VORLD / CAPTURED
Berlin, Berlin, Berlin. You've put me down, you've made me question, you've made me fly. I'm a firm believer in the magic of putting yourself in uncomfortable, new situations and moving back to Germany was definitely one of them. The second one was switching from a relaxed student lifestyle to a full-time job, with proper adult responsibilities. How scary, how wonderful! The past few months have provided me with a wealth of new experiences and insights into the world and into myself - the following images are a captured, visual snapshot of them, contrasts and all.
Wishing you a happy, successful week!
One of the last weekends of summer, I finally took my bike to Wannsee, a lake in the South West of Berlin. After spending most of my summer in an office and the urban setting of East Berlin, it felt incredibly liberating to breath fresh air and take time to think and not to think. I've become a huge fan of going to exhibitions solo - experiencing art is such a highly subjective activity, sometimes it's nice to do it in your own pace and rhythm. Max Liebermann Villa used to be the jewish artist's summer home where he lived with his wife and daughter during his time as president of the Prussian Academy of Arts (nowadays the Berlin Academy of Arts). The artist is famous for his contribution to the German Impressionist movement and many of his paintings capture his picturesque Wannsee estate, which has been beautifully maintained by a group of local volunteers. Apart from the collection of paintings, the exhibition also includes a selection of personal memorabilia and correspondence documenting Liebermann's struggles with the emerging Nazi rule in 1933. This against the idyllic backdrop of the beautiful gardens of the artist's former home made for an incredibly touching and thought provoking visit.
In contrast to the peaceful, suburban setting of Wannsee, the past month I've spent a great deal of time in Berlin Mitte. Despite of its reputation as one of the more polished and gentrified areas of Berlin, it's an exciting and ever-changing hub, with many galleries, concept stores and restaurants to discover. One of the things I have come to realise about Berlin is the fact it can't be regarded as one city or place - in fact, it appears to me as a collection of many different cities, each with its own 'crowd' of people, local economy and culture.
From Hackesche Höfe it's just a short walk across the Spree river and you're at Gendarmenmarkt, the historical and slightly more posh center of Mitte and home of the Berlin concert hall, which is the perfect place to enjoy overpriced coffees and watch the colourful mix of locals and tourists passing by.
One of the Sundays this month I visited two of Berlin's museum institutions on the museum island, the Old National Gallery and the New Gallery, which is famous for its collection of Egyptian artifacts and the iconic bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertitithe. The history and architecture of the buildings itself (most of them were destroyed in war but rebuilt eventually) makes them worth a visit - if you're really keen on culture, you can purchase a day pass allowing you access to all five museums. I finished my day with a walk along the Spree to Monbijou Platz, which is known among locals for its weekly public dance events. Whether you enjoy to 'Tango' or not, it's also incredibly entertaining to sit down with a beer, watch the sun go down behind the historic museums and observe dancers, young and old, go crazy on the outdoor dance floor.
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