What’s on in Germany: May 27 – June 2

This week's highlights: Film Festivals in Berlin, Frankfurt, and Hamburg, zoo history in Cologne and Polaroids in Düsseldorf.

What's on in Germany: May 27 - June 2
Photo: Museen Köln



Berlin Documentary Forum 1

Watch Lebanese artist Rabih Mroué perform, hear Nigerian-American writer Okwui Enwezor read, and see two films by recently deceased German director Michael Mrakitsch Wednesday in Berlin. Wednesday’s opening event kicks off five days of documentaries that highlight “practices across disciplines” like the visual arts and literature.

Price: Free (Opening); €6 (Single Ticket); €12 (Day Ticket); €45 (Festival Ticket)

Location: House of World Cultures, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10

Times: Wednesday, June 2, 6:30pm (Opening); through Sunday, June 6

Tickets: 030 39 78 7175

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Jan Imberi – Trift

As an artist who grew up in the Black Forest, it’s only natural that Jan Imberi would form a close relationship with landscape. Through sculpture, video, and photography, Imberi ponders humanity’s understanding of things like forests. For his first solo exhibition, Imberi sailed forty trees up the River Spree to Kreuzberg, where his sculpture now stands. See the accompanying visuals at Laura Mars Gallery, a ten-minute walk away.

Price: Free

Location: Cuvry Strasse 1 (Sculpture); Laura Mars Gallery, Sorauer Strasse 3 (Photos/Videos)

Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 1-7pm; Saturday, 12-4pm; through June 30

Phone: 030 610 74 630

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Istja Itho – Berlin Windows

If windows are the eyes of a house, and eyes are the windows to the soul, than windows are the souls of the city. See the Berlin windows that caught photographer Istja Itho’s eye in this exhibition at the Charlottenburg Museum. And bring your own photo of your favorite window, because even if you don’t win the prize, your shot will at least be included in the next exhibition.

Price: Free

Location: Museum Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Schlossstrasse 69

Times: Tuesday – Friday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm; through August 1; Photo submission deadline – June 18

Phone: 030 90 29 13201

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Richard Wagner – The Ring Cycle

Acclaimed opera director Robert Carson’s rendition of Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” is an updated version of that epic opus. Witness “Das Rheingold,” “Die Walküre,” “Siegfried,” and “Götterdämmerung” at Cologne Opera starting Tuesday.

Price: €24 – 74

Location: Oper Köln, Offenbachplatz

Times: Tuesday, June 1 – Sunday, June 13

Tickets: 0221 2212 8400

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Anoushka Shankar Project 2010 – Sudakshini

Indian classical meets western experimental in the Anoushka Shankar Project. The celebrated sitarist brings her eclectic group to the Cologne Philharmonic Monday.

Price: €25

Location: Kölner Philharmonie, Bischofsgartenstrasse 1

Times: Monday, May 31, 8pm

Phone: 0221 204 080

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From Marlar to Schöne Marie – 150 Years of the Cologne Zoo

Learn about the history of Germany’s third oldest zoo. This year, Cologne Zoo celebrates its 150th anniversary and a special exhibition at the City Museum highlights major events like the arrival of the first rhinoceros “Schöne Marie,” in 1872, and the birth of Marlar the baby elephant in 2006.

Price: €5

Location: Cologne City Museum, Zeughausstrasse 1-3

Times: Friday, May 28. 6pm (Opening); Tuesday, 10am-8pm; Wednesday – Sunday, 10am-5pm; through August 29

Phone: 0221 221 25789

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Julian Schnabel – Polaroids

These aren’t your ordinary Polaroids. First of all, they’re taken on a 1970s 20×24-inch camera on wheels. And then there’s the subject matter. Shots of Schnabel’s buddies like Lou Reed and Mickey Rourke are peppered in among shots of private rooms in the artist’s New York lair, Palazzo Chupi. See all 100 of them when the exhibition opens Sunday.

Price: €7.80

Location: NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, Ehrenhof 2

Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am-8pm; Friday, 11am-midnight; May 30 – July 11

Phone: 0211 89 266 90

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Cuba in Film Festival

Eleven nights of Cuban films culminate next Saturday with a screening of the Wim Wenders documentary Buena Vistas Social Club. Until then, check out Enrique Pineda Barnet’s La Bella del Alhambra, Mayckell Pedrero Mariol’s Revolution, and other groundbreaking works of Cuban cinema.

Price: €6

Location: Filmforum Höchst, Emmerich-Josef-Strasse 46a

Times: Tuesday, May 25 – Saturday, June 5

Tickets: 069 2124 5714

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Städel Art Music

Frankfurt’s Städel Museum poses the question: Can you dance to art? Of course you can! Show them what’s up Saturday night when the museum hosts an art dance party extravaganza. DJs Steph and Amin Fallaha and British singer James Kakande provide just the right tunes for rocking to the artwork of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

Price: €10

Location: Städel Museum, Schaumainkai 63

Times: Saturday, May 29, 8pm

Phone: 069 605 0980

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International Short Film Festival

There’s something really special about short films, and this acclaimed festival likes to highlight that fact, placing the genre into an art form all its own. Filmmakers from Germany, Hungary, Norway, Iran, South Korea, the USA, and beyond present some truly eye opening stories in a program of 300 brief but striking cinematic works.

Price: €6 (Festival Cinemas); €3.50 (Mo&Friese Children’s Short Film Festival); €25 (Five-Screening Pass)

Location: Various

Times: Tuesday, June 1 – Monday, June 7

Ticket Hotline: 040 39 10 63 134

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Dance Breaks in Bavaria – Modern Jive, Munich & More

Combine modern jive and west coast swing workshops with a little Bavarian culture. Instructors from the UK, New Zealand, France, and Germany teach you dance skills in the morning, then when night falls, you can practice in the city’s open air beer gardens after a few brews.

Price: €40 (One Day); €60 (Two Days)

Location: Dance Terminal 1, Adolf-Kolping-Strasse 10

Times: Friday, May 28 – Sunday, May 30

More Information:

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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.