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EXBERLINER MAGAZINE

ART

The best of Berlin in November

This month Exberliner, Berlin's leading English-language magazine, introduces a laboratory for anarchist art, a new bar serving up classic cocktails and the pioneers of Berlin’s dubstep parties.

The best of Berlin in November
Lockemueller. Photo: Exberliner

Edward Albee and ‘l’art pour l’art’

Play2c founder Krisana Locke came to Berlin fleeing the ambition and ego of the New York art scene. She wanted to create ‘l’art pour l’art’, and figured Berlin’s creative laboratory – young, experimental, anarchistic, liberating – was just the place. With her friend Ali von Stein she found the loft space at the foot of Oberbaumbrücke in 2008, a 240-squaremeter former flour mill with nine huge windows, and turned it into a high-quality studio. Now, artists come together on the oiled wooden dance floor for theatre courses, dance lessons, and yoga classes. What they share is a love for creative vision and artistic excellence in theatre, film, and performing arts. Play2c has their own theatre company; their latest production is Edward Albee’s “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?”, on this month at English Theatre. Play2c brings together an international crowd of theatre veterans and young talent; English is the lingua franca. And Krisana has now finally found the space where she’s free to make ‘just art’.

Play2c Performing Arts, Schlesische Str. 38, Kreuzberg

Acting and theatre courses in English: 12 classes for €180

The Goat at English Theatre Berlin | Nov 1, 12, 13, 14, 20:00

Fidicinstr. 40, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Platz der Luftbrücke

Rosemary Collins arrives in Berlin

The days of the Kreuzberg Rockkneipen may finally be numbered. So, what’s next? Looking for a third way between retro-interior bars reminiscent of Prenzlauer Berg’s Casting Allee and the schicki-micki places where, perched uncomfortably on futuristic furniture, you’ll poke the slices of sloppy cucumber floating in your Martini while trying to block out the lame beats of lounge music? Fetzo and Locke, two Kreuzbergers at heart, opened Lockemüller at Spreewaldplatz two months ago. After a fulminating pre-opening outdoor rave on the first of May, Lockemüller has become a cozy, down-to-earth bar. With dark wood and golden walls it’s classy and clean but with that certain urban edge; the back wall is decorated with the collected parking tickets Locke has received over the years, and a street art-style painting by Andreas Golder. The drinks are mixed with homemade syrups and the cocktails change every day, from Rosemary Collins to Nimm 2, with traditional German children’s candy included. Lockemüller is a place to hang out and meet friends but also to get a little crazy: watch out for their “Ghetto-Uno” card game nights, evenings when a friendly stylist cuts your hair while you sip your cocktail, and karaoke events soon to come.

Lockemüller | Spreewaldplatz 14, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Görlitzer Bahnhof, open daily 19-late

Dubstep in Mitte

People who were around back then still fall into a dreamy trance when talking about the 1990s, when after the Wende everything seemed possible. WMF has always been emblematic of those good old days, and after some years of absence, the club legend has rebuilt its notorious bar counter (a relic from “Erich’s Lampenladen,” the Palast der Republik) in the former GDR Fernmeldeamt (telephone exchange). But this time, instead of hosting just another party mecca, the WMF people have turned the rest of the old building into an art space. Independent offtheatre Theaterdiscounter moved in, and so far 55 artists have set up studios, paying the cheapest rents imaginable in Mitte these days. WMF was always visionary: back in the 1990s they were playing drum’n’bass and then house when everybody else was still clinging to hip hop; today they are one of the pioneers in hosting dubstep parties. But with regulars like Modeselektor, Pfadfinderei and Jahcoozi they remain Berlin-based, keeping the memory of their heritage and the legendary 1990s spirit alive.

Ehemaliges Fernmeldeamt | Klosterstr. 44, Mitte, U-Bhf Klosterstr

Theaterdiscounter | Oscar Wilde’s Bunbury (in German), Nov 18, 19, 25, 26, 28, 29, 20:00

The bright side of gentrification

Wedding was these artists’ universe long before it appeared on any art scene insider’s map. Nine years ago, Les Schliesser, Daniela Brahm, and Anna Schuster opened up their workshops in a former printing factory – they had fallen in love with the building’s eccentric 1950s architecture, and with the idea of creating a space for art in the desert. Finally in 2007 they convinced two foundations to buy the land, and now run ExRotaprint. Two years later, rents are still cheap in Wedding, more than a third of the population have immigrant origins, and unemployment rates run high. The ExRotaprinters know that they are “gentrifiers” in a way, part of the inevitable change in an area set in motion as artists move in. But they emphasize the positive connotations of gentrification as well -they’re not overrunning Wedding, but helping to stabilize it. ExRotaprint not only brings artists to the neighborhood (just 10 minutes away from the fancy Mitte galleries), they also host social projects like a language school run by Kurds and craft enterprises. They encourage their arty tenants to offer internships to young Weddingers – some of whom were recently accepted into art schools.

EXROTAPRINT | Gottschedstr. 4, U-Bhf Nauener Platz, cafeteria open Mon-Fri 10-16

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BERLIN

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.

Shops
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.

Leisure
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.

Hairdressers
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. 

Transport
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.

 

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