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The Best of Berlin in September

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The Best of Berlin in September
Photo: The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan
14:10 CEST+02:00
This month Exberliner, Berlin's leading English-language magazine, highlights girl comics, the fifth anniversary celebration at an artists' collective, the perfect gift shop, and a new online web community for film buffs.

Chicks on Comics

While many of us stick to boring old typewritten internet communication, comic heroines (as we have decided to proclaim them) Ana Bas Backer, a.k.a. Ana Extranjera, and Paola Gaviria, a.k.a. Power Paola, take a much more exciting approach to cybernetic discussion. In their creation, Chicks on Comics, nine clever girl comic artists from around the world use their pencils and imagination to provoke fun, crazy and often beautiful interdisciplinary discussions. There’s no better way to express what’s on your mind than drawing it! The way it works is this: the artists follow a particular order; readers post comments (which can themselves be worthwhile entertainment) to the work and the artist responds. When her turn is up, she has a week to post her reaction to the last reply – and the results can be anything from a funny little wagging-tailed mongrel named "Justice" to a war between a mini girl with a spatula and a giant leg hair. With so many different backgrounds and styles all blended into comics, the blog is a joyfully refreshing take on reality… whatever that reality turns out to be./SM

Made in Josetti

On the walk from Alexanderplatz to Kreuzberg across the Jannowitzbrücke, a curious banner hanging from an old building might grab your attention. "Freiräume für Ideen," it reads. This is the slogan of the Josetti Höfe, a bastion of "creative industries" housed in a massive former metal and woodworking factory that dates back to 1906. The building’s other previous incarnations also include a cigarette manufacturer (Juno cigarettes, whose name it still carries), and during the GDR it was home to a film studio. Today it’s a giant artistic engine of a perpetually changing Berlin. Five years ago, Lucia Reiz (of Maria am Ostbahnhof) took over began renting 15- to 200sqm-spaces (offices for temporary use are also available by the day) to the city’s numerous designers, artists and cultural operators. For its fifth anniversary on September 26, Josetti is opening the doors of its offices (of which there are currently 288) for a big fiesta – Made in Josetti, a cornucopia of films, lectures, theatre, live music, DJ sets, performances and exhibitions (including works from the Turn Gallery and the Juno Lounge), starts at 15:00, but will go on until the wee hours…/VG

Josetti Höfe | Rungestr. 22-24, Mitte, U-Bhf Jannowitzbrücke

Knick-knacks for all

In desperate need of a birthday gift that doesn’t look like you rushed to the Tankstelle on the way to the party? Head to this Aladdin’s cave brimming with essential retro clutter (clocks, prints, breakfast boards), Berlin-themed paraphernalia that is not just Ampelmann themed (cups, bags, t-shirts, even Fernsehturm cookie cutters) and a whole other host of whimsical design delights (snow in a can, anyone?). But beware, charming design comes at a price: it’s all so original and unique and tempting that you may be in for a bad surprise at the checkout (all those uniquely quirky slogan badges do add up). Still, here are thousands of items brained out by 150 artists - whose collections have each been reduced to one shelf of trinkets - just waiting to lighten your purse: shopaholics beware./JB

Luxus International | Kastanienallee 101, Mitte, U-Bhf Eberswalder Str., Tel 4432 4877

Online film haven

Welcome to Realeyz, the new Berlin-based web community for film buffs that allows you to invite your friends to watch a whole alternative array of feature films and documentaries online whenever you desire - you choose the time, it’s yours for 24 hours. The selection is mostly indie and political stuff, with a growing Berlin section. Current online favourites include "Berlin Analog," about street musicians here in the Bundeshauptstadt; "The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan," about an Afghan refugee family that is forced to live in caves after the war; and New Punk Cinema in the form of "Night Lunch," which follows Bowie et al in 1970s New York City. The excellent Berlin team from One World Film Festival is behind it, so you can be sure of the quality of the selection. The site also boasts a vibrant online community, where you can discuss your passion with other aficionados (besides your friends): simply make an open invite for a film and wait for another person to join in. All language versions are available, and yes, dear reader – you can stop, fast forward and rewind at will throughout the whole film./JB

Click here for more from Berlin's leading monthly magazine in English.

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