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Slide Notes

Berlin changes from the brilliant blue colour of the sky to the many frozen tones of grey in winter.
There is no other city on earth which has such a continuity of transformation and cultural diversity...
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Kopie von berlin skylines

A visual journey through new and dynamic change in Berlin...storytelling next level.



skylines & change   2016
Berlin changes from the brilliant blue colour of the sky to the many frozen tones of grey in winter.
There is no other city on earth which has such a continuity of transformation and cultural diversity...

CITY OF dynamic change

Berlin: The city of endless change. She tells stories to humanity, and her space is forever taking on new forms, shapes and time.
Vergangenheit = Past
Zukunft = future

it´s written on the walls...

The best way to keep up with what is happening here is to read the writing on the walls.
There is even a museum here, where it is just as significant to read through epochs and ages by studying the designs and constructions on the walls. One can even read who made the bricks.
The Neues Museum, restored and renovated by David Chipperfield.
Germany as a nation exists since approximately 200 years, and whilst the Moor culture was flourishing in astronomy, aesthetics and art in Granada around 1299, the Germans were wild warring tribes living in wooden huts with the occasional stone fortress.

walls & communication

With the fall of the Wall came the rise of consumerism.
Berlin changed faces drastically before and after the Wall.
Suburbs have gone through epochs of change, mutation and transformation.

Before 1989:
The West side of the Berlin Wall was a free zone, where the most radical graffiti was made.
West Berlin didn´t own the 5meter zone in front of the wall, so it was pure free expression.
People lived in wagons there, winter, summer and spring.
There were little lookout towers to see across the wall to East Berlin.
After 1989:
Centre of all styles of communications.
Apps and startups
Graffiti, posters and printed passpatout is all over the walls.


monuments & history
The Jewish monument, made by a woman, is the epitomy of a perfectly fitting memorial to the devastation and tragedy that still scars the surface of the city´s surface.
Other monuments from ancient past to future are scattered all over.
Old palaces are being rebuilt, ancient gardens replanted, e.g. the Lustgarten treets replanted after the wall came down.
New buildings are becoming monuments e.g. the Berlin Airport set to open in July 2013, is still under construction.
The Global Stone Project - a peace monument opposite the Jewish monument, representing 5 qualities of peace, forgiveness, love, awakening and hope.
The Brandenburg Gate hosts a Peace room
The Parliament Buildings wrapped up by Christo in 1995 - Reichstag has a Glass Dome, in the center with spiraling paths to the top level symbolising transparency, growth, unity, diversity etc etc
The Treptower Park has a socialist monument to the young soldier.
The Spree river has a giant monument of a holey man standing in the water 30 m high.

music & motivation

The Philharmonie is located at Potsdamer Platz.
It is a work of architectural genius, and has the resonance of all prominent musical icons embedded in the walls.

arts & gardens

Berlin has over 50 museums not including art galleries.
Contemporary arts. ethnolgy, musicology, renaissance, the Brücke, Martin Gropius Bau, museums of Technology and Egyptian art.
The Pergamon is a piece of town, where they imported rocks, and the marketplace, and through the next door is the walls of Babylon.
The State Museums of Berlin are continually transforming, renovating, rebuilding, removing and renovating.
Tiergarden is a park and Tierpark is a garden.
There´s forests and lakes and hills with one waterfall.

creativity & chaos

Berlin has always been a centre of change and movement.
Nondefined posessions of places created a playground for art, music, theater, film and cultural emancipation.
Freedom is the key to this city, and through the character of chaos and potential, whether political, landscape, mental or physical, enormous expression and wild original styles have been let loose here.
Huge squatting scene in the 70´s and 80´s in West Berlin defined outbreaks of individualism, self expression in all its forms, and existence of substantial subculture.
The Wall was a canvas on the westside or a free rent zone, where people did whatever.


Beyond borders of time, tolerance and tendency, Berlin has built and broken down walls and borders again and again, and will surely continue to break habits, hearts and horizons...
In the space of 6 months over a million refugees have streamed into Germany, and are faced with the dazzling task of instant integration. Cultural and language barriers are the new urgent social challenges,

The old people tell stories they remember when they were refugees and walked with nothing across the borders from Poland into Germany after WW2.

people & destiny

Before the wall young West German men migrated to Berlin as a legal way to avoid conscription. It was a haven for rebels free spirits, artists, musicians and anarchists. East Berliners enjoyed the funkwaves of west tv, and were in constant tune with the signs of the times.
Kreuzberg used to be the 3rd largest population after Istanbul and Antalya, and has since 2007 succumbed to yuppified urbanisation of ethnics and artists being removed or replaced by entrepeneurs and rising rent zones...Originally there was South East 36 and 61, both in the American zone, divided by the canal and Kottbusser Damm.
Schönberg was and still is the gay scene, and a mix of upsters and down and outers. Hundreds of years ago Schöneberg was the city border where the vege gardens were.
Mitte was an adventure playground from 1990 to 1995, being the artistic epicenter of underground arts and music scenes. The Auguststr was squats and creative street art. Basements were bars, and empty lots were occupied by housetrucks and builders bauwagen.
Tacheles was a madman´s zone of freestyle sculpture, graffiti, every wall was painted or pissed on, and there wasn´t much empty space surrounding, except the skyline, and the grass in the yard.
Tempelhof was a dump with a noisy inner city airport, and Neukölln was the poorest suburb of West Berlin, with Wedding and Reinickendorf.
Kurfürstendamm was the main drag for the west, the King and Queen of Nepal used to go shopping in the KaDeWe before they were assassinated, and superstars built chiccy mickey villas at Wannsee.
Top shops moved to Friedrichstr after the wall came down, and in the early 90´s one could by a farmhouse residency or a palace in Brandenburg for 30,000 dm or euros.
East Berliners discovered new fruits like bananas and döner kebabs.
Foreigners started moving in and within 10 years the foreign population had established itself as an integral structure of the faces of Berlin.

bEIRUT & babylon

There´s a multitude of cultures in Berlin.
Migration, immigration has a set place in history...
Tunisia Shanghai Hanoi Havana
Antalya Accra Argentina Auckland Amsterdam
Italy Istanbul
Lebanon London
NZ NYC Osaka
Beirut Bangkok Barcelona Barbados
Detroit Delhi
Pamplona Portugal
Costa Rica Costa Brava

urban & suburban

Mitte - the city centre contains urban and suburban elements, as do all suburbs of Berlin.
Birds fly everywhere, and are at home, whether it´s seasonal or throughout the year in the Lustgarten or in the Pfauen Insel.
Boats cruise through the canals and rivers, and historical remnants appear all around.
The Museums Island hosts millions of tourists at one end and at the other dozens of Plattenbau - residential highrises.
Berlin has as many skyscrapers as you could count on about 3 hands.
Berlin´s "Altbau" houses are usually 5-6 floors, with back and side houses, and the odd stable still exists.
The garden colony culture is very much alive, where people rent or buy a patch of ground,and spend summer months growing veges and apples, drinking beer etc

survival & success

Some survive on sex, drugs and rocknroll, many don´t.
Berlin is a rat race and a beer, then a Bloody Mary.
Berlin is the melting pot of artists, movie makers, business tycoons and successful startups.
If startups survive long after the launching phase, they spring into the higher levels of successful ventures.
Deutsche technology of data mining is exported worldwide, and soundcloud is the biggest music app developer in Mitte.

status & sustainability

Humboldt and the Staatsbibliothek house history.
The Humboldt University is host to people who have changed the world....Max Planck, Albert Einstein and Marx and Engels went there.
Berlin holds a status of being "poor but sexy" since many years, and economical development is in the hands of the few.
New cultures of sustainability have emerged over the last few years:
social entrepeneurs
co-working spaces
urban gardening
urban beekeeping
and environmental projects

tourists & transitions

12 million tourists passed through Berlin in 2014, challenging the infrastructure of this metropolis.
Buses, bike and train tours, museums, and monumental cultural destinations have been exploding with an international flow of language and exploration.

"How do we advance human development and wellbeing within planetary boundaries?"
UN conference on happiness 2011


Tempelhof Airport/ Field is a monument and a leisure park.
People run on the runway, fly kites and birds nest in the grass during the summer months.
Experience wide open space midcity.

crowds & culture

street festivals
yoga festivals
techno festivals
sunsets on bridges

love & lifestyles

People love to live how they like in Berlin.
Berlin is a platform for individuals and expression.
There is great diversity of food art and cultural lifestyles.
One can spend a whole life in a scene or suburb and live independent of inetgrating with another race religion or tendency.
Love is everywhere....
people love:
other people, beer, art, film and music
sports food winter snow flowers boats bikes
clubs and bars and dogs,
but hate dog shit, pigeons, and speed limits.

rivers & realtime

Who can keep up to what happens here in real time?

"And you really live by the river? What a jolly life!"
"By it and with it and on it and in it," said the Rat.
"It's brother and sister to me, and aunts, and company, and food and drink, and (naturally) washing. It's my world, and I don't want any other. What it hasn't got is not worth having, and what it doesn't know is not worth knowing. Lord! the times we've had together!"
(Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows)

water & wellbeing

Berlin has more canals and bridges than Venice and is called the green city.
Wannsee, Muggelsee, Tegeler See, Urbanhafen.
Dozens of canals swerving all through Berlin.
Overpriced pools from the Berliner Bäder Betrieb and beautiful lakes named airport, devils and slaughter:
Teufelssee, Schlachtensee, Flughafensee

There´s homemade boats, ferries, canal transporters, solar powered, luxury yachts and remixed rafts made of packing crates running along the canals.

ordinary & extraordinary

A moment can become magic, depending on time and place.
Berlin = transformation, evolution, edge of a glacier moraine


Day and night are so vastly different.
Night is music, club and party life, and day is day.
Dawn is one of the quietest times in Berlin on weekends and holidays, and the busiest for construction workers and school kids.
Dusk is where people stop start and stare at sunsets, sky and dream.

berlin skylines

Thanks Berlin for having me 30 years with breaks and buzzes off to the other side....

Sarah Edgehill
www.conqueringlions.eu (under construction)