All posts filed under: Featured

Recap: Three Stories on Turning Points & Transformations

We held our first Three Stories event in the basement of the Center for Art and Urbanistics (ZK/U) on Feb. 2. More than 60 Berliners from all over the city participated in this event, each of whom had the opportunity to visit storytellers in three different “neighbourhoods” of Berlin in ZKU’s cavernous basement space, which had been transformed into a deconstructed map of the city.  The three storytellers shared narratives of turning points and transformations in Berlin, including from a Hebrew language sign language interpreter, a fiction writer from Syria, and an American-born longtime Berlin resident who has seen the city transform over time. Their varied and distinct narratives of change were further built  upon as participants had the opportunity to share their own turning points and place-based experiences in Berlin. Our three storytellers were Dan Trattler, Gal Naor, and Zena El Abdalla.  Angles members Zena El Abdalla and David Labi co-organised the event. Photos by Justina Leston

Anon drawing at desk, illustration by Peter Wood

Sober Berlin: On alcohol as creative poison and finding new heroes

by Anonymous Illustrations by Peter Wood I have been a seeker all my life. I was always looking for something or someone to give me a creative edge. I took quite a few mushrooms and LSD as a younger man on a quest. I went hiking in the Andes chewing coca leaves for six days. At one point I even went to northern Mexico in search of peyote (I found it). While I would not take any of these amazing things away if I could, I do know now that none of them ever brought me anywhere near where I am today—sober and living in the moment. Everyone, including myself, has been told the outrageous lie that drugs and alcohol are critical to create. I thought all poets had to drink like Bukowski, all novelists had to drink like Hemingway, and all musicians had to drink like Gram Parsons. None of this is true, and that is the great thing about having outdated heroes: you can always fire them and pick new ones. My own …

Sober Berlin: On tarot and the stories we tell ourselves

Text by Hannah Graves Illustrations by Peter Wood I moved to Berlin in September 2012 with a single suitcase of inappropriate clothing and 300 euros to my name. JJ, an owner of the tattoo studio AKA Berlin, had taken a chance on a troubled 27-year-old desperate to get out of the South Coast of England and offered me a job as a piercer. I gave up my apartment, sold my belongings, and never looked back. I had been in and out of the doctors’ office since the start of my 20s. I suffered from terrible depression and anxiety and was prone to panic attacks. I’d been told I would need to remain medicated once I moved to Berlin, but threw all my tablets in the bin at Gatwick, convinced that a total change of environment would surely be the solution. I landed with all the hallmark enthusiasm of someone who can be prone to bouts of mania. I threw myself into my new job and friendship group. I loved Berlin for her dive bars and …

Sober Berlin: On bondage, sobriety, and the beauty of vulnerability

Text by Vanina Tsoneva Illustration by Peter Wood This is the first instalment in our series on artists living sober in Berlin—and how their creative practises have helped them maintain sobriety. While I only partly remember the details of one particular drunk BDSM session, I will never forget the feeling of fear and anxiety to which I woke up the morning after. I sat in a cafe on a rainy day in Glasgow and was horrified by the fact that I didn’t remember chunks of the previous night’s experience. Did we use condoms? When did we actually start having sex? Did we really drink that much?

Re-Mapping Rollberg Kiez with Neukölln Youth

In an effort to creatively engage with local youth in Berlin, members of the Angles collective planned, organised, and faciliated two arts workshops with teens at the Shalom Rollberg community centre in Neukölln. Shalom Rollberg is a community project that initiates intercultural encounters in the Rollbergviertel of Berlin-Neukölln, aiming to promote dialogue between predominantly Muslim children, young people and their families with the members of the city’s diverse Jewish community. The two Angles arts workshops came as part of a larger course teaching English language skills to the centre’s youths—all of whom are girls aged 14–16. The workshops aimed not only to foster English ability and artistic creativity, but also to help the students reimagine their own neighbourhood and the community within it. We too had the privilege of viewing Rollberg Kiez through new eyes! For the first workshop, Swiss painter Myriam Gross-Mail developed a large-scale map of the Kiez and led the youth through exercises to identify key places, encouraging them to re-envision the space in which they spend their daily lives and view the community …