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Bicultural Urbanite Banner - new Version © Goethe-Institut Australien

Bicultural Urbanite

Brianna Summers and other Berlin-based Australians blog about life and culture in the German capital, exclusively for the Goethe-Institut. #BiculturalUrbanite

"Eis & Slush" truck in a market square in Germany © Brianna Summers

Are you a word nerd?

Learning a foreign language unlocks other cultures, facilitates previously impossible relationships – and doubles your vocabulary. If you’re a word nerd like Brianna Summers, the opportunity to play around with language is bilingualism’s greatest appeal.

Locals relax on the Mauerpark hill in Berlin in 2006 © Brianna Summers

The evolution of Mauerpark

To the untrained eye, Mauerpark looks like an abandoned lot. Every weekend it attracts a cavalcade of tourists, locals, families and freaks. And now, thanks to the completion of a major redevelopment project, there’s twice as much room to party.

Closeup photo of Liebig34 squat in Friedrichshain, Berlin © Brianna Summers

Squats, evictions and Berlin's housing squeeze

Evictions are nothing new in Berlin, yet very few capture the public’s attention. The recent demise of the Liebig34 housing project triggered protests, fuelled the ongoing debate about gentrification and raised questions about where the city’s priorities lie.

„Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn“ by Radu Jude, Winner of the Golden Bear, Berlinale 2021 Photo (detail): © Silviu Ghetie / microFilm

The streaming Berlinale takes the pulse of our times

The Berlinale's first online competition features powerful contemporary cinema, with the winning film resonating with our current state of mind.

“Bloodsuckers“ by Julian Radlmaier, with Daniel Hoesl, Martin Hansen, Corinna Harfouch, Alexandre Koberidze, Alexander Herbst, Lilith Stangenberg Photo (detail): © faktura film

The sweet life of tenacious vampire intellectuals

A further Berlinale jewel is the film Bloodsuckers (German title: Blutsauger) by German director Julian Radlmaier. In this new work, he continues with healthy self-irony his search for the place of the intellectual in the field of tension between capitalism and the working class.

„Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn“ by Radu Jude, Berlinale 2021, Competition Photo (detail): © Silviu Ghetie / microFilm

A festival in tricky times

A digital industry event in March, an audience event in June – this year's Berlinale has to tread unconventional paths due to the pandemic. It is all the more important that it is being held nonetheless. 

Kino in Oz © Bedneyimages - Freepik.com

Kino in Oz

For #kinoinoz, Brisbane-based film critic Sarah Ward takes a closer look at German films screening down under. Here you'll find everything from film reviews and interviews to festival previews.

Environmental activists on stage in the film "NOW" © NOW

‘NOW’ shines a ray of hope on a complex subject

Directed by German photographer-turned-filmmaker Jim Rakete, and screening in Australia via the environmentally focused Transitions Film Festival, this impassioned documentary follows young activists from around the world as they attempt to combat climate change.

Riva Krymalowski in a scene from "When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit" © Frédéric Batier/Sommerhaus/Warner

‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit’ softens a dark chapter of history

One of Germany's few homegrown box office hits of last year, this portrait of a family’s life in exile during the 1930s brings Judith Kerr’s well-known children’s novel to the screen. Playing in Australia at the Jewish International Film Festival, this all-ages-friendly drama explores a horrific period through a young girl’s eyes.

A scene from the German sci-fi film 'Live' © Live

‘Live’ is accidentally prophetic and intentionally eerie

In the filmmaking debut of actor-turned-writer/director Lisa Charlotte Friedrich, contact between people has been outlawed for humanity’s safety. Live premiered before the world’s COVID-19 shutdowns, so it’s topical by accident rather than intention.

Sydney Wall ©Goethe-Institut

German-Aussie Stories

A selection of our best stories and interviews highlighting the connections between Germany and Australia.

German forester Peter Wohlleben - closeup shot © Miriam Wohlleben

“I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty”: Peter Wohlleben in interview

Peter Wohlleben is changing the way people around the world think about trees and forest conservation. Germany’s best known forester spoke to Goethe-Institut ahead of the Australian premiere of his film The Hidden Life of Trees.

1:1 Concert at Old Parliament House Gardens in Australia Courtesy of the National Capital Authority, Canberra, Australia

“It’s a concert for our time”

A personalised concert idea that started in Germany in mid-2019 has boomed since the worldwide spread of Coronavirus. Flautist Sally Walker, who has been organising the Australian set of performances, tells Goethe-Institut what it’s all about.

A piece of Berlin Wall arrives at Goethe-Institut in Sydney in November 2019 © Goethe-Institut Australien

How a piece of history found its way to a small Sydney park

There are segments of the Berlin Wall located all over the world: in English gardens, in the lobby of a hotel in Texas, along with countless sections in public parks, art galleries and private properties right across Europe.  Now, an original slab of the Wall is going on display in Sydney.