This metal Gorilla sculpture is outside M.Batman Elekronik in Neukölln, Berlin. In his electronics store, Muharrem Batman, the son of a watchmaker from Istanbul, creates sculptures and clothing out of old electrical and computer components.
Wrinkles of the City by French street artist, JR is undoubtedly one of the most exciting street art projects to hit Berlin.
Since I wrote my JR – Wrinkles of the City in Berlin post last week I’ve seen a few more of the photographs of Berlin residents on my wanders around Berlin.
You have until 25 May 2013 to see the Wrinkles of the City exhibition at Galerie Henrink Springmann in Berlin – a great opportunity to see more wonderful work by one of the world’s foremost street artists – JR.
Continuing my Twentieth Century Berlin on Film series, footage of 1940s Berlin is dominated by the machinations and effects of the Second World War. At the beginning of the decade the city is a focal point for Nazi marches and speeches. During the war, the German capital is a prime target for the allied bombers and afterwards a flashpoint at the beginning of the Cold War.
The soldiers of the German Wehrmacht march through Berlin in 1940. The streets are lined with people and Nazi flags fly from the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) and may of the buildings on the parade route.
By 1943 Berlin is showing the scars of war. Heavy bombing raids have taken their toll on the city. Rescued furniture and belongings line the streets and Potsdamer Bahnhof is out of use – the scenes of devastation inside make it clear why.
Berlin – May 12, 1945
This colour footage from 1945 shows the utter devastation of Berlin. Many buildings are now just shells and huge piles of rubble line the streets – the chain gangs of Trümmerfrauen (rubble women) work hard to clean up the city.
Mr Attlee Visits Berlin – 1949
British Prime Minister Clement Attlee visited Berlin in 1949 to see first hand how West Berliners were coping with the effects of the Berlin Blockade. This short film from the archive collection of the Alexandra Palace Television Society follows that visit.
New pieces appear year round on the streets of Berlin but it has been noticeable that since the weather has improved more artists have been hitting the city. With lots of great Street Art from ALANIZ, ALIAS, CAZ.L and El Bocho to name a few, the problem with compiling this post wasn’t finding good work but agonizing over what to leave out.
That just means that there’s plenty in the bag for more posts though.
It’s always good to find new work by ALIAS and I love the pieces that appeared in Mitte recently.
This is the first time I’ve seen a Peter Pink piece for myself so the first time he’s appeared on andBerlin but I love the humour in his work that I’ve seen on his Facebook page and other blogs – especially his potatoes.
I used a piece by Berlin based street artist CAZ.L in my Dog Lover post and here are a couple more paste-ups spotted in the city lately. I don’t know much (read next to nothing) about the artist but check out the Facebook Page for updates.
It would seem that El Bocho favourite Little Lucy has spent the winter coming up with a business plan – she’s still finding inventive ways to kill Kitti who is now on the menu.
Robi The Dog
I don’t know if Swiss artist Robi The Dog has moved to Berlin but I’ve seen new works from him regularly since last summer.
Plenty of paste-ups by Swiss street artist .FRA have appeared on walls and doors all over Berlin lately – I’ve seen them in Mitte, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg and Wedding.
.FRA and Robi The Dog
These two Swiss guys have obviously been out pasting together and I love this combination.
Stay tuned for more great Berlin Street Art soon.
Berlin in the 1930s was witness to Hitler’s rise to power as Chancellor of Germany and subsequently many shockingly destructive and despicable acts like the book burning of 1933 and the Kristallnacht in 1938. Continuing my Twentieth Century Berlin on Film series here are a few short videos that show Berlin in the 1930s.
Summer Holidays in Berlin (1930)
Despite the political changes and the economic difficulties in the country it is important to remember that it wasn’t all doom and gloom in Berlin. In this clip, Berliners head out to enjoy the sunshine at the Wannsee.
Büchverbrennung (Book Burning) 1933
This clip from a documentary by the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German History Museum) shows the book burning at the Opernplatz (now Bebelplatz) in Berlin.
Goebbels denounces the authors of ‘un-German’ books as soldiers and students throw thousands of volumes onto a large bonfire. Today a simple monument of empty shelves commemorates the events of 10 May 1933.
Alt-Berlin: Berlin – Wie es war
Alt-Berlin: Berlin – Wie es war (Old Berlin:Berlin – How it was) follows a horse and cart tour around the city with lots of information about the buildings and statues and life in Berlin in German.
Jesse Owens – 1936 Olympics
Given Hitler’s conviction of the superiority of the Aryan Race it is ironic that Jesse Owens was the star of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
Berlin Reichshauptstadt 1936
A Nazi propaganda film, Berlin Reichshauptstadt 1936 showcases Berlin and it’s many landmark buildings in colour – some no longer stand like the Stadtschloss and others like the Berliner Dom and Reichstag have undergone changes.
Urban exploring doesn’t get much easier than a visit to the Bahnbetriebswerk Pankow-Heinersdorf (far easier to visit than say) an abandoned train yard in Berlin. The train sheds, administrative buildings and turntable are conveniently (for exploring and formerly for repairing and servicing trains) right next to the S-Bahnhof.
Crossing the open land between the road and the main buildings I was a little nervous about being seen from the train station but there are no walls, fences or other barriers.
Opened on 1 October 1893 the train yard and depot operated until the 1990s but has been derelict since. For a more detailed history of the Bahnbetriebswerk Pankow-Heinersdorf read this post on Digital Cosmonaut.
The first building I entered was the Roundhouse.
Back outside, I made my way through a number of outbuildings to the Train Turntable (Drehscheibe).
Then into the Engine sheds.
I went to Bahnbetriebswerk Pankow-Heinersdorf after my visit to the abandoned Iraqi Embassy so the light was fading at this stage and I didn’t have time to check out the administrative building. Watching the sun setting over the buildings I didn’t want to leave but exploring in the dark isn’t easy and is potentially dangerous.
For more impressions of the abandoned Bahnbetriebswerk Pankow-Heinersdorf in Berlin, check out this iPhone video from Albert N Romero.
Güterbahnhof Berlin-Pankow – Abandoned Train Roundhouse
The twentieth century was not kind to Berlin – war, economic depression, Nazism, division and re-unification all left their mark.
Twentieth Century Berlin on Film is a series of posts that, through YouTube videos, will show the changes the city has undergone.
We begin with the heady days of Berlin in the 1920s – in the Weimar era, the city had a reputation for decadence, hedonism and sexual freedom. Despite, or perhaps as a result of, the effects of hyperinflation and political upheaval in the aftermath of the Great War, Berliners were determined to have a good time.
1920s – Berlin in der 20er Jahre (Berlin the 1920s)
A collection of clips showing everyday life in the German capital throughout the 1920s.
Tour Around Berlin in 1929
Taken from the Billy Wilder film People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag), which you can find in full on Mogli Oak.
Berlin – Die Sinfonie der Großstadt (1927) (Berlin – Symphony of a Great City)
If you have a little more time I would recommend watching Die Sinfonie der Großstadt, a full-length silent film by director Walther Ruttmann. Filmed over the course of a year in Berlin, the footage has been assembled in five acts representing a typical day in the city.
It’s Gallery Weekend in Berlin – a time when the city’s many galleries showcase art from a broad range of local and international talent – so when better to share this film from Monocle magazine on Art in Berlin.
Berlin is a hotbed of creative talent.
In the 1920s, artists were attracted by the city’s hedonistic nightlife and attitude of acceptance. During the cold war more still took advantage of the opportunity to avoid conscription by moving to West Berlin. And after the fall of the wall, cheap rents and the availability of empty buildings for squatting meant artists could survive more easily here.
In this report for Monocle, Kimberly Bradley looks at how the art scene in Berlin is developing and maturing and how the city has a growing reputation as a destination for international gallerists and collectors.
Monocle – Art in Berlin