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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 …