Author: Angles Collective

Soundtrack to the City

In an ongoing piece, the Angles Collective meets some of the harmonious heros bringing music to the city’s streets. Street music in Berlin is a colourful, thriving scene. In train stations, on corners, in parks, passing ears receive communication from a bewildering variety of tones, styles, and genres. But who are the people pumping this sweet soundtrack into the air? Australian filmmaker and Angles Collective member Jordan Brown went out roving with his microphone, to capture numerous interviews with these unsung legends. Meanwhile Northern Irish artist Charys Wilson gravitated towards a famous busking spot: Berlin’s Warschauer Straße U-Bahn station. She created a cardboard replica of the station building. Because that’s just the kind of thing she does. The superimposition resulted in the following video, filmed and edited by David Labi: And Jordy’s full audio montage, featuring the stories of several Berlin buskers, follows: Find more of Jordan Brown’s film and sound work here, and Charys Wilson’s art work here.

Meet the Collective

Members Sara Grossman is a writer from California and the director and cofounder of the Angles art collective. She has written about campus LGBTQ issues, racial inequities, and international migration, among other topics. She is a writer and editor for UC Berkeley’s Haas Institute, where she writes about equity policy and social justice issues. David Labi is a writer, editor, filmmaker, producer, and cofounder of Angles. He has written fiction,  edited magazines, translated poetry, made documentaries and shorts in Argentina, Japan, and Berlin, and continues to explore different media and his city obsession through Angles. He is also founder of comms agency Good Point. Rasha Hilwi is an Arab Palestinian writer, cultural journalist, and blogger. Her texts are published in major Arab newspapers, in online media, and on cultural platforms. Rasha explores how people express their cultures away from “home,” as well as love stories within different political, social, and cultural contexts. Follow her on Twitter here. Jamal Ali is a musician, sound engineer, activist, and journalist from Azerbaijan. He has been living in Berlin since 2012, when he was forced to …

The Mystery of Wedding’s Kebab Street

Countless döner kebab shops line Badstraße in Berlin’s Wedding district. The untrained eye might think they’re all the same… but a group of Angles artists went deeper to discover how each shop plays a key role within this rich community. The third time I walked into Slzkern’s kebab shop’ on Badstraße, he was convinced I was a lawyer. I’d already been sitting in a corner booth for about a half an hour with his friend Ali, who moonlights for free behind the counter a few times a week, when Slzkern noticed I was back. “You lied to me,” he said, pulling a crumpled envelope out of his pocket. I’d met Slzkern about a month before when I visited on a busy Saturday afternoon to ask about his restaurant, Kebab Haus. We didn’t have the chance to get far thanks to an uninterrupted parade of people walking in off the street, so I had him write out his name in my notebook for later. It was just for spelling’s sake, but Slzkern was convinced I’d had …

Why Angles?

With an estimated one billion migrants in the world, we live in a time of great social and economic transformation. This transformation is perhaps best witnessed through the lens of the city — oftentimes the first place immigrants head when leaving home in search of work, accommodation, or social acceptance. Still, despite the cultural richness and economic benefits provided by these newcomers in urban areas, tension and mistrust are often unavoidable. Longtime residents may experience unease over changing demographics and unfamiliar communities — an anxiety fuelled to the extreme by political groups, media organisations, and other actors with exclusionary agendas. Berlin is a perfect crucible in which to study and document this phenomenon – and to attempt to reframe these exclusionary narratives pushed by the interest groups noted above. It is a capital city with all the features of the developed world, but caught at a peculiar stage of development. It’s not surprising – which other major city was brutally divided for decades between two drastically different regimes? Berlin has reinvented itself many times, but now …

Tales from the Dog Salons of Berlin

Among the classic Berlin bookshops, Spätis, and Apothekes, hints of more specific subcultures can be detected. Dog owners in the city have long brought their pooches to be groomed at one of the many boutique Hundesalons in the city. But how are these old-school businesses faring in the age of rapid technological advancement and hyper-gentrification? Writer Aïcha Abbadi and fine artist Peter Wood visited a few salons to hear the tales of the groomers who work there. By Aïcha Abbadi (text) and Peter Wood (illustration) See full gallery of Peter’s work at bottom. HUNDEPARADIES Alt-Moabit 115, Moabit Between a bakery and a sports bar, just opposite the massive concrete wall separating the street from the prison, Hundeparadies, or “Dog Paradise”, is a capsule from another time. Inside, dog food, leashes, toys and other accessories are packed on colourful shelves. The centrepiece: a big fridge packed with raw meat. At the back, two blond children, a girl and boy, play with two dogs while water boils in a kettle behind the counter. Against all odds, the place is …

Meet us at Angles: Berlin kickoff events

Angles: Berlin will kick off its first co-creation events on Sunday, February 4 and Sunday, February 18, 2018, both from 14:00 to 17:00. This first event will include writers, photographers, artists, and other creative residents of Berlin of all cultural and immigrant backgrounds. We’ll be working cross-discipline to produce original content about the city of Berlin. Themes of food, culture, and music will serve as tools to delve beneath the surface of the city. We’d love for you to be involved! If you’re interested, let us know who you are with our 5-minute survey. We will get back in touch with the location after you’ve filled that out. Can’t wait to hear from you!