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. "/> 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. " />


The Best of Berlin in September

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.

The Best of Berlin in September
Photo: The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan

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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EXPLAINED: Berlin’s latest Covid rules

In response to rapidly rising Covid-19 infection rates, the Berlin Senate has introduced stricter rules, which came into force on Saturday, November 27th. Here's what you need to know.

A sign in front of a waxing studio in Berlin indicates the rule of the 2G system
A sign in front of a waxing studio indicates the rule of the 2G system with access only for fully vaccinated people and those who can show proof of recovery from Covid-19 as restrictions tighten in Berlin. STEFANIE LOOS / AFP

The Senate agreed on the tougher restrictions on Tuesday, November 23rd with the goal of reducing contacts and mobility, according to State Secretary of Health Martin Matz (SPD).

He explained after the meeting that these measures should slow the increase in Covid-19 infection rates, which was important as “the situation had, unfortunately, deteriorated over the past weeks”, according to media reports.

READ ALSO: Tougher Covid measures needed to stop 100,000 more deaths, warns top German virologist

Essentially, the new rules exclude from much of public life anyone who cannot show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19. You’ll find more details of how different sectors are affected below.

If you haven’t been vaccinated or recovered (2G – geimpft (vaccinated) or genesen (recovered)) from Covid-19, then you can only go into shops for essential supplies, i.e. food shopping in supermarkets or to drugstores and pharmacies.

Many – but not all – of the rules for shopping are the same as those passed in the neighbouring state of Brandenburg in order to avoid promoting ‘shopping tourism’ with different restrictions in different states.

2G applies here, too, as well as the requirement to wear a mask with most places now no longer accepting a negative test for entry. Only minors are exempt from this requirement.

Sport, culture, clubs
Indoor sports halls will off-limits to anyone who hasn’t  been vaccinated or can’t show proof of recovery from Covid-19. 2G is also in force for cultural events, such as plays and concerts, where there’s also a requirement to wear a mask. 

In places where mask-wearing isn’t possible, such as dance clubs, then a negative test and social distancing are required (capacity is capped at 50 percent of the maximum).

Restaurants, bars, pubs (indoors)
You have to wear a mask in all of these places when you come in, leave or move around. You can only take your mask off while you’re sat down. 2G rules also apply here.

Hotels and other types of accommodation 
Restrictions are tougher here, too, with 2G now in force. This means that unvaccinated people can no longer get a room, even if they have a negative test.

For close-contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, it’s up to the service providers themselves to decide whether they require customers to wear masks or a negative test.

Football matches and other large-scale events
Rules have changed here, too. From December 1st, capacity will be limited to 5,000 people plus 50 percent of the total potential stadium or arena capacity. And only those who’ve been vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 will be allowed in. Masks are also compulsory.

For the Olympic Stadium, this means capacity will be capped at 42,000 spectators and 16,000 for the Alte Försterei stadium. 

3G rules – ie vaccinated, recovered or a negative test – still apply on the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, trams and buses in Berlin. It was not possible to tighten restrictions, Matz said, as the regulations were issued at national level.

According to the German Act on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, people have to wear a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask  on public transport.

Christmas markets
The Senate currently has no plans to cancel the capital’s Christmas markets, some of which have been open since Monday. 

According to Matz, 2G rules apply and wearing a mask is compulsory.

Schools and day-care
Pupils will still have to take Covid tests three times a week and, in classes where there are at least two children who test positive in the rapid antigen tests, then tests should be carried out daily for a week.  

Unlike in Brandenburg, there are currently no plans to move away from face-to-face teaching. The child-friendly ‘lollipop’ Covid tests will be made compulsory in day-care centres and parents will be required to confirm that the tests have been carried out. Day-care staff have to document the results.

What about vaccination centres?
Berlin wants to expand these and set up new ones, according to Matz. A new vaccination centre should open in the Ring centre at the end of the week and 50 soldiers from the German army have been helping at the vaccination centre at the Exhibition Centre each day since last week.

The capacity in the new vaccination centre in the Lindencenter in Lichtenberg is expected to be doubled. There are also additional vaccination appointments so that people can get their jabs more quickly. Currently, all appointments are fully booked well into the new year.