spotlight

the things i am thinking while smiling politely…

Dodua Otoo's writing is efficient and brutal with a journal-like quality. This writing style effortlessly explores complex issues like white supremacy in intimate relationships, cultural colonialism, immigration, the mine-field of divorce and universal human failure. None of these issues are at the center of the story, yet are weaved through everything that happens. Her narrative gives us a sneak peek into the unsaid and often felt universe of a black woman in Berlin. ...

Black in Berlin

Last week's premiere event was a great inauguration. "The Politics of Community" was the overarching theme, but after a wonderful introduction to give some academic context, Taylor expertly guided our discussion forth and back to other areas of concern. Topics ranged from politically correct vocabulary (one beautiful Black women rejects both terms "race" and "mixed" to describe herself), to how German administrative forms fail to reflect the diverse background of some Berliners (how can you communicate that your place of birth, ethnicity and place of residence are are varied when there is only one box to check?) to how the emphasis on Germany's Nazi past leaves little room to address the atrocities of colonialism that foreshadowed it....

The Berlinale Breakdown

My mind is a whirl of movies and my pupils are still dilated. Most of the filmmakers in the Berlinale Blackness films were coming from outside of the culture that they wanted to represent. This means that they would be naturally attracted to the most striking elements of the society that they were discovering and may not have had the cultural fluency to appreciate the subtler aspects of that society. ...

Murs & Fashawn

The Mic Movement caught up to Fashawn and Murs in Berlin at the Bohannon before they performed tracks from their album together, This Generation. They talk about their circumstances, inspirations, homophobia, growing up and manhood....

After The Fireworks

The streets are littered with the remains of the orgasmic New Years ritual. The smell of spent fireworks is so present that one can imagine smoke rising from the garbage strewn roads. But smoke never hovers over Berlin for long and soon the garbage will be wiped away by sobered up workmen made more efficient by the lack of snow and ice. ...