What’s on in Germany: February 18 – 24

This week's highlights: Shaolin monks in Munich, experimental film in Berlin, and an exhibition of sacred Himalayan art opens in Cologne.

What's on in Germany: February 18 - 24
Shaolin monks to perform in Munich. Photo: DPA



Heinz Emigholz – The Formative Years

The German filmmaker’s early works were strikingly avant-garde. Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof screens a day-long program of seven of them all weekend. See how urban and natural landscapes interact with abstract compositions in short films like “Arrowplane” and “Tide,” seminal works from the 1970s.

Price: €12

Location: Hamburger Bahnhof, Invalidenstrasse 50-51

Times: Thursday, February 18 – Friday, February 19, 10am-6pm; Saturday, February 20, 11am-8pm; Sunday, February 21, 11am-6pm

Phone: 030 3978 3439

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The Marvellous Variety Show

Perhaps you know Meret Becker from her work with Einstürzende Neubauten, her role in Spielberg’s Munich, or in the U2 video “Stay (Faraway, So Close!).” The actress/performing artist’s latest projects brings her to Berlin where she and her band The Tiny Teeth perform alongside Russian clowns and French-Dutch aerialists. Marvellous indeed!

Price: €19.50 – 82

Location: Wintergarten Berlin, Potsdamer Strasse 96

Times: Wednesday – Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 6pm; through May 1

Ticket Hotline: 030 588 433

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Drawn in Light – Carl Blechen: The Amalfi Sketchbook

In 1828 the German artist Carl Blechen spent some time walking Italy’s Amalfi coast. The sketches he made during that excursion are considered some of the most important contributions to 19th century drawing. View his Mediterranean villages and leafy landscapes at Berlin’s Alte Nationalgalerie. And take a cue from Blechem – pack a sketchpad on your next vacation.

Price: €10

Location: Alte Nationalgalerie, Bodestrasse 1-3

Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 6pm; Thursday, 10am-10pm; through April 11

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Bhutan – Sacred Art From the Himalayas

Chances are slim any of us will take a tour of Bhutan temples this year. That’s why this new exhibition, opening Saturday at Cologne’s Museum for Asian Art is so important. It offers the rare opportunity to gaze upon enlightening images of Buddha and Bodhisattvas without having to hike the Himalayas. Go and meditate on some ancient statues for a while.

Price: €4.20

Location: Museum for Asian Art, Universitätsstrasse 100

Times: Tuesday – Sunday 11am-5pm; Saturday, February 20 – May 24

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Yiorgos Kordakis – Global Summer

Shot on Polaroid film, scanned, then enlarged, the beaches of France, India, Lebanon, and Denmark take on a shimmering radiance in the photographs of Yiorgos Kordakis. Meet the Athens-born artist at the exhibition opening Friday night.

Price: Free

Location: Galerie Karsten Greve, Drususgasse 1-5

Times: Friday, February 19, 6-8pm (opening); Tuesday – Friday, 10am-6:30pm; Saturday, 10am-6pm (regular hours); through March 20

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Fishing Rod, Hessian Cider Jug, Car Parts – A Short Guided Tour of Some Remarkable Things

Expand your knowledge of unusual objects this weekend. A guided tour of Frankfurt’s speciality shops reveals a cavalcade of cultural curios. Know what a Bembel is? Better sign up.

Price: Free

Location: Frankfurter Kunstverein, Stone House on the Römerberg, Markt 44 (meet in the foyer)

Times: Saturday, February 20, 11am

Registration: [email protected] or 069 2193 1440

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Radical Conceptual

Films, musical scores, sculptures, installations, and a poem laid out in a 25-meter-long strip of neon letters comprise this new exhibition of conceptual art. Be baffled by the brilliance of works by European and American artists, dating from the 1960s to the present day, when the show opens Thursday night in Frankfurt.

Price: €8

Location: Museum for Modern Art, Domstrasse 10

Times: Thursday, February 18, 7pm (opening); Tuesday, Thursday – Sunday, 10am-6pm; Wednesday, 10am-8pm (regular hours); through August 22

Phone: 069 212 30447

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On Safari in Africa – Travel Story: Botswana – A Diamond in Southern Africa

Author Joachim Frank reads from his book Botswana – A Diamond in Southern Africa Sunday afternoon as part of the Museum Elbinsel Wilhelmsburg’s Sunday Culture Series. Though the reading will be in German, the inspiring images of elephants and other Okavango Delta wildlife that he’ll show during the presentation are universally understood.

Price: €5

Location: Museum Elbinsel Wilhelmsburg, Kirchdorfer Strasse 163

Times: Sunday, February 21, 3pm

Phone: 040 3118 2928

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Vampire Weekend

No, it’s not a black cape-wearing, fang-bearing two-day festival in the Hamburg hinterland. It’s a quirky New York band inspired by Congolese rhythms, which has been getting a lot of buzz lately. See what the guys’ live show is all about Sunday night at Docks.

Price: €21.70

Location: Docks, Spielbudenplatz 19

Times: Sunday, February 21, 8pm

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Mystical Worlds: The Return of the Shaolin

A breathtaking kung fu show about China’s legendary Shaolin monks, “Mystical Worlds” combines thrilling fight scenes with moments of quiet meditation. Witness the unbelievable feats of these masters of body and mind.

Price: €24 – 52.20

Location: Deutsches Theater München, Werner-Heisenberg-Allee 11

Times: Sunday, February 21, 3 and 8pm; Monday, February 22, 8pm

Ticket Hotline: 0231 917 22 90

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Finest Spirits Munich Whiskey Festival

Forty-five different whiskey producers, three chocolate companies, two cigar makers, plus rum, vodka, grappa, and brandy. This is one festival you won’t want to miss. Here’s mud in your eye.

Price: €20

Location: Forum am Deutschen Museum, Museumsinsel 1

Times: Friday, February 19, 4-11pm; Saturday, February 20, 2-11pm; Sunday, February 21, 12-7pm

Phone: 089 2103 1472

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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.