Beyond Compare: The Bodes Museum Opens Its Arms to Africa, But Keeps Its Feet Firmly in Europe

The Bodes Museum |Beyond Compare: Art from Africa in the Bode-Museum

Entering a room full of Christian Gothic art, there stands a formidable Congolese spiritual idol. With his hands proudly on his hips and his feet rooted firmly on the ground, shards of metal protrude from his wide wooden chest. A symbol of protection, his huge porcelain eyes survey the space before him. In its original context, this ‘power figure’ would have kept watch over a local Congolese community but today his eyes fall upon something very different: Michel Erhart’s Virgin and Child, a protective votive from fifteenth century Germany. Caught eye-to-eye, these two protective statues meet for the first time across time and space. It’s an unexpected but welcome encounter in an otherwise traditional Western art museum.

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Transitory Moments, Eternal Images

The me Collector Rooms |The Moment is Eternity – Works from the Olbricht Collection

How does a taxidermy giraffe help us to see photography in a new light? It’s a question that curator Annette Kicken challenges us to consider in her exhibition The Moment is Eternal at The me Collection Rooms in Mitte. Part of the European Month of Photography, the exhibition features over three-hundred photographs from the Olbritch collection.  The title comes from a poem by Goethe. It captures a romantic idea: each second is a tiny increment of eternity and photography has the unique power to preserve these transitory moments forever. By hanging photographs in thought-provoking clusters, Kicken encourages audiences to consider how the moment we see in a frame reflects more than the second it was taken. Continue reading “Transitory Moments, Eternal Images”

A Celebration of Transnational Voices

Bi’bak | Bitter Things: Narratives and Memories of Transnational Families

Since moving to the Berlin suburb of Wedding, one of the most noticeable things about the neighbourhood is its cosmopolitan identity, particularly the Turkish influence. My local supermarkets and coffee shops are Turkish and listening to voices on the streets, Turkish is spoken as much as German. Going for a run one morning I stumbled across Bi’bik, an interdisciplinary, community art project. I picked up a brochure for their latest exhibition and kept jogging. I am so glad that I did.

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Paris: Haute Culture et Haute Couture

Three Underrated Cultural Delights in Paris

Brimming with art, literature and fashion, Paris holds a special place in my heart. Having spent almost a month there in 2014, I feel at home in the city.  Visiting for four days, I felt surprisingly familiar with the streets, instinctively retracing my old daily route from Le Jardin du Luxembourg to the Shakespeare Bookshop. With only a small window of time and the blockbuster museums already under my belt, I had fun exploring some of Paris’ quirkier cultural haunts. Staying with ma famille française adoptive, I benefitted from a keenly curated itinerary – a trove of underrated delights for anyone headed for Paris…

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The Dalmatian Coast with the Rosé Mafia

A family road trip from Dubrovnik to Split

The Communist era check-in did not hold much promise. Arriving in Dubrovnik after nightfall, our first encounter with Croatia was a brusque welcome in the austere lobby of our hotel. Yet, opening our shutters the following morning the view outside was mesmerising: turquoise waters framed by limestone villas and bougainvilleas. Positioned in a bay just outside Dubrovnik, small sailing boats bobbed off finger wharfs. As the sea glistening in the early morning sun, Mum and I found the lure of a swim too strong to resist. Diving into the sea just in front of the hotel, the water was deep and clear. Even fifteen metres off the shore, we could still see the mosaic of grey rocks beneath us. Any cold first impressions were quickly forgotten, immersed in Croatia’s natural beauty.  

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