Jazzfest Berlin 2013

jazz13_introseite_motivConsidered one of the most important jazz festivals in the world, the JazzFest Berlin plays in several directions. Having the rhythm as the starting point and connection the festival investigates and presents different cultures, styles and forms of expression and emotion, which find in jazz the common means of expression. The concept of the event is the documentation, support and recognition of trends in the jazz world, becoming a mirror of the diversity of the musical creative activity.

During four days – from October the 31st to December 3rd – the event will feature a varied program and many major representatives of jazz around world. There will be plenty good music, free style, improvisation, the best African percussion and drums, hallucinating pianos and wind instruments.

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For the ones planning to join the festival, the Amstel House Hostel Berlin has the best stay options. Take a look in our Offers.

Berlin + NY – Tomorrow It’s Time for the Future

hostel_berlinArtists from New York and Berlin are gathered in the exhibition Tomorrow It’s Time for the Future. The focus is to strengthen the artistic exchange between the two poles and stimulate the growth of cooperative projects and collective artistic between them.
The flirtation between the two cities, however, is been going on already for a long tine. For many Berlin is just like New York in the 80s. Freedom of expression, creativity and urban lifestyle, as well as innovative and fluent artistic production are common characteristics between them. With the exorbitant rents the American metropolis, many artists New Yorker artists immigrated to Berlin searching for a cheaper life more time to artistic creation.
Mixing established artists with others emerging, Berliners with New Yorkers, the exhibition shows some of this affinity between two of the most important art scenes of the world. At the same time a retrospective of generations and an outlook in the future of the arts , the exhibition stays only until October the 20th and is a must go for everyone in this city.

Berlin Festival of Lights 2013

From 9th to 20th of October the nights of Berlin will have a special touch. It is time for the Festival of Lights, one of the biggest illumination events in the world! During the festival more than 70 of Berlin’s most famous sightseeing, landmarks, historical buildings and memorials are illuminated by light installations and projections made by local and international artists. The TV tower, Brandenburg Gate, Berliner Dom, Olympic Stadium, Hotel Adlon and Oberbaumbrücke, between many other city buildings, become projection screens of different textures, colors and lazer illustrations, gaining an incredible and unique look.

The official center of the festival takes place in Potsdamer Platz, where visitors can find the Info Point of the event. With the mild autumn temperatures, the entire town becomes a night light colorful performance that can be seen in pleasant walks or even by guided buses. Special art and cultural events also take place during this period, such as the already traditional Music Festival Jazz in den Ministergärteb.Since its debut in 2005, the festival of lights has become one of the most popular events of the German capital, annually attracting thousands of spectators from around the world.

Cheap and central the Amstel House Hostel Berlin has special offers for the ones planning to check out the Festival of Lights. We have the perfect stay for every type of visitor. Check our options for friends, couples or families and book now.

The Ramones Museum in Berlin

The first’s and only museum in the world dedicated to the acclaimed American punk rock band Ramones is located in Berlin. Made in chronological order the museum is divided in two basement rooms: the first show pieces of from 1975 to 1985 and is dedicated to the beginning of the punk movement. The second room is presents the second phase of the group, between 1985 and 1996. Among the objects to be seen the exhibition shows previously unpublished photos, autographed posters, clothing of the musicians, signed first editions of various publications and much more.

Where does Berlin come from – Part II

The glittery times of the Berlin cabaret! As promised, the continuation of post Where does Berlin come from – Part I, about the history of Berlin…

German Revolution

German Revolution 1918

After the WWI and the German Revolution in 1918 the Emperor Wilhelm II abdicated and the German Monarchy was abolished, giving place to the Weimar Republic. After almost a decade of struggle with high unemployment and hyperinflation, came in 1924 a period of relative stability: the so called Golden Twenties. Literature, cinema, and music entered a phase of great creativity. Street theatre, the cabaret scene and jazz bands became very popular. The Bauhaus and its traces and curves reflected not only a new form of architecture, but also a new way of thinking. Berlin was considered the continent’s gay capital. The art scene was just fabulous and extremely vanguard. Potsdamer Platz became the busiest traffic center in all Europe and the heart of Berlin’s night life.

Brandenburg Gate in the 1920s

Brandenburg Gate in the 1920s

Berlin in the 1920s

Berlin in the 1920s

The Blue Angel, a film starring the legendary chanteuse and movie star, Marlene Dietrich, based on nightlife at the Wintergarten, Berlin's famous cabaret in the 1920s

The Blue Angel, a film
starring the legendary chanteuse and movie star,
Marlene Dietrich, based on nightlife at
the Wintergarten, Berlin’s famous cabaret in the 1920s

To be continued…

Wall on Wall – Photo exhibition on the Berlin East Side Gallery

Berlin Fotofestival 2013 presents: Wall on Wall by Kai Wiedenhöfer. A Photo exhibition on the Berlin Wall about Walls that worldwide separate people.

Over a length of 364 meters at the back of the East Side Gallery, the longest piece of the Berlin Wall still standing, 36 panoramas, each 9 x 3 m tall, to see pictures of walls from 8 regions of the world – walls that separate people, perpetuate conflicts where dialogue is necessary. The images were produced by the Berlin photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer.

Since 2006 he has photographed eight border and separation walls around the world: in Baghdad, between North and South Korea, Cyprus, between the U.S. and Mexico, between Spain and Morocco, around the Palestinian territories, in Belfast and at the former German-German border .
In 1989 Wiedenhöfer photographed as a young student the fall of the Berlin Wall. For him it was the most exciting and positive political event of his life. Like many other people at the time he believed that with the fall of the Berlin Wall other walls would be torn down too. Years later proved the opposite. Old walls were cemented; new ones were added as a result of conflict – in Europe, USA and the Middle East. Shocked and to show that walls are not a means to solve global political and economic problems of our time, Wiedenhöfer launched its long-standing gigantic wall project.

Where does Berlin come from – Part I

“The greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine”, said David Bowie about Berlin in the 1970s. Although that city, heart of the Cold War, might not exist any more, its greatest and unimaginably cultural extravaganza is as alive now as then – and as it seems to have always been. During its seven centuries, the turbulent and multiple existence of Berlin went through drastic transformations, for the good and for the bad. There’s one aspect however that despite all changes remains through time along its fascinating history: a diverse cultural spirit of vanguard and love for bohemia and arts.

At the reign of Frederick II (1740-1772), an enthusiastic for music, arts and literature, Berlin became a center of the Age of Reason. Guided by Enlightenment ideas, it was a time of great cultural movements and sociopolitical reforms. Later, in the beginning of the 19th century and oddly during the stagnation after Napoleon’s invasion, an intellectual boom floured cafés and salons, attracting thinkers such as Hegel and Ranke. About the same time the already heading Industrial Revolution started showing sings of its astonishing transformation in the World and, in a special manner, in Berlin.

Berlin in 1846

Berlin in 1846

In the early new century, with the construction of more than 1000 factories, the then capital of Prussia became a center of technology, a symbol of modern metropolis and international city. The population expanded dramatically and outlying suburbs including Wedding and Moabit were incorporated. Popular culture evolved in parallel. In the music scene there has been a huge number of ballads about life in Berlin, like the famous “Das ist die Berliner Luft”(That’s the Berlin air”) from Paul Lincke.

To be continued…

Street Art in Berlin

Berlin is famous for its kilometres of an exuberant street art. The strong local scene attracts artists from all around, many of them worldwide known. Here some of the most famous pictures to be seen.

By Vrubel

The most-popular painting of the East Side Gallery The Kiss was first paint in 1990 right after the Wall Fall. Made by the Russian artists Dmitri Vladimirovich Vrubel it is a close-up of the two communists leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker kissing, inspired by the real kiss they had in 1979 during the celebration of the 30 years of the DDR.

By Blu

By Blu

By Blu

Blu is an Italian artist with many famous and huge works around Berlin. On many occasions between 2006 and 2009 he worked in the city, mostly in the alternative neighbourhood Kreuzberg. The first one above was a co-working with the French photographer J-R.

By Os Gêmeos

By Os gemeos / the Twins

By Os gemeos / the Twins

Born in São Paulo Os Gêmeos (in Portuguese The Twins) are the best known graffiti artists in Brazil. The identical brothers consider Berlin their favorite city in Europe and left their mark on a big wall near the subway station Schlesischer Straße.

By Ash

The Astronaut by Ash

The Astronaut by Ash

The French Ash belongs to the first wave of street artists in Europe. He participated to the Backjumps exhibition in Berlin where he realized the work called astronaut / cosmonaut on a wall of a typical Kreuzberg building in the centre of Berlin.

Teufelsberg – the Devil’s Mountain

The Teufelsberg – in German Devil’s Mountain – is one of the highest hills in Berlin. More than a great view and intriguing scenery this place owns a very unique story. It all begins with the fact that all its 115 meters high are actually artificial – a heaped up of the World War II rubble. This war garbage hills are actually quite common in Germany, but Teufelsberg  buried a quite particularly bizarre leftover junk: the never completed Nazi military-technical college (Wehrtechnische Fakultät) designed by Albert Speer, the first architecture of the third Reich. After the war the Allies tried using explosives to demolish the school, but it was so sturdy that covering it with debris turned out to be easier. Plant with greenery the Teufelsberg has been since then the highest hill in West Berlin.


But that’s not it. Thereafter, during the cold war, the US National Security Agency (NSA) built one of its largest listening stations on top of the hill, which proved to be the best vantage point for listening to Soviet, East German, and other Warsaw Pact nation’s military traffic. The station operate until the fall of the Berlin Wall. The equipment was then removed, but its weird structured stayed.

During the crazy 90’s in Berlin the abandoned and eccentric construction inspired the youth, which transformed the place with street art and turned it into a point for clandestine parties. Nowadays, almost always guarded by security guards, the place is still worth visiting, both for the nature that surrounds it as for the its uncommon picture.


Photographer: Kay Wiegand - www.wie-gand.com

Photographer: Kay Wiegand – www.wie-gand.com


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Berlin Gallery Weekend 2013


If you should believe the popular mockery going around Berlin these days then this nine year-old event is nothing more than a posh assembly of mediocre artist putting up a nice show-off. The glam is on but the concept is allegedly missing. We hear you, critics. The exorbitant funds galleries invested into a two-day venue could be allocated into more long-term projects of even higher quality aiming to attract wider audiences. However, we also agree with the galerist Tim Neuger that the weekend’s main objective remains to introduce 51 emerging artist on an international platform of Berlin, creating an an enviroment where the artist’s body of work, an exhibition place and a spectator merge in one. Admittedly, there is art that does not fit the gallery space whether by accident or design but that is not a reason to not enjoy the event for what it is and simply be a consumer. Here the highlights!

‘It’s the rules and conventions that hold us a prisoner’, she once said. ‘I wanted to make it them invisible’. So, a couple of years ago Eva Kotatkova turned her grandmothers’ aparment, a leftover from a socialist era, into a personal cave. She boarded herself in a corner, installed a false floor with tight openings in which she resided. She shot the whole process on camera. As a result, a person feels confined in a space and its movements are limited. When she presented her work as a part of ‘Using Own Language’ exhibition she built a tunnel – the only way to enter her exhibiton was to squeeze through the unstable construction. This time, this awarded Czech artist, introduces her paintings, collages and sculptures in the Meyer Riegger Gallery.

Barbara Weiss Gallery in Kreuzberg invites you to see works of Ayse Erkmen. Ever fleeting, avoiding the timeless, relying simply on flexibility of time and place and the reality of then versus now, the Instabul born artist reconstructs old sculptures and steers away from longing for the new. In 1994, walking down Oranienstraße you may have noticed a string of black words painted on a facade of one of its houses. Harking back to her heritage, these words were no real words they were verb endings. Verb endings used in Turkish language describing a story from a perspective of the others. Split between two cultures, she rarely interprets her art. It does seem like it tells a story of its own. Or you do?

First woman to ever win the Grand Austrian State Prize, Maria Lassnig made the Capitain Petzel her temporary weekend getaway. Focusing on body awarness, this pioneer of Austrian art scene, accentuates the striking world of human emotions. Her work as seen in Karl Marx Straße, has never before been exhibited outside her own studio. Don’t miss it!

The Isabella Bortolozzi Gallery has certainly hit the jackpot with Oscar Murillo. This young painter, a graduate of London Royal College of Art cerainly won’t dissapoint. He’s been known as constantly crossing the line of ideal concepts of the ‘Making Of’. He often works with video and participatory installations. A manifestation of body in transit, Murillo defies the traditional way of making art within the walls of one’s studio as a potential for functionalism and liberation. He sees these aspects within a community, out on a street or at parties and they posses the same importance and stimulation as the aformentioned.

Certainly, the Gallery Weekend could use less glam and more modesty but when splurge why don’t do it in style? ‘Special about weekend is the fact that we invite the art public to visit our galleries. It should not be anything special, really but the more marketed the art is the more it moves away from its point of origin and that is our goal – to bring back the art to places where it is truly presented and exhibited’. So much from the gallerist herself, Joanna Kamm. Keep your eyes and minds open and you may be surprised what this upcoming weekend may bring!

What: Berlin Gallery Weekend

Where: overall Berlin

When: 26-28.4.2013