An overview of current projects by Slow Travel Berlin contributors…
As you’ve hopefully noticed by now, Slow Travel Berlin is primarily fuelled by a patient yet regular flow of articles covering a wide variety of topics from food and history to architecture and poetry.
Our contributors, many of whom have been with us for a couple of years or more despite the fact our little project makes no money, have put in a lot of hours creating this top-notch content, which we’re proud to say tends to be both deeper and broader than the usual short, SEO-driven soundbites that pass for “travel writing” these days.
But STB is only a small part of what our contributors do. Many of them have other great side projects that span books, blogs, magazines and even local galleries.
As many of these projects overlap with STB content themes (music, art, literature, science and travel), we thought you might be interested in reading about them. So we’ve listed some of the main projects below, and don’t forget to see our contributors page for a general list of contributors and their biographical info…
Berlin Beat [Natalye Childress]
Berlin Beat is an online music magazine founded by Natalye Childress in 2011. Composed entirely in English, the magazine seeks to fill the void left by German-language music publications and allow the many ex-pats in the city for whom English is a native or common language feel as though they are “in the loop” about music happenings in Berlin.
The website is dedicated to bringing an up-close and personal look at the scene in Germany’s capital city through in-depth features and coverage of local and visiting artists. It predominantly features interviews with bands who have shows in the city, or any kind of artist with a link to Berlin. Additionally, the site features concert photography. Berlin Beat is in the midst of expanding to include more album and show reviews, and is considering bringing in additional writers to help meet these demands.
Berlin Food Info [Peggy Schatz]
Berlin Food Info is a food & drink map for Berlin, contributed to by food-loving and knowledgable Berlin bloggers plus view journalists. Since bloggers tend to explore the city of Berlin beyond the obvious with great diligence, open hearts and camera lenses, they unearth hidden gems like small manufacturers, lovely stores, bakeries, delis, wine bars, etc.
Blogs are a great way of telling about those, but only get so far as oneself gets. Therefore Berlin Food Info intends to join forces and share culinary finds with friends and visitors. Invited bloggers can recommend their favourites by adding locations to the map as well as link reviews they’ve written or found to any given location on the map. Besides giving orientation in terms of food & drink, Berlin Food Info is also meant to network and support local blogs.
Beyond The Enchanted Forest [Brian Melican]
Brian Melican’s new book, Beyond the Enchanted Forest, is a collection of writing in English about Germany from 1587 to the present day. Due for release in April 2013, the aim of the project is to show what English-speaking writers, from big names like Henry James and Virigina Woolf to less prominent and sometimes forgotten authors, have thought worthy of note when travelling in Germany throughout the ages.
Says Brian: “In French there is a famous saying: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, and it’s a shame that neither German nor English has this, because it sums up the relationship between the speakers of the two languages rather well. For while Germans went from being seen by the British and the Americans as the dreamy, drunken philosophers of Europe to being feared as its spike-helmeted Prussian overlords, English-speaking travellers have consistently commented on some things for over five hundred years: strange foods, odd-shaped bedding, and some astonishing works of engineering.”
Cabaret Berlin [Brendan Nash]
The Cabaret Berlin blog site continues to go from strength to strength, with over 500 visits a day from around the world and regular requests for help with research from journalists, authors and performers. It’s sister project, The Isherwood’s Neighbourhood walking tour now runs at least once a week, and there are tours scheduled for the next four Saturdays – 24th November, 1st, 8th and 15th December, all at 11am.
A brand new tour – Berlin, City of Women – is due to start early in 2013. It has already been ‘road-tested’ by the Mädels with a Microphone and got a thumbs-up! It is now in the final tweaking stage before hitting the road early next year. Brendan recently contributed to a radio documentary on Marlene Dietrich which will air on Christmas Day, and there are several other projects scheduled for 2013, which he will probably be shouting about on Twitter @cabaret_berlin.
Flamingo Magazine [Grashina Gabelmann]
Flamingo believes that creativity, community and grassroots culture are the most fascinating things in life, and the online incarnation acts as a platform for showcasing creative talent. Collective in spirit, the project aims to involve as many people as possible to provide a ready-made network for young and emerging artists.
Encouraging interaction as a whole, Flamingo’s publishers – The Flamingo Arts Project – encompasses a diverse range of projects including art curation, workshops and publishing.
Lee Hazlewood Biography [Wyndham Wallace]
“Lee was the man with a voice as deep as the grave who’s best know for writing and producing some of Nancy Sinatra’s biggest hits, including ‘These Boots Were Made For Walking’ and the amazing ‘Some Velvet Morning’, on which he duetted with Frank’s daughter,” says Wyndham.
“But there was far more to him than bubblegum pop, and in 1999 I was employed to work as his publicist, a role which slowly expanded to include other projects, including overseeing the release of his final album and even writing the lyrics for his final recorded performance. The book is not a biography. Wyndham is more interested in sharing the experience of what it’s like to meet one of your heroes, befriend him and then watch him die.
“Odd as it may seem, Lee and I became pretty close, and I felt his loss as keenly as any I’ve experienced. Within this tale will, I hope, be the chance for people to get to know the man I knew, as he really was. I’m currently in discussion with publishers and hoping to see the book out in the spring of 2013.”
Lo/Rez Magazine [Natalie Holmes]
Lo/Rez Magazine was set up by STB contributor and listings editor Natalie Holmes, as an outlet for her growing fascination with the point where art and science converge. Exposing humanity at its most innovative, it is this intersection and its unique capacity for ingenuity, that allows ideas to form and develop into the inventions, discoveries and creations that shape our world.
Maintaining an open mind and exploring all areas of art-science crossover, from the obvious categories like sci-fi and architecture to more obscure events and projects, Lo/Rez aims not only to document, but also contribute – in its own modest way – to the ongoing conversation between imagination and innovation.
Mädels with a Microphone [Tam Eastley]
The Mädels with a Microphone is a podcasting series from local journalists Tam Eastley and Jennifer Collins. Together, they strive to create informative and quirky long and short podcasts about the hidden side of Berlin. The podcasts are entirely self-produced using Audacity free software and little zoom recorders.
Suckers for community and sharing, the friends use Creative Commons music from SoundCloud and make all of their podcasts free to use and share. Additionally, they translate their own interviews, and are entirely self taught.
To date they have reached over 10,000 followers on SoundCloud and were awarded the coveted title of SoundClouder of the Day in June of 2012. Podcast topics include love, ghosts, protests, Weimar Berlin, Club Mate (which proved to be very popular), and most recently, Spreepark.
MMX Gallery [Rebecca Loyche]
STB art listings editor Rebecca Loyche runs MMX, the alternative art venue that existed in 2010 and which has returned to its old location at Linienstrasse 142. The main house is to be renovated and a new residential building built in the front garden.
“Art normally is disregarded in this process,” says Rebecca, “but this time the creative past of the space is invited back to react to the developments. This creates a symbiotic relationship for mutual benefit but it also goes into controversial territory of what role the arts can play during commercial expansion. re:MMX chooses to concentrate on the public sphere of the non-space of the construction site.”
The new MMX began with a Public Video Box that runs daily with video works changing weekly. The themed curation of the videos ranges from work about the growing metropolis, dwellings, gentrification, urban sprawl and the private and public sectors of society.
Another project produced this past October for the Festival of Lights is a monumental light installation in the front courtyard of the space that will remain lit at dark throughout the winter months until March 2013. re:MMX has a large exhibition planned already for spring 2013 that will use the newly erected front building’s foundation. Also, this spring brings a book launch and art auction.
Sonic Iceland [Marcel Krueger]
SONIC ICELAND is the story of a trip of two friends – STB contributor Marcel Krueger and Kai Mueller to an island up north. Armed with camera and notebook, they met many musicians and artists and fell in love with this island. A portrait of Iceland and its music, created by two fans and the internet: SONIC ICELAND is a fresh approach to travel writing and music journalism.
Kai and Marcel are fans and bloggers, who used the power of the web to create this portrait of the Icelandic music scene. Research, financing, live documentation, publication – everything was done with a DIY-mindset. The website combines music, photography and written words into a very personal, yet informing travelogue about the Icelandic community and its music today.
Under A Grey Sky [Paul Scraton]
Under a Grey Sky is edited by Paul Scraton but features work from writers and photographers all around the world. The idea behind the website was to create a space where people could write about the places that meant something important to them, or that they found interesting, and to encourage people to realize that you need to travel far to find somewhere worth exploring, that these places exist just beyond everyone’s front door.
What has developed over the past ten months has been an eclectic mix including walks in the American wilderness, urban rambles through Belfast, diary entries, essays, poetry, photography and book reviews that are held together by nothing more than people’s passion for getting outdoors, exploring and trying to understand the world around them.
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