franco-German songs Thursday. Of course the treaty was just a twinkle in Konrad Adenauer’s eye back when Hans Eisler, Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, and Jacques Prévert penned the poems and tunes on the program, but it really was a golden era, and just the thing for a golden anniversary. German singer Wolfgang Pissors joins French pianist Isabelle Serrand at the Institut Francais.

Price: €3

Location: Institut francais, Kreuzstrasse 6

Times: Thursday, March 21, 7pm

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Lichter Street View

Taking it to the streets is what the Lichter Film Festival is doing in Frankfurt this weekend. In a novel convergence of moving imagery and architecture, the festival ventures into the realm of urban art by projecting the works of eleven international artists on outdoor sites around the city center. Gather at Rossmarkt after sundown to take in all the cinematic action.

Price: Free

Location: Rossmarkt and surrounding streets

Times: Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23, 7:30 – 11pm

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Harry Callahan Retrospective

He started fiddling around with photography as a member of Chrysler’s camera club in the 1930s, and over the next few decades he established a career that placed him among the ranks of American photography icons. Less known in Europe, the pioneering picture man is the subject of a new retrospective opening Thursday in Hamburg. Wander among his oeuvre and see the world through one man’s sensationally surreal perspective.

Price: €9

Location: House of Photography, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Deichtorstrasse 1-2

Times: Thursday, March 21, 7pm (Opening); Tuesday – Sunday, 11am-6pm; Friday, March 22 – Sunday, June 9 (Regular Hours)

Phone: 040 321 030

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“A Bed Among the Lentils” and “A Chip in the Sugar” From Alan Bennett’s “Talking Heads” Series

A master of the monologue, British playwright Alan Bennett wrote a dozen one-character episodes for the BBC in the 1980s and 1990s. Known collectively as “Talking Heads,” the series is a true treasure of British television from the era. This week, the Hamburg-based Rover Rep Theatre is staging two of these gems – “A Bed Among the Lentils,” and “A Chip in the Sugar.” Take a seat in the audience and smile heartily at Bennett’s humour.

Price: €13

Location: The Irish Rover, Grossneumarkt 8

Times: Friday, March 22, 7:30pm; Saturday, March 23, 2:30pm and 7:30pm; Sunday, March 24, 2:30pm

Reservations: 040 317 31 41

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Swing Summit Presents – Sinatra’s Rat Pack Show

Relive the glamour of the golden age of Sin City when Sinatra and his pals held court at the swankiest casinos on the Strip. The talented troupe known as Swing Summit bring their finest impressions of Rat Pack heroes to Gasteig Saturday. Get dolled up and starry eyed as the crooning crew turn on the charm with hits like “The Lady is a Tramp,” “New York, New York,” and “My Way.”

Price: €22.50-32.50

Location: Gasteig, Rosenheimer Strasse 5

Times: Saturday, March 23, 8pm

Tickets: 089 54 818181

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Jazz in the Kallmann Museum – Trio 120

Wolfgang Fuhr, Florian Ross, and Dietmar Fuhr are making waves in the German jazz world. Their 2001 disc Aram topped MDR’s jazz CD list and with last year’s follow-up Enclosure the trio continues to champion a masterful level of improvisation. Catch a show Friday when the saxophonist, bassist, and pianist perform as part of the Kallmann Museum’s jazz concert series up in Ismaning.

Price: €10

Location: Kallmann-Museum, Ismaning Orangery, Schlossspark

Times: Friday, March 22, 8pm

Tickets: 089 9 61 29 48

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Spider Fascination

Arachnophobes, stay clear of Munich this week. An exhibition opening Friday at the Museum of Man and Nature is dedicated not only to our eight-legged friends the spiders, but scorpions, and centipedes as well. Dazzlingly colourful species from exotic locales offer insight to the intricacies of their lives from within dozens of terrariums. Go and gaze at the activity. Your little creepy critter lovers will be amazed.

Price: €6 (Adults); €2 (Children)

Location: Museum Mensch und Natur, Schloss Nymphenburg

Times: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 9am-5pm; Thursday, 9am-8pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm; Friday, March 22 – June 23

Tickets: 089 179 5890

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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