The Future of Reporting Europe
SPECIAL EDITION europeandme.eu
Special Edition Editorial Team Olimpia Pârje Editor in chief email@example.com
Christian Diemer Editor
Mathew Shearman Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Philip Wallmeier Editor email@example.com
Pako Quijada Art Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Proofreaders Lucy Duggan Edgar Gerrard Hughes Avril Meehan Contributors Sofia Lotto Persio Marine Leduc Christian Grünewald Arman Soldin Xenia Samsøe Teilmann Corinna Vetter Juliane Matthey Mariell Raisma Anna Tskhovrebova Roxanne Koenis Andrew Connelly Petya Yankova Patricia Mihail Ziemowit Jóźwik Barbara Péterfi Eleonor Ward Alexandra Belopolsky Veronika Pitrová Photographic contributors All photographs by Ovidiu Coşarcă (email@example.com) except: pages 8, 9, 10 : Olimpia Pârje, Matt Shearman, Patricia Mihail, Johannes Himmelreich pages 19 : Andrew Connelly, Marine Leduc pages 20 : Andreas Lehner, CC by 2.0, flickr.com/photos/lehnin78
page 26 : RGBstock.com, CC by 2.0 page 27 : Pako Quijada pages 28, 29, 30, 31 : Patricia Mihail pages 34, 35 : Christian Askelund page 39 : Pako Quijada
Ready, set, action! The scene is set: Berlin, the vibrant European capital of innovation and alternative lifestyle, 22 young journalists and media makers, litres of coffee, notebooks, pens, laptops, and enough internet for everyone - the Europe&Me workshop was already looking like a hit!
Olimpia Pârje Editor in chief
The four-day workshop started with an opening evening at our Berlin editorial office in Kiefholzstrasse 2, but the workshop project itself had been set in motion a year before. Young journalists and media makers from 15 different countries joined us in Berlin to discuss the future of reporting Europe and to take on the challenges of ‘next generation’ journalism - and what better city to reflect on this than the complex German capital? Beyond the days of trainings and debates, participants set out to discover the city and the many different stories it has to tell. From its 20th century history Berlin has more scars than one can notice on a leisurely walk through its streets and 2013 is a significant year that marks the 75th anniversary of the regrettable events in 1938 when synagogues were burned down during the rise of the Nazi regime. Read about the city’s endeavours to mark this tragic anniversary as well as its continued efforts to remember the great losses that happened under the reign of National Socialism. The 2013 theme year in Berlin called «Diversity Destroyed», Berlin 1933 -1938 - 1945 explores this historical period through different art projects and exhibitions, with cinema playing an important role. The streets of Berlin offer more than just a history lesson however, and present each passer-by with controversial graffiti that according to some, borders art and vandalism. Don’t miss out on the articles tackling the issue and the rise of penalties for graffiti painted in non-designated areas and in a non-orderly fashion. As if the city didn’t have enough to offer, Berlin also boasts an incredible music scene where even the most well-known artists love to come and play. Some however get tempted by the city’s many attractions and are distracted from their art, people argue. Could this be because of the city’s unique atmosphere? Don’t miss out on discovering the Germans’ attitude towards the new trend of electronic identification in the EU, or the many lessons tourists have to teach the locals, and be prepared for an eerie yet oddly calming visit to a graveyard cafe in the center of Berlin! Before you finish, disconnect and go off to enjoy the rest of your day, be sure to check out the profiles of those who promise to be the future of European journalism, and reflect with them on what we, the European public, are to make of it.
THE FUTURE R A
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SHARDS OF BROKEN GLASS WHAT FUTURE FOR TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION? BERLIN’S STREETS OF SHAME A QUESTION OF MONEY? BACK TO THE THIRTIES IN BERLIN MUSICIANS GET LOST IN HIP TEMPTATIONS THEY DON’T KNOW HOW WE GET BY THE BERLIN EFFECT HOME FOR THE DEAD, HAVEN FOR THE LIVING GRAVEYARD WITH CAKE THE PAINTED FACE OF BERLIN COMING ABOVE GROUND EUROPE ON THE MOVE
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E&M is an online lifestyle magazine created by young Europeans for young Europeans. Its motto is to “make Europe personal”, because Europe is often only identified with politics and bureaucracy. The magazine was founded in September 2007 and first published in July 2008, and since then we’ve been writing about every possible “Europe” - the Europe of young masters students, the Europe of Chernobyl survivers, the Europe of the European Commission, the Europe of immigrants and the Europe of ex-pats. During the last five years, the magazine has published a new issue every three months and built up an online community of more than 4000 participants. More than one hundred authors have written for the magazine. The founding team comprises eight people with six different nationalities, and the writers and readers come from twenty different countries. Editors, authors and community work together voluntarily for a common goal: to capture the feeling of a new, transnational lifestyle. The magazine is not funded by the EU or affiliated bodies, although we have received some prize money and some funding for individual events. All participants are independent volunteers. Find out more about our partners here. In 2011 the project was awarded the European Charlemagne Youth Prize recognising Europe&Me’s contribution to the development of European citizenship and identity. A MAGAZINE FOR THE WHOLE SELF E&M believes that if Europe is understood as nothing more than a political unit with corresponding institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg, this will hardly encourage people to identify with it. Hence, the central aim of E&M is to make Europe more personal. Taking this aim seriously meant designing a magazine for the whole self. Accordingly, the concept of E&M relates to the human body as a symbol: Brain, Heart, Diaphragm, Baby, Legs.
Sixth Sense means “keen intuition” - the blogging platform that brings our transnational approach to current affairs. As well as live reporting from exciting events around Europe, the Sixth Sense has regular columns covering a range of topics from political debates to European films you shouldn’t miss. It’s also where we publish reader submissions. Brain contains articles in which our writers think seriously about Europe - here the reader finds myths unravelled, politicians criticised and history looked at afresh. Heart gives our readers a “European feeling” - here the writers might interview an artist on the subject of European identity, tell love stories or delve into people’s feelings about the European past. Diaphragm offers entertainment - it mocks European legislation, provides interactive quizzes and puzzles and gives fun tips for how to emulate great Europeans from times gone by. Baby explores sexuality in Europe - it breaks taboos, conducts exciting interviews with “sexperts,” advises readers on what to expect from dates in different European cities and takes them on journeys through European sexuality in different times and places. Legs symbolises travel and progress - here we give advice and information on European careers, discuss transnational opportunities with employers and with young people who have chosen to work abroad, and report on fun ways to travel across the continent.
Christian Diemer Olimpia Pârje Edgar Gerrard Hugues Philip Wallmeier Thomas Kleinveld Matt Shearman Ivan Grozdanovski Pako Quijada Velislav Ivanov Catarina Gomes Marta Martínez Michael O’Keeffe Jose Luis Villalta
Project Manager Project Manager / Sixth Sense Project Manager Sixth Sense Sixth Sense Brain Heart Heart Diaphragm Baby Legs Legs / Diaphragm Tech Editor
Founders: Lucy Duggan, Margarita Ivanova, Kristin Kruthaup, Hanna Pilawa, Eva Sablovska, Christopher Wratil. Advisory Board: Johannes Himmelreich, Helya Houshmand, Laura Knierim, Carmen Kong, Martin Maas, Rike Maier, Juliane Schmeltzer Dybkjær.
â€œThe future of reporting Europeâ€? brought together 22 young aspiring journalists and media makers from across the continent between the 7th and 10th of November 2013 in Berlin to discuss a transnational approach to reporting. The workshop explored ways of collaborating across the continent in order to equip participants with the essential skills to become print and web journalists of the future. The workshop helped young journalists and editors with an interest in Europe to establish a network which will enable them to continue their trans-national collaboration beyond the time spent in Berlin.
PRESENTING THE FUTURE OF EUROPEAN
JOURNALISM MARINE LEDUC
Marine is a freelance journalist from Nantes, France. Armed with a diploma in European Journalism, she spent few months in a radio in Montreal and six months between Nantes and Palestine as a volunteer for youth organizations. In 2012, she was also an intern for the European magazine cafebabel.com where she knew more about European press and media. She is now writing from Bucharest, Romania, where she is doing a European Voluntary Service in the arts and multimedia fields.
SOFIA LOTTO PERSIO
Sofia Lotto Persio is an eclectic journalist whose interests include, but are not limited to, politics, gender issues, and cultural events. Italian native, Dutch resident now studying in Denmark, she has worked for expat and student publications in the Netherlands and for Transitions Online, a Prague-based online publication covering the former communist countries of Europe and Central Asia. Her portfolio can be found at http://sofiaswords.wordpress.com/
.. CHRISTIAN GRÜUNEWALD
Born in 1984, Christian studied political science, history and public law at the University of Bonn. He has been involved in several journalistic and political projects and is now working in communications. As co-founder and editor-in-chief of the charitable news digest Cosmopublic.eu, he is campaigning for the idea of a common public sphere in Europe.
ARMAN SOLDIN Arman Soldin is a young journalist and producer born in Sarajevo in 1991. Raised between France and Bosnia, he recently graduated in Politics with East European studies at the University College of London (UCL) where he used to be the editor of EUREKA Magazine, a European-centred student magazine focused on politics&society and art&culture. He has written his final year dissertation on post-socialist historiography and historical revisionism focusing on Yugoslavia and the very complex relation between Yugoslav cinematography and history. Today, he is back in Sarajevo, reading a MA in Production at the Academy of Performing Arts Sarajevo.
ANNA TSKHOVREBOVA Anna Tskhovrebova is a Journalist with 5 years of experience, working on economic, social and political issues. She is based in Tbilisi, Georgia. Currently she works as an editor for the news webpage BusinessPressNews.ge which is a business and economics addition to the largest news agency in Georgia InterPressNews.ge. In addition, she cooperates with Forbes magazine in Georgia and works mostly on profile stories. Prior to this, Anna worked for broadcast media as a news reporter. She holds an MA degree in Social Sciences and a Bachelor’s in Journalism from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU). Anna has received diplomas for various long- and short-term training programs in Georgia and abroad, among them from Thomson Reuters UK.
XENIA SAMSøE Xenia Samsøe Teilmann is 19 years old and lives in Denmark, where she is the editor and founder of the youth-section of Randers Amtsavis. She is also vicepresident of and PR- and communication-responsible in Child Rights Ambassadors Randers. Furthermore, she’s an active dancer and musician. She plans to study a combination of political science and journalism at the university in a year or two.
CORINNA VETTER Corinna Vetter is 19 years old and currently an EVS-volunteer in Daugavpils, Latvia. She has been writing for various German magazines and newspapers for nearly three years. In High School, she loved to annoy teachers and the principal with her school newspaper “Kaktus”.
JULIANE MATTHEY After her studies of journalism and political science in deepest Bavaria, Juliane spent some exciting years traveling the world as a freelance journalist. She then settled down in Dresden to work as an editor and regional correspondent at a German news agency. Since 2012 she has been an editor at the Network for Reporting on Eastern Europe in Berlin, her main project being the European online press review eurotopics. She still loves traveling and tries to get to know some new countries each year.
MARIELL RAISMA Mariell Raisma is studying journalism at Tallinn University. She works for the Estonian National Broadcasting Service for which she contributes to the most popular radio station in Estonia, called Vikerraadio, and edits TV shows. She was involved in organizing the European Youth Media Days at the European Parliament in Brussels.
ROXANNE KOENIS Roxanne Koenis, born in 1986, studied Journalism and European Studies in the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the US. She hopes to combine these two areas of expertise in the near future.
ANDREW CONNELLY Andrew Connelly is a British freelance print and broadcast journalist based in London largely covering the central and eastern European region. In addition to Europe & Me, his work appears on Radio France International, Al Jazeera, Vice and other media. He is also a member of Matchbox Media Collective.
PATRICIA MIHAIL Patricia Mihail is a storyteller, a dreamer, a wanderer, a believer in good. After having worked for three and a half years at the “Dilema veche” cultural weekly newspaper in Bucharest, she decided to try life as a freelance journalist. Since the beginning of 2011, she is also a contributing editor at “Forbes Romania”, where she writes for the “Art & Culture” section, as well as for the “Forbes Life” monthly supplement.
PETYA YANKOVA Petya studied English Literature before turning to Linguistics. She is interested in youth work, European languages and cultures, sex and gender. She also loves traveling and meeting new people.
ZIEMOWIT JOZWIKÓ Ziemowit Jóźwik holds a diploma in the Ukrainian studies and post-graduate studies for specialised translators of the Ukrainian language, currently studying law at the Jagiellonian Univeristy, Kraków. He contributes to the Europe&Me magazine, Nowe peryferie and Pressje quarterly. He is a member of the Jagiellonian Club.
BARBARA PETERFI Small, yet very energetic and always on the move. That’s Barbie in a nutshell – yes, like the doll – and she comes from Hungary. She is an ’International Relations’ and ’Media and Communications’ Bachelor graduate at the same time, who therefore has an international focus and a great interest in the newest online media and marketing tools. From September 2013 she started a new life in Denmark and is currently an online reporter and a Master’s student at Aarhus University, deepening her knowledge in the field of international project management and online journalism.
ELEONOR WARD Eleanor is from Norwich, England. She has is in her final year of the BA in Journalism at City University London. During this second year, Eleanor spent one semester at Sciences Po, Paris, where she studied modules in Political Science and International Relations. Last year Eleanor worked with the international equestrian commentary teams at the London Olympic Games. She is particularly interested in working as a broadcast journalist in the future. Eleanor loves to travel so that she can learn about different cultures and hopes to meet a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds during the European Forum in Alpbach.
ALEXANDRA BELOPOLSKY Freelance journalist, Masters student for International Media Studies at the Deutsche Welle Academy. Scholar of the Herbert Quandt-Foundation in the “Trialog of Cultures” programm. Published in various media in Europe and in Israel. Born in Ukraine in 1985, immigrated with her family to Israel in 1991. Speaks Russian, Hebrew and German.
VERONIKA PITROVA Veronika Pitrova has been working as a journalist for the International News desk at Czech Television. She holds Erasmus Mundus Master degree in Journalism, Media and Globalisation from University of Amsterdam and Aarhus University. She has various media experiences both from the Czech Republic where she had worked as a journalist for radio station (Frekvence 1) and private TV (Nova) and from abroad (e.g. European Youth Press, Australian Center for Independent Journalism).
THE EUROPE & ME WORKSHOP TEAM
Shards of Broken Glass The 75-year-old echo of the pogrom night in Berlin The nostalgic sound of Israeli music fills the air near Friedrichstraße station. The musician is a Russian-born Israeli man who came to Berlin to play in the streets. Describing himself as a “very strange man,” he has been living in the German capital for three years, after avoiding conscription in the Israeli army by faking an alcohol addiction. Wearing a black and white keffiyeh around his neck, he has a refreshing perspective on racial stereotypes: “coexistence is possible between people who do not want to fight,” he says. “My neighbour is Muslim and we have helped each other celebrate Ramadan and Yom Kippur.” This is life in Berlin, a place emblematic of the struggle to reconcile differences and divisions, 14
which partially forms the city’s collective memory. In the process of remembrance, 2013 has been a particularly historically charged year. The German capital commemorated two traumatic events: the 80th anniversary of the Nazi rise to power in January 1933 and the 75th anniversary of the “night of broken glass”, during which various synagogues, Jewish shops and properties were looted or burnt down. The event is usually referred to in history books with the name “Kristallnacht,” but this is a term that German people no longer want to use. It sounds too pleasant, and it does not accurately describe what actually happened: Novemberpogrome, or “November pogroms” is now the commonplace name to refer to the event. Diversity Destroyed Despite Chancellor Merkel declaring in 2010 that the German approach to multiculturalism had utterly failed, 2013 is a national theme year dedicated to diversity and to the remembrance of how the Nazis destroyed it. Memorials and monuments commemorating this troubled past occupy a prominent place in the capital’s urban core. In short proximity to the iconic Brandenburg gate, three memorials respectively dedicated to the Jewish, homosexual, and Roma and Sinti victims of the Holocaust stand as everlasting symbols of repentance and sorrow and are visited by hundreds of people every day. On the anniversary of the November pogroms, a variety of initiatives aim at addressing intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism. These include: an open portrait exhibition representing 200 people who contributed to the vibrant cultural life of Berlin in the 1930s and were subsequently persecuted by the regime; shop keepers hanging transparent film made to look like broken glass in their windows; the cleaning of the thousands of stones engraved with the names of the victims of Nazism, placed outside the houses from which they were deported. Berlin’s past is “still in the minds of the people,” says Ines, visitor service supervisor at the Jewish Holocaust Museum. But while the city tries to confront its past openly, some Germans are not so willing to do the same. “It is hardly a topic openly discussed at school,” thinks Ella, a Masters student in social work. “The depth with which the issue is addressed really depends on the teacher.” One of the projects she works for is a student exchange between Germany and Israel. “Young people are not very aware of their families’ past. During the preparation for the exchange we ask students to tell us about it, and only then [do] they realise they never truly discussed it with their grandparents,” she says. Words like stones Fostering dialogue in order to understand what words like intolerance and anti-Semitism mean nowadays, the Jewish Museum organised a twoday conference on the topic of “Anti-Semitism
in Europe Today: the Phenomena, the Conflicts.” The conference’s key lecturer on the definition of anti-Semitism was Prof. Brian Klug, a British Jewish philosopher teaching at Oxford and Southampton University. “Hostility towards Jews as ‘Jews’, because they are Jews,” was his definition of anti-Semitism. Klug explained it as the inability to perceive a Jewish person outside of the constructed, stereotypical image of the ‘Jew’ that derives from centuries of racist attitudes. This matter is particularly relevant, as a survey conducted of more than 5000 European Jews by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) shows that 76% of respondents consider antiSemitism to be on the rise in their home country. In its potentially controversial definition of anti-Semitism, the FRA attempts to distinguish between the Jewish people and Israel: instances of anti-Semitism are exemplified as, among other things: “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy with that of the Nazis; holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.” The survey shows that discourse on Jewish people or Israeli foreign policy is often tainted with references to the Nazis. Italy was one of the countries monitored in the survey. Rachele and Eloisa are two Italian students visiting the Holocaust Monument in Berlin, “to better understand the oppression of the Jews,” they say. The two girls concur that Israeli foreign policy has influenced the perception of the Jewish people. “Israel is not behaving much better than the Nazis,” one of them says, “they were an oppressed people, and now they are the oppressors.” They do not believe disagreement with Israel’s policies classifies as anti-Semitism, which is a word that, in their minds, is closely related to “ignorance.” The Jewish Museum’s attempt to address this ignorance openly has been heavily criticised by some members of the Jewish community. They were particularly offended by the choice of Prof. Klug as keynote speaker. He was accused of holding anti-Israeli views because of his definition of Zionism and his participation in the Independent Jewish Voices project, which is also accused of anti-Semitism. During his lecture, Klug defined anti-Zionism as the practice of attributing stereotypes related to Jewish conspira cies to the State of Israel. Whereas anti-Semitism involves anti-Zionism, he said, anti-Zionism as such is not antiSemitic, though it is used politically to discredit those who oppose Israeli’s policy in the Middle East. Klug finally put anti-Semitism into the context of other intolerant attitudes: Islamophobia, homophobia, and, with a wink at his detractors, he included in the list “demonising an individual for political purposes.” He concluded: “Peace can only be achieved through mutual recognition.” Berlin remains a symbol of the endeavour to achieve such goal. Sofia Lotto Persio 15
In many areas Europe has been moving toward uniform solutions. But not in technology. Eidentification through ID cards that store digital signatures and can be used for e-banking and evoting are barely used in Germany; in contrast, Estonia has been championing the EU’s digital agenda and e-governance. In Estonia ID cards have been widely used since 2007 – even to institute electronic voting for parliamentary elections in 2007. What is the future of technologies in the European Union? And what are the factors that drive or slow down this innovation? The Digital Agenda is a big deal for the European Commission. According to recent directives, “no efforts should be spared to accelerate work on the pending legislative proposals, in particular the proposals on e-identification and trust services and on e-invoicing and payment services, so that they can be adopted by the end of the legislative period.” This means that e-identification needs to be implemented before the next European Parliamentary elections in May 2014 – and way to provide this possibility is with electronic ID cards. Electronic Identification is one of the tools to ensure secure access to online services and to carry out electronic transactions in a safer way. “The Commission will therefore complete its ongoing review of the EU copyright framework in Spring 2014. It is important to modernise Europe’s copyright regime and facilitate licensing, while ensuring a high level of protection of intellectual property rights and taking into account cultural diversity.” However, not everybody seems to be excited about this reform. People’s lack of trust In Germany, there is skepticism about the security of data in new technologies. Yet some argue that this skepticism may impede economic growth and political reforms – growth and reforms that may be needed. “The biggest concern about it is that countries do understand that the economic growth is needed. To make reforms, we need to rely on new technologies. But you can’t make the reforms when people lack trust in these technologies,” Taavi Kotka, the Deputy Secretary General for Communication and State Information Systems, said in an interview to Estonian Public Broadcasting Service. According to Kotka, on the one hand we would like to trust IT innovations but on the other hand we simply don’t. “That is the reason why it is tried to hide the current situation about the spying scandals as the reforms can’t be made when the people don’t trust you,” he says. Dr Sandro Gaycken, IT expert at the department of Mathematics and Computer Science of the Berlin Free University, does not believe that it is only a lack of trust which can explain the lack of innovation in IT and e-governance. Rather, he believes, many innovations are currently not used since the average customer does not need them. For instance, the citizens do not really need digital identity cards. “It seems that there is no mass market for these products,” he explains. Even the idea to introduce new ID cards was rather pushed by the politicians than by the 16
citizens: “We kind of forced them with the new ID cards; but the new functionality is rarely used.” Gaycken thinks the new technological features could be put to use in politics, when the market uses the features of the ID cards. But so far the market and hence the different companies have refrained from adopting these features because customers do not accept them. The problem was essentially this: German customers first had to accept the ID card as a security measure, then the market was supposed to develop features which could complement them. However, “if the market sees that the customers do not appreciate this kind of functionality it is unlikely to develop the functionalities,” he explains. But why haven’t these features caught on with customers? Are they simply too complicated? On the other hand, technological innovation, such as the new ID cards, make every-day life easier. Digital signatures help to save a lot of money and increase economic effectiveness, they reduce the costs of transport. Still, even for these technologies, Dr Sandro Gaycken believes that digital signatures might have a future in some areas of the economy and some areas of the state where they already have been used; but the mass market? Sceptical about security, but too lazy to change it What do Germans think about technological innovation and especially about the electronic ID card? “Europe & Me” asked people on the streets of Berlin about their opinion. Some people see some technological innovations, such as e-governance, as necessary: “I think it started already with the new ID card. You can still decide if you want to use it for online banking and contracts and so on, so it is already possible. So I think it’s very likely to come,” Eva says of the current IT reforms in Germany. Others believe that the technologies are still insecure and would prefer to stick to the old face-to-face interaction. For example Michal thinks that it is better to make contracts on live because he doesn’t “trust the whole World Wide Web for making contracts”. Erhan agrees with him. He is skeptical about technological innovations but believes that groups of people might still be able to push through reforms “we don’t like”. Soeren, on the other hand, believes in technological innovation because things “will be much easier than now”. He thinks that big reforms will be made in the next ten years which will completely change the situation in Germany and Europe generally. In his opinion this technological transformation will start in “more industrialized” states like Germany and France and will then become a standard in the EU. While Johanna thinks that people in Germany fear too much about the security of technological innovations, she is still convinced that major technological transformations are to come. “All in all we are kind of lazy and if we don’t have to go somewhere and just use your card, people would probably be happy using it,” she argues. “I am also a bit sceptical and wouldn’t like my data to be somewhere out there but it makes life a lot easier so I probably would use it.”
What future for technological innovation in Europe? 17
Estonian Electronic ID card Much more than simply a legal picture ID, the mandatory national card serves as the digital access card for all of Estonia’s social e-services. The chip on the card carries embedded files which, using 2048bit public key encryption, enable it to be used as definitive proof of ID in an electronic environment. Some examples of how the ID Card is regularly used in Estonia: - As a national ID card for legal travel within the EU for Estonian citizens - As the national health insurance card - As proof of identification when logging into bank accounts from a home computer
- For digital signatures - For i-voting - For accessing government databases to check one’s medical records, file taxes, etc. - For picking up e-Prescriptions
- As a pre-paid public transport ticket in Tallinn and Tartu
Where to from here It seems that although many people feel uncomfortable with the idea of big technological innovations being implemented in politics and society, they still believe that is the future. Is this a consequence of the “spying scandal”? It seems that with Snowden’s revelations Europeans’ trust in new technologies has been severely shaken. Not only US agencies are spying on Europeans, according to research by the Guardian, a cooperation between EU member states’ spy agencies might be one of the more sinister examples of cordial European unity. In light of these facts, Europeans’ scepticism towards technological progress seems understandable and may become a serious obstacle for the implementation of the EU’s digital agenda as well as for technological innovations in any EU country. But in reality the spying scandals are not connected to digital signatures: the information was leaked through Google, Facebook and other companies and apps where e-identification is not needed. Nevertheless the spying scandal is what most of the interviewed Berliners are concerned with. They all share the opinion that the event has significantly influenced their perception of the technological progress. For example, Soeren believes that the spying scandals were good as they shed light on the problems and dangers of new technologies. “It’s not about spying, it’s about technology for improving our lives,” he says. Johanna agrees with him. She thinks that the spying incidents made people more aware of the dangers that may arise, now that their data are out there and people can use it. At the same time, she is skeptical whether this will have an effect on people’s behavior. “I don’t 18
really see a change now,” she admits: people still use Facebook and have a Gmail account. Despite the fears, Gaycken thinks that the spying scandals don’t really have an effect on the average citizens. “It more affects the economy which is afraid of industrial espionage now and the state which is afraid of professional state-lead espionage.” As for future technological innovations, Gaycken believes that many products still lack acceptance from consumers, be they governments, businesses or citizens. Most of the products “are not accepted in the security community. They are not accepted by the average citizen,” he says. But why is there no application for these products? “t has a lot to do with the tendency of big technology companies to be more conservative on spending money these days,” Gaycken believes; “so they listen more to the marketing guys than to the engineering guys.” As long the Germans don’t feel that they can use ID cards because they fear about data security due to the spying scandals, ID cards will not be used the way as they are in Estonia; and the European Union’s technological reforms will be delayed. So although the Digital Agenda for Europe and hence e-identification are to be implemented in 2014, the future of technology reforms in Germany and in the EU in general are still unknown. Mariell Raisma
Berlin’s streets of shame Andrew Connelly and Marine Leduc discuss their online work, which creates a composite article of text, image and sound: Rather than simply writing an article, we wanted to be able to take the reader on a journey through the streets of the African Quarter as we had ourselves experienced it and therefore decided to record and edit large parts of historian Christian Kopp’s discussion with us, and include photos of the relevant controversial signposts. Creativist is a useful platform for this kind of report as you can split different sections into ‘chapters’, giving the impression of reading a story book, and the audio streams smoothly while you read and view the still images. This piece is not intended to be a news report, or academic study, rather simply the tale of a part of town and an era of history almost forgotten, seen through the eyes of migrants, as told by a German. Walking around the African Quarter with us were a group of Roma who are hoping to begin conducting their own historical tours around Berlin, which could well lead to a tradition of ethnic minorities curating a city using their own knowledge and experiences. Hopefully this piece can be a springboard for further debate. Below you can find a teaser of the final article. The Deadly Semantics of Germany’s Colonial Past Whilst Germany’s wartime history is extensively documented and widely known, its colonial history is often left in shadow. One of the legacies
of the former empire can be found tucked away in Wedding district, a Northwestern part of Berlin, where the roads bear the name of the former colonies. Some residents of Berlin’s so-called ‘African Quarter’, with an intimate connection to the countries in question, are uniting to raise awareness of atrocities committed during the country’s shortlived colonial era. Starting with the name itself. The signs of the ‘African Quarter’ are not only geographical references. In 1901, as Germany’s colonial enterprise began to expand, Kaiser Wilhelm (Wilhelm II) declared in a speech that the nation needed to conquer her ‘place in the sun’. Fatally for the Africans, he had some reliable deputies to help him carry this out and now the names of the colonial deputies accused of massacres and genocide sit uncomfortably to those of the subjugated countries. One such sign, innocuously named Petersallee named after Carl Peters, an infamous figure in Germany’s colonial past, well-regarded by the Nazi regime, is at the centre of a heated debate. After an hour of winding through the backstreets of the African Quarter, we finish by a small open space beside the busy thoroughfare of Müllerstrasse. A two-metre high plaque stands proudly proclaiming the African Quarter and on the other side… an apparently identical text. For the moment, the streets of the vibrant, productive and diverse ‘African Quarter’ will continue to tell stories of pain, sorrow and renewal. But thanks to some committed individuals, these tales will no longer stay buried. To see and listen to the whole piece please visit www.europeandme.eu/reporting-europe Andrew Connelly and Marine Leduc
The “Office for Freedom from Advertising and a Good Life” (http://amtfuerwerbefreiheit.org) fights against outdoor advertising in the streets of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Berlin. The organization managed to collect more than a thousand signatures for their initiative and was even able to gather political support: they were heard by both the Equality and the Environmental Committee during the district council meeting earlier this month and, according to the initiator, met with four parties of the district’s parliament, most of whom are supporting them. One problem with outdoor advertising is that nobody can escape from the ‘beautiful’ ideal world on ads. This makes people want more and more; the result of this development, says Sandra Franz, representative of the Office for Freedom from Advertising and a Good Life, is that people realize that they cannot afford this shopper’s lifestyle and suffer from a feeling of social exclusion. “Public Space belongs to all the people who use it and live there. It’s the space to meet other people, to learn, to live and to experience. It’s the space we use on a daily basis, which also shapes us. We should have the opportunity to create and shape it in a democratic manner according to our wishes and needs”, she says. Finances at the root of the problem? “In Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg the out-of-homeadvertising company Stöer is allowed to put billboards in the streets and therefore pays for the management of 38 wells and fountains. As the district does not receive enough money from the city, it is dependent on the money from Ströer. We see this as a very dangerous development. Now we are talking about 38 fountains being paid for by private companies. In the future kindergartens and schools might be sponsored by Coca Cola or Gazprom. We have to stop this,” she explains further, hoping the parties will reach a compromise on outside advertising they can all be satisfied with. But can there be such a compromise? The agreements between the district office and the advertising companies are issues of no minor importance. According to the Berliner Morgenpost, Ströer pays €180,000 annually to enable the fountains and wells in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg in exchange for advertising space around the district area. “This is not an insignificant amount”, Jonas Schemmel, spokesman for the district’s Green Party, told the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper. “The debate is important, and the cause is a good one.” But he doesn’t see abolishing ads as a solution since “it would cost too much money”. Despite these problems, the initiators stay positive, arguing that they have lots of supporters: “People even ask if we will open another division in different cities. And we are not the only ones who campaign against outside advertising. We met and heard from many international initiatives. This shows us that outside advertising is an issue not only for the people who signed the cause, but for many more”, Fritz said. 20
Indeed, there are other campaigns that argue for making “better” use of public space in Berlin districts by freeing them from advertising. In August 2010 two street artists started a campaign in which they put “Event Cancelled” stickers over posters which were promoting exhibitions, concerts and various other events. In doing so they were not only trying to undermine the goal of those ads; they were showing their dissatisfaction with outdoor commercial media since it left no room for an alternative way of using the public space. However, not all citizens in Berlin’s streets seem to find advertising so objectionable and people disagree on the power of the ads in shaping our lives. Robert, 26, says he does not find any benefits in diminishing the outdoor advertising. “They are not disturbing me”, he says. Sabine, 39, thinks that making streets somewhat free from advertising could be acceptable esthetically. However, she does not mind them as much. Ads “are not able to manipulate me, or anyone else”, she says. At the same time, an annual study by CBS Outdoor International revealed that more than three-quarters (77%) of the 5,000 consumers surveyed in six European countries said they had completed an action as a result of seeing an outdoor ad during 2012. Despite people’s intuition, this result might serve as a confirmation that outdoor advertising is not only about exposure, but about engagement, too. Taking into consideration the number of people passing through public spaces every single day… Apart from arguments about the power of outdoor ads, there is another problem with the campaign: what is a public space? By a common definition of the term, a public space is a social space that is generally open and accessible to people. Roads, pavements, public squares, parks, beaches and government buildings are typically considered public space. But what about privately owned buildings or property which is visible from sidewalks and public thoroughfares? Is this advertising in public spaces? Maybe the campaign in Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain will lead to a political debate about ads in public spaces more generally. Can it serve as one example for how to deal with this issue in a globalizing economy more generally? Anna Tskhovrebova
A question of money?
Campaigning against ads in Friedrichshain-Kreuzbergâ€™s public spaces 21
Commemoration and Cinematics:
back to the
Thirties in Berlin In a world where time travel remains a fantasy, people can only escape their present and embark on a journey to different periods of time through the power of film. Throughout Berlin’s 2013 Theme Year -- “Diversity Destroyed”, Berlin 1933 –1938 – 1945 -- which explores the history of Berlin under National Socialism through different art projects, exhibitions and historical tours, cinematography plays a key role. Berlin is quite well-known for its cultural diversity today, although the commemoration of the National Socialist regime and the many lives it once destroyed remains an important issue on the city’s agenda. The 2013 Theme Year project seeks to preserve the memory and commemorate the lives of those Berliners who have contributed to the city’s diversity: writers, artists, scientists and academics as well as small business owners, workers and immigrants. Their everyday lives and their contributions to Berlin – as well as their marginalization and persecution after 1933 – lie at the heart of the project. The Berlin Theme Year is in fact an initiative of the State of Berlin coordinated by the state-run organisation Kulturprojekte Berlin in cooperation with other partners and sponsors. With the retrospective “Branded as the Synagogues”, the Zeughauskino of the German Historical Museum reconstruct historic selected programs that were seen in the first weeks of November,1938 in Berlin cinemas. The viewings consist of a main film and its original sideshow. This includes advertisements, the UFA news program “Wochenschau” and documentaries from the actual Berlin cinema evenings of 1938, just around
the time the synagogues in Berlin were set on fire during the “Kristallnacht”, exactly 75 years ago, on the 9th to 10th of November. Going to the cinema was later forbidden for the Jewish population in Germany. In its unique way, the retrospective documents the disastrous consequences of the Nazi dictatorship for the life in the capital city. Katrin S., who is working as an organizer at the Zeughauskino, points out: “It’s very important for us to put these films in the context of the historical circumstances – especially in case of NS propaganda films that are usually not allowed to be shown in public.” There are around 40 of such commissioned films in the “poison chest” of the German Historic Museum, and each presentation of those is not only accompanied by an in-depth introduction by acclaimed historians or political scientists, but also followed by an open discussion with the audience. But it’s not only about history and commemoration: the audience of today seems to enjoy the comedies and adventure films from that time as much as the public back in the thirties. “It’s the stories of yesterday! It’s exciting to rediscover the films the way they were actually shown here in Berlin back then”, one of the many regulars declared. The projections are thus not only an experiment of history and commemoration. In addition to a new and original way of (re)discovering the films themselves, the audience actually seems to enjoy a pure moment of cinema as much as their ancestors did back in the thirties, 70 years ago. In Berlin, it appears that time travel is possible after all. Arman Soldin & Christian Grünewald
Smoke is drifting in between dreadlocks, mixing with the smell of spilled beer, blurring the sight of the graffiti-filled walls. On a worn-out leather couch the bearded host is preparing his microphone, while casually trying to make small-talk with his artistic debaters. Alcohol is present, inferiority complexes are not. “Welcome to our panel debate on the future of Berlin’s electronic musicians: Berlin is a Ghetto. Get me out of here!” The host is smiling. The time is 4 PM on a weekday, and hip temptations are already filling the air. Get lost or lose yourself With the presence of four of Berlin’s most prominent DJs, producers and publicists, the scene is set for an intense discussion. As a part of the Berlin Music Days 2013, a panel debate has been set up in a back-alley of a back-alley. The future of Berlin’s electronic musicians is the theme. Many electronic DJs and musicians work in the business for decades without ever getting a real career. But why do so many DJs get stuck in the ecstasy of Berlin’s underground? How do electronic musicians create a career in Berlin? Is there even a future? There’s no shortage of questions, but nor is there any lack of self-confident answers.
SchneiderTM, a musician and producer well-known in Berlin’s electronic environment, believes that the roots of the stagnation among Berlin musicians lie in the many temptations of the city. “There are far too many cultural and social temptations in Berlin. Musicians can’t focus. They get high, drunk and party all night instead of staying home and working on their music. They get lost in Berlin,” he says. A sigh is heard from the other end of the couch. Ervin Mariager, the half-Danish founder of Music & Enterprise Touring Academy, reaches for the microphone to offer his opinion: “There’re a lot of temptations in Berlin. And perhaps 95% of the musicians here have no ambitions and like the non-profitable underground life so much that they don’t even want their career to evolve. Low housing prices and cheap food makes it possible to get lost in Berlin – and stay lost. You don’t need a steady job or a promising career to survive.” An artistic pause lets the audience dwell in the feeling of hopeless stagnation. “But,” Ervin adds with a philosophical glint in his eye, “maybe you have to get lost in order not to lose yourself. Career, capital and commercialisation corrupt the music industry. You lose your creativity. You lose the feeling of you.” Ervin’s anti-capitalist point of view is shared
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“Many DJs and musicians have gotten the opportunity to publish and sell their music on the condition that they made small changes to it or gave it a certain sellable vibe. But even though they’re offered this chance of kick-starting their career, they often refuse, because they are afraid to become too commercial,” Nadia explains. Smoke your way to Hollywood While the audience reflects on this dilemma, DJ and producer, Beaner decides that it’s his turn to join the debate. As opposed to stagnation, lack of ambition and dying careers, Beaner sees the enticing cultural life of Berlin as an opportunity to gain success and get famous. “The rich underground life of the city is in my opinion rather an opportunity than an obstacle, if you want an international career,” he says.
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“Due to its cultural temptations Berlin has a very good reputation among DJs all over the world. People from so many different countries come here to work, so by living and playing in Berlin you get a lot of international connections and contacts. And as we all know, contacts are the key to an international breakthrough.” The bearded host gets off the couch. He’s decided to let Beaner’s optimistic view on the future end the debate. “Thank you for joining us. The debate is over, and now we’ll continue with a party,” he declares, while a dumb bass slowly gains volume in the background. The hours of serious discussion and visionary ambitions are over, the mic is turned off. Time to listen to experimental music whilst shrouded in intoxicating clouds of smoke? Yes, indeed. Time to get focused, practise German Ordnung and compose a new genius track? Maybe tomorrow... Xenia Samsøe Teilmann
“They don’t know how we get by” Why Berlin is the new mecca for music Berlin, hipsters, electro-music and highly pretentious DJ’s. These might be the first things that come to mind when non-Berliners think about this city. It is the city that has a magical pull for artists and musicians all around the world, apparently. But are these just clichés? A panel discussion held to ask the question “Has the Berlin music scene been ghettoised?”, organised by the magazine Exberliner, gave some answers to these questions. On a rainy Friday evening journalists, music lovers and artists gathered in the “Prince Charles,” a rather shabby club, which is located in one of the famous Berlin back alleys. There, four experts on the Berlin music scene lounge on a comfortable couch on the small, dark stage. In between trying to make it, wild drug-centred club nights, self-sabotaging and losing themselves, they are sharing some time with outsiders to help them understand their life and motivations better. The DJ and producer Beaner, slouched comfortably on the sofa, is a true Berlin expat. Born and raised in San Francisco, he came to Berlin ten years ago after a few stop-overs in New York City and London. “For a DJ, Berlin is the place to be,” he says. Having worked in other major cities before, he sees Berlin as the city with the biggest opportunities. “No other cities have this environment where you can go out for 48 hours straight,” he claims. According to him, this is why a club like the Berghain can only exist in a city like Berlin. “The longest gig I have ever played was 26 hours.” His colleague Schneider TM, alias Dirk Dresselhaus, agrees with him. Schneider has been active in the Berlin music scene since the late 90s and as a consequence knows it well. He adds another reason why Berlin is the place to be for artists. “Being an artist in Berlin is the balance between getting lost and getting focused,” he says. “If you want to get lost, you can do it easily.” Schneider, with his stringy hair and absent-minded 26
look, fits perfectly into the cliché of a Berlin artist. His latest record contains construction sounds, which he recorded right outside his living room. For him, being a Berlin-based artist has worked out. He has been touring worldwide for the last decade and one of his songs has even been featured on the MTV show “The Hills”. “I didn’t know that until I saw the GEMA* clearing.” In his case, being a niche musician has paid off as there is a market for his music in Berlin “and apparently also on MTV.” For Ervin Mariager, a half Dane, Berlin is also the home of choice. “For me Berlin was the striking balance between success and actually living art,” he adds. For all of them, Berlin seems to be about the balance. You can do everything here and nothing. Everything is possible, nothing has to happen, there is no set path which artists have to follow to reach fame. In addition, the rather anti-capitalist sentiment and cheap living conditions provide a good basis for up-and-coming artists. “My partners in the UK don’t know how we get by,” says Mariager and laughs. “They don’t understand that we make less money here but that we also need less.” “Berlin is a city where you can lose yourself in your art without immediately taking an economic hit – unlike in London”, adds Beaner. That is why they are all here to stay – and are quite happy about it. “I want to keep it simple”, says Schneider and finishes the debate. “I love music and I want to work with music. And I live in the best city to do that.” Corinna Vetter *Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mecha-
nische Vervielfältigungsrechte (English: Society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights; GEMA)
It’s 4:30pm in a typically grimy, graffiti covered bar hidden away on a backstreet in the heart of Berlin. Journalists, musicians and music lovers have gathered to listen to a panel discussion titled, ‘Berlin is a ghetto. Get me out of here!’ The panel aims to get to the root of why artists destined for success somehow get trapped in Berlin, the ghetto, and end up embarking on a journey of self-destruction. Over half an hour later than scheduled, the panellists eventually swagger over from the bar, where they have been casually chatting, completely oblivious of time commitments, to the scruffy sofa in front of the audience. Exberliner magazine music editor, D. Strauss, moderates and pushes panel members who debate whether a city can be blamed for the demise of many talented musicians who lose their way or whether it is really an issue rooted in the individual themselves. Beaner has lived in Berlin for 11 years and has created a successful career as a DJ, producer and label manager in the city. “I do want success,” he admits, “but I have always wanted to do things my own way and have definitely done things that were actively self-destructive.” He talks nostalgically about the days before his career took off explaining, “The underground scene I was involved in a few years ago was very deliberately passively opposing capitalism. They were not interested in success and they were not interested in the world outside.” While Beaner has clearly moved away from this mindset that success is somehow the devil because it implies that you are adhering to a societal system you don’t agree with, there are many artists in Berlin who are still revelling in a state of passive opposition.
Strauss takes a sip of his beer and says, “Berlin can be a ghetto and many artists can’t or maybe won’t get their voice out of the city. A lot of people take on this pose that they don’t want to be successful. It is part of the scene, even Mick Jagger pretends he doesn’t care but really they are ambitious.” Some may be contemplating why we should even care that these artists choose to stay in one city, holding on tightly to their music so that it can’t fall into the greedy claws of mainstream record labels. Well, for one thing it is simply a shame that DJs and musicians are not expressing themselves to a wider and extremely willing audience. Taking a broader perspective, this mission of selfdestruction in a city known for being somewhere where everybody is free to express themselves raises bigger issues. Has Berlin evolved into a place of disengagement where a talented generation are getting lost in a winner-less battle to prove that they are not motivated by money and success? For musician and producer, Schneider TM, Berlin is not to blame. Taking a drag of his rolled up cigarette, he says, “It’s a matter of focus. For everyone it’s different. For me it was about finding the balance between getting lost and regaining focus...It is definitely possible to find this balance here in Berlin. If you want to get lost, you can do it easily but you’re not pressured to. If you want to stay focussed then stay at home and work.” Six o’clock in the evening and the discussion is brought to a close. The bar starts to fill up with thirsty patrons and the fold up chairs where the audience were seated are packed away. Another Thursday night is about to get started in Berlin. DJs across the city are waking up for their nights work. While some are stuck in a Berlin rut, unwilling to venture out of the ghetto, Schneider gives a glimmer of hope that although self destruction may be the path some artists take, it is not the only path. You can keep your focus in Berlin, even if your vision gets a little cloudy sometimes. Eleanor Ward
café f inovo home for the
dead haven for the living
“When something ends, it is not like something new begins later, but it is a gradual transition”, owner Bernd Bossmann explains how he created the name of Café Finovo, which became the first café in a cemetery in Germany, opening back in September 2006. Playing with the words “fin” (ending) and “novo” (new beginning), he merged them together, keeping just one “n” in order to emphasise that nothing ever ends completely and that things blend into each other. I learnt about the café in Greek director Lefteris Fylaktos’ documentary about this unusual coffee shop and decided to see for myself what seemed, at first, like a strange juxtaposition. A crisp afternoon in early November, removed from the vibrant central Berlin, I got off at the Yorkstrasse S-Bahn Station in the Schöneberg district, walked a few hundred meters ntil I reached Grossgorschenstrasse and passed through the heavy stone entrance of Alter St.-Matthäus-Kirchhof to immediately discover, on the left, Bernd Bossmann’s Café Finovo.
The café door opened, and the waitress invited me in. The hall was dark and cluttered with orchids, books, photos and all sorts of religious objects. On the left, sweet heaven: the fridge was filled with cakes – chocolate, cheese and pear, apple crumble, gooseberry brittle… Entering the main room, a sense of familiarity embraced me, as if I had entered my grandma’s living room. Paper lamps filled the room with a warm, honeycoloured light which softly touched the doilies, the white embroidered tablecloths and the walls, covered with flowers painted by porcelain artists. After experiencing this cosy, almost old-fashioned, atmosphere, I wanted to find out more about its creator. Bernd Bossmann grew up in the countryside of the Lower Rhine and is a trained nurse; he moved to Berlin in 1984 to become an actor, a passion that he has been pursuing ever since – most successfully as a drag queen, under the stage name “Ichgola Androgyn”. A prominent gay-rights and AIDS activist, the 52year old is a great believer in the freedom of
expression and he highlights that he “would love if cemetery cafés could become places of communication everywhere in the world” because he thinks “that would fit any culture”. Bossmann lost his friend and stage partner Cristoph “Ovo Maltine” Josten eight years ago and often went to this cemetery, where Ovo was buried. “That was when I realised that in graveyards we think about the dead, but not about the needs of the living”, he says. “I thought it would be nice to have a place to wash your hands, sit down, get some rest, and maybe have a drink or something to eat.” And Alter St.-Matthäus-Kirchhof became the perfect place to bring this idea to life. The cemetery was founded in 1856 by the Protestant parish of St.-Matthäus, who purchased this piece of land near the village of Schöneberg and expanded it in the following years, both eastwards and westwards, making it a burial place for wealthy families, as well as artists such as the Brothers Grimm. In more than 150 years the cemetery underwent a series of
transformations, including demolition and graves being moved or destroyed, in a constant struggle to integrate the cemetery into the city planning. In 2001 the parish of St.-Matthäus was dissolved and the Protestant parish of the Twelve Apostles took its place, showing a great tolerance towards people who choose to be buried in the cemetery, regardless of their religious views or their ways of life. In 2006 Bernd Bossmann was allowed to open Café Finovo in the building at the entrance of the cemetery, which was built in 1903 and was originally used as the cemetery latrine. It later became an office building before being abandoned and then bought by Bossmann in order to turn it into a multifunctional space. The house has two floors, a front and a back yard, and is positioned next to the chapel of the graveyard, serving as a café, a flower shop, and a home for the EFEU e.V., a non-profit organisation coordinated by Bernd Bossmann and Ludger Wekenborg. “After I opened the café, I found out that there were many more needs to be met, like communication and dealing with grief. That’s why, in 2007, we founded the EFEU association, dealing with [cultural and social] projects, like monument protection…”, Bossmann explains in an interview. The symbolism continues with the acronym that the organisation uses: EFEU stands for Erhalten, Fördern, Entwickeln and Unterstützen (to conserve, further, develop and support), and the word “Efeu” in German means “ivy”, a plant that grows all around the cemetery, as if to hold everything together. EFEU focuses on organising thematic tours around the graveyard such as a cultural and literary tour that is carried out by professional storyteller Gerhard Moses Hess; or the botanical tour of Olaf Tetzinski, who is an alternative healer, specialising in herbal remedies. In addition to these regular events that also include readings, concerts and art installations, EFEU promotes and implements Grave-Sponsorship (Grabpatenschaft) and it takes care of the garden of the Star Children (Sternenkinder), a special area in the cemetery, dedicated to the burial of stillborn infants and miscarried fetuses. Apart from these activities, this precious place became well-known for its café, with its delicious homemade cakes, friendly atmosphere, and asense of keeping the community together, something that is very important to Bernd Bossmann. 28 30
He says that the guests in his café are neighbours, people visiting the graves of their relatives or friends, and tourists visiting the cemetery because of all the famous people buried there. Either for a memorial or simply to recollect memories of loved ones, people enter the world of “Finovo” with an open, sometimes heavy, heart. “More than 90 per cent of them like this idea very much. Sometimes they have initial doubts, but that goes away quickly,” Bossmann adds. “Some people who don’t know that there is a café on the graveyard suddenly start laughing when they pass by: «Look at that! That’s funny! I’ve never seen such a thing!»”. Wandering between the graves at dawn, I slowly discovered the picturesque landscape of a cemetery that looks more like a park, drawn on a canvas composed of the silhouettes of the surrounding buildings, apartment houses where people carry on with their own lives, overlooking the peace and quiet of those who are gone. It was almost closing time at the café when I made my way across the terrace, where three people were enjoying a piece of cake and a hot drink. With only a few tables covered with colourful plastic tablecloths, surrounded by white wrought iron chairs or wooden benches, the terrace was unpretentiously welcoming. On the right, a path covered with autumn leaves led to the small flower shop annexed to the building. At a first glance inside, a clock with feathered angel wings caught my attention, a silent reminder of time passing. Miles away from my home in Romania, where a cemetery café would be seen most likely as a profanity, I remembered my own grandpa, who died many years ago. For a moment, I established a brief connection with his memory, in this cemetery in Berlin, where life and death sit side by side, blending naturally. Bernd Bossmann’s words kept bringing forward the idea of communication, and with that thought clinging to my mind, I left promising to myself that the next time I came back, I would take a seat on the terrace and try one of the café’s specialties: the “teardrop cake”, made with cream cheese and tangerines. Patricia Mihail Additional reporting by Juliane Matthey
Illuminated by a string of fairy lights, café Finovo is hard to miss when stepping through the entrance gate of the Alter Sankt-Matthäus graveyard. Café Finovo, end and beginning, is the first German café located in a graveyard. On this November day, a group of friends are conversing and eating cake on the colourful terrace. “That’s Berlin,” says one of them with a shrug. In front of him sits a big slice of apple pie. “We’re very practical people, so we combine graveyard with cake.” Next to them is an old man at a small table with a bright purple table-cloth, drinking his Milchkaffee in silence. He is wearing a slightly oversized beige jacket; his longish grey hair is neatly combed back. There is a little sign on his table that says ‘reserved’. He introduces himself as Peter. He comes often to Finovo, which is located in a little house close to his apartment building. “I enjoy the peace and quiet of this place.” The graveyard hasn’t always been a peaceful place. Peter recollects: “In the last days ofthe war, there was fighting here. The people of the housing block bordering the graveyard had hidden their sons in the basement. We all knew that the war was going to be over soon. But the sons were caught by the Nazis, and they were hanged from the trees that line both sides of the main lane.” Peter leaves a pause: “A lot of bad things have happened here.”
graveyard with cake St.-Matthäus graveyard. Some graves were restored to their old location, but the tomb of the Langenscheid family stayed in Stahnsdorf. As a reminder of the former presence of the tomb, a young artist painted the front of the family’s tomb on the wall of the graveyard. With the last of daylight fading away, it is hard to distinguish the painting from a real door.
Peter was born and raised in the proximity of the graveyard located on the Großgörschenstraße in the Berlin neighbourhood of Schöneberg. The café is not only frequented by the people who buried their loved ones here. It is also visited by people from the neighbourhood. Even people who see the place from the nearby S-Bahn get out at the Yorckstraße stop. Peter likes the diversity of the visitors: “People often think that graveyards are just for elderly people, but that is not true anymore. A lot of young people come here in summer to study, because it’s quiet here. They bring a picnic blanket and bring their own coffee thermoses.” No R.I.P. The Alter St.-Matthäus graveyard, besides the cake selection of café Finovo, is best known as the burial place of the brothers Grimm. In the nineteenth century, the graveyard was the last resting place of many prominent Berliners, although some have moved over the years. An example is the tomb of the Langenscheidtfamily, founders of the well-known German publishing house for dictionaries. The Langenscheid tomb was moved in the 1940s to another graveyard called Stahnsdorf. This relocation was part of the plan of Nazi Architect Albert Speer, who wanted to transform Berlin into ‘Welthauptstadt Germania’. The graveyard was in the way of a desired highway, so the Nazis started to excavate the graves and move them to Stahnsdorf graveyard. The highway was never realised, and after the war some families asked the government to move their family members back to the Alter
The chime of the church bell interrupts Peter’s story. It is 5 o’clock. “We have to go; the graveyard and the café are closing.” As darkness cloaks the graveyard and we pass the trees on the sides of the main lane where the young men were hanged, it makes for a sinister walk back. The fairy lights and cakes at the café at the entrance of the graveyard make for a strong contrast. Peter bids farewell in front of the gate, reminding me to come back in summer. Before closing the heavy gate, he repeats: “In summer it is really a great place to visit.” Roxanne Koenis 29 31
where the underground becomes mainstream:
It is hard not to notice it. In Berlin, the graffiti is omnipresent. The vivid street art culture makes the German capital look like a large playground for adults with its artistic trash cans, roaring monsters on office walls and rushing city trains in rainbow colours. “Berlin is the capital city of graffiti in Europe” says Jochem, the shop assistant in Overkill, a graffiti store near Schlesisches Tor. There are hundreds to thousands active street artists who leave their marks on Berlin’s facade. Although they do not know each other personally they recognize one another’s handwriting. “Everybody has its own motivation but it’s basically all about the fame,” explains Jochem what drives people spraying on city walls. Styler One used to be one of them too. He sits on a folding stool near the U-bahn station at Warschauer Straße with his paintings, this time on canvas, lying on the ground for 5 to 35 euros. He has been into graffiti for twenty-one years now, started as a young boy. But five years ago 32
his passion got him behind bars for six months. “These days, the punishments you get for it… you paint a wall and get twelve months in prison for it or so. If you get caught several times, it’s not worth it” says Schuhe, another artist who has come by to see how the legal graffiti business is working out for his friend, who started selling his paintings on the street only a month ago. Where does the art end and the vandalism start? Berlin might be the graffiti capital of Europe with few places still waiting to be painted, but the majority of spots remain illegal. Surprisingly enough, if you check out a map of Berlin you can easily find dozens of graffiti shops. The demand for graffiti sprays, gloves and special equipment is constantly high in the neighbourhood. Although doing graffitti in public areas is considered a criminal activity and therefore punishable by the police, there are plenty of alternative ways to make use of graffiti sprays legally.
the painted face of
BERLIN respect. Someone who’s done a lot and painted a lot, and people have seen it, has more respect than someone who’s just started.” Street art is not exclusively men’s territory. There are many female customers in the store who buy the sprays, but mostly for home use, painting on canvas. However there are some female street artists, like Metzi, who is such a famous icon in Berlin’s graffiti culture that they even named a specific spray after her. Colourful past, wiped out future?
It turns out that the customer basis for that kind of artistic activity is just as shockingly colourful as the paintings and signs on the walls themselves. Many people practice it as a creative hobby, a means of self-expression – and here in Berlin they start out pretty young. “Hey mommy. Yes, I will be home for dinner by seven.” A fourteen-year-old boy just answered the his mobile phone in the middle of the shop, with a bag full of newly bought sprays in his hand. His passion for graffiti is a secret to his parents, but he is not the youngest customer in the store. When it comes to his motivation, he doesn’t have to think for long. “It’s fun and a very nice feeling. When I do it I forget all the things around me and it’s nice when a train arrives to the station and you can see your work on it.” It appears that location has crucial importance. It is the potential fame which attracts people to the sometimes abandoned corners of the city. As Styler One, the graffiti veteran also experienced: “Among painters it’s about
Graffiti entered West Germany in the ’80s from the American movies. With the collapsing of the Wall in 1990, the streets of East Berlin provided a perfect terrain for the West Berlin graffiti artists to expand their already existing street art culture to the formerly socialist part of the city. “Nobody in East Berlin knew about it” says Jochem from the graffiti shop. Back at that time, the police didn’t really pay much attention to this semi-unknown phenomena. It was the “golden age” for graffiti artwork to spread all over Berlin. Times are changing. Now, in 2013, the municipality and the public transport company make significant efforts and spend taxpayer’s money on wiping the graffiti off of the streets of today’s Berlin. Yet it seems that Berliners’ attitude towards graffiti is very different then in other European cities. “No other city has more painters... everybody comes to Berlin to paint, because in Berlin it just looks better,” says Schuhe just before the two friends say goodbye to each other at Warschauer Straße with a fist-bump. Styler puts on his hoodie and takes the marker in his hand, as he continues doing what he knows best since he was a child. Barbara Péterfi and Veronika Pitrova 33
COMING ABOVE GROUND:
europe’s graffITI CAPITAL CLEANS UP ITS ACT
While some may consider it the bane of Berlin, for the art lover, the politically aware, and the tourist every corner in this city is a photo opportunity – and not for its elegance. It may no longer be a classic beauty like Rome or Prague, but what Berlin lacks in architecture it compensates for by covering every available inch of brick or cement – and often, many unavailable ones - with graffiti and street art. With thousands of painters and sprayers, it has become a mecca for connoisseurs and artists alike. But all that may soon change. Illicit graffiti is, in the eyes of the law, property damage, and in recent years Europe’s graffiti capital has been in the throes of a police clampdown, driving artists away and cleaning up its dirty face, much to the angels’ dismay. “In the past ten years the police are coming down hard on graffiti,” says “Schuhe” (“Shoes”), 32, who has been spraying the city illegally since he was 13 but has only recently limited his actions to the boundaries of the law. “In the 90s they weren’t so greatly interested in it. But these days, the punishments you get for it… You paint a wall and get 12 months in prison for it. If you get caught several times it’s not worth it.”
You can meet Schuhe hanging around the pedestrian bridge of the Warschauer Straße tram station, where he visits his friend and colleague, “Styler One”. Perched on a folding stool near the bridge’s rail, dressed in a ragged jacket decorated with a hand-painted patch, Styler One (35) sells pocket-sized versions of elaborate tags, to be hung in the living room, for as cheap as 5 Euros a piece. He has been selling his works for a month now, following his release from six months in jail – a result of his years spent spraying Berlin’s public spaces. The penalty can reach up to 2 years, depending on the number of offences. Fines are often also in order, sometimes as high as a thousand Euros – a hefty price even in a city with better employment prospects than Berlin. It is not easy to discover the real names behind the tags, but once they are caught it is all too easy to track down their previous work – after all, it’s signed. According to crime statistics provided by the police, graffiti accounted for 32.5% of all property damage in 2006. In 2011 it accounted for just 23.1%, and its frequency decreased by 44.3%. In the case of privately owned buildings, the decision regarding the graffiti removal and the filing of police charges up is up to the owner – as are the renovation costs. For public spaces, however, the renovation and its costs fall on the city, and it seems to be happy to invest in it. For example, at the Ostkreuz train station: “If you spray there today, it’s gone tomorrow”, says Styler One. But Berlin would not be Berlin without its brightly painted urban landscape, neither for its residents nor for the tourists who come to admire it and partake in one of the many graffiti tours. Adie Sampson, who has been guiding graffiti tours for 8 years, tells of an average of 40 people per day eager to explore the alternative sights of Berlin. And the city, whose constantly dwindling economy cannot afford a loss of tourism, is fully aware of that. “Back then it was gang thing”, explains Schuhe. “You had a crew, you painted and left. Today it’s more art. Not only text, not only bombings. You see more and more pictures, portraits. That”, he says pointing at a grey building, “has nothing in it, but with the faces on it it looks beautiful.”
The title “graffiti shop” may bring up visions of than an art-squat like Tacheles, which was shut down by the city last year after 12 years of hosting young artists between its graffiti-layered walls. Yet while it resides in a run-down, heavily-painted Kreuzberg area, the clinical “Overkill” serves almost as a contrast to its surroundings. Brightly lit in white neon, it resembles a high-end shopping mall store more than anything else. Two walls of spray paint cans are safely adjoined to a fitting area filled by designer sneakers, their patterns ranging from delicate flowers to bright neon colors; clothes racks with jackets peer from the currently closed top floor; the glass counter offers merchandising. “If you want to know about graffiti, you should buy this DVD” says Jochen the salesman, dropping a shiny package on the counter. “Unlike U” documented illegal nighttime spraying of underground trains belonging to BVG, the Berlin public transport system. BVG tried to get the film banned on the grounds of unlicensed filming at the stations, but eventually the film was allowed to go through. Ironically, it would seem that everybody is happy with the arrangement. The DVD is cashing in on sales, and the BVG has jumped on the gravy train – the formerly monochrome yellow of its vehicles is now often replaced with colorful ads which cover the trains from end to end. “BVG picked this up from the graffiti”, says Styler One. Recently two famous Berliner murals by the Italian street artist Blu were buffed over. They were replaced by adverts for a science fiction movie, executed by commission in street-art style. Signs of the coming change. Alexandra Belopolsky
Even the police understand that Berlin graffiti is a crowd-pleaser. In an official 2011 report they admit that “since graffiti-tourism is constantly on the rise in Berlin in the past few years, with no end being in sight”, the authorities resort to ever more creative solutions. Designated graffiti walls, such as the ones on Priesterweg and in Mauerpark, are an open invitation to artists to go wild in an orderly manner. The artists, in return, seem happy to comply. “The most important thing for graffiti is the photo”, explains Styler One. “Once you have the photo, it doesn’t matter if it’s legal or illegal as long as the photo exists.” Yet one would have a hard time imagining the dirty-nailed tagger of the sidewalk art-dealership in a squeaky-clean place like “Overkill”.
Europe on the move Lessons from tourists
200 great shots in 2 hours. One wild Friday night. No, this isn’t a long bar with an array of fruit-flavoured cocktails. This is the tourist stereotype: a group of packed rucksacks with blank confused expressions, walking in worn-out travel-aroundthe-world-blister-free shoes. Sweaty, sunburned people asking for directions right under the Eiffel tower? People who take a dozen selfies against the sun, while stuck in the museum queue or blindly following the tour guide? Definitely tourists. Tourism is one of the biggest industries in Europe. Europeans go on over one billion holiday trips each year. This boosts the economies of the destination countries and creates jobs. There is, however, a social dimension to this movement, as tourists inevitably interact with local people, as well as with those employed in the tourism and entertainment industries. Find yourself in the others There are many occupations that require interaction with tourists on a daily basis: city-guides, shop-assistants and street performers, among others. Wondering what people who work with visitors think of the stereotype, I take a walk through one of the most visited European cities. My curiosity leads me through the busy streets of Berlin on a late Friday afternoon. A tourist myself, the city map baffles me, so I decide to follow the crowd for a while. Getting off the bus, I spot street performers on a corner. Their dark clothes set them apart from the motley crowd of tourists and passers-by. People are going home after a busy day, while the musicians are setting their equipment, preparing for the night. The tall blond vocalist smiles before introducing himself as a “very strange man”. He is an intriguing combination of optimism, thick Russian accent and a touch of darkness. Dressed entirely in black and white, his attire harshly contrasts with his piercing bright blue eyes. How does such a man feel about tourists? He is passionate about his music – his face lights up when he talks about performing in front of the street audience. No wonder he appreciates it when visitors notice and stop to listen to the electro-trance sounds with which he fills the air here night after night. “I find it difficult,” the street artist admits “to recognise who’s a tourist… For me, and I think for others, the tourist is a stupid guy who just comes to look around, buy souvenirs and take pictures to show his friends. But people who are trying to take part in the city, in the place where they’ve just come, why, they are not tourists!” His favourite day for meeting such people? “Every day.”
“I like experimental people who are trying to catch their life in another ракурс [Rus. perspective], in another side…” And so it happens that by exploring new places and discovering the unknown tourists find out more about themselves, just as he does by trying and mixing unusual sounds. Strolling further down the busy Französische Straße I enter a crowded chocolate shop and follow the aisle surrounded by tempting chocolate bars. I overhear Spanish and English, before I have even approached the cash desk. Tourists? “What I like personally very much is when they say ‘Hey, you are a very nice girl’ or ‘Wow, you can speak Spanish a little’ or ‘Wow, you can speak English’.” The shop assistant’s optimistic smile reveals she truly enjoys working in the shop. It is the tourists’ appreciation that makes her day: “It’s really cool when tourists come back to my cashier and want to buy chocolate three times, and then I say ‘Hello again!’” “With the English, the Spanish and the American it’s often that you get a kind of a small talk… I like that very much…when you talk for just a couple of minutes during the payment…whether it’s about the chocolate or where they are from”. Small talk appears to be the sort of social interaction needed and welcomed by both sides: the tourist feels more at home in the unknown place, and the shop assistant is recognized as a person. We are all tourists Next stop, a souvenir shop near Brandenburg Gate. I imagine the shop assistants there will have many peculiar stories about tourists – but in fact I am quite unprepared to meet the two women behind the desk. One is Japanese, the other one introduces herself: “Ich bin kolumbianisch” [Ger: Columbian]. Both speak better Spanish and German than English, although the language we communicate in is some melodious mixture of the three. “We met because we were tourists here.” Years later, the two former tourists still keep their exploratory spirit alive. The connection with the tourists remains strong, and the shop assistants admit to having learned a lot from the visitors that flood the shop every day. The best lesson? The answer does not quite fit with the stereotype of the hurried, obsessively photo-snapping back-packer. “Patience.” Citizens and visitors My leisurely stroll has led me right under the Brandenburg gate. A tall man standing alone draws my attention. He is not part of a group, he isn’t taking pictures or listening to a tour guide. He has a fake military helmet on, holds a poster and plays music from the small radio in front of him. In his own words, he is “an angry journalist who is supporting Wikileaks”. He spends several hours a day on the street informing people about the recent espionage leaks. Just when I meet him he is on Twitter, posting a picture of himself protesting 38
outside the American embassy. This has become a daily routine for him for the past month and a half. “I really appreciate it when tourists take their time to react on what they see on the street and if they stop… instead of just following the guide.” Just like the Russian-speaking street artists, his goal is to attract attention, to provoke tourists, to make them discover something new – for a political agenda in his case. On the other hand, as a citizen of the German capital, he admits that living with tourists every day has its disadvantages. “They all of a sudden stop in the middle of the street or pavement, and you try to make your way through this stupidly behaving crowd.” Indeed, avoiding enormous backpacks and suitcases on the way to work may not be the best encounter with tourists for a Berliner. On the other hand, seeing visitors from abroad appreciate their own neighbourhood may make the locals value it as well. Equality abroad “The picture-taking Japanese groups are a kind of an old prejudice,” the street protester informs me. “Today I see tourists from all over the world totally focused on cameras and mobile phones and iPads.” “My favourite day with tourists? The day when I do not meet them? No, that’s not nice, no. Several days ago I met a tourist from my hometown … and during the talk we discovered that we come from the same area in Germany.” Thus, it seems tourists can help discover similarities between the familiar and the foreign. Soon the distinctions start to blur – the tourists settle down and become locals, and the locals turn into tourists themselves. My short stroll round Berlin’s sights has given me food for thought. It seems tourists make a difference in the lives of the people that meet them every day. They remind street musicians to never stop exploring, they teach shop-assistants patience and personal recognition, they make locals perceive home in a new way. As one of the street performers puts it: “There are millions, there are tons, hundreds of tourist contacts that are worth remembering”. Petya Yankova
In the avid search for a European identity, from local communities to the international level, from budgets and numbers to love stories and individuals, we turn to the ever present question on everyone’s minds – is there such a thing as a European public sphere? Our instinctive answer is – yes! Of course, what else would we be doing here in a cozy conference room between Kreuzberg and Neukolln in the city of Berlin, with 22 young aspiring journalists from all the corners of Europe? But the issue is far more complex than it seems and we like to take our time splitting its hairs. Designed as a small panel discussion, The Future of Reporting Europe starts off the weekend workshop with the search for a European public – if it truly exists and where we can find it. To reach this goal we invited Clemens Scholl, from the Berlin Journalistenschule to talk about his experiences with the topic as well as media projects that experimented with the topic – successfully or not. “The European”, “Le monde diplomatique” and “Presseurop” are professional examples of those who took on the brave challenge to report to a public outside of national perspectives. Each project is unique in itself and offers quality reporting on issues that matter to everyone. Unfortunately they still do not enjoy the public exposure that national dailies or weekly magazines do. The interesting question is - why? There are far more media projects created by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which rely mostly on volunteers and work normally on a semi-professional level. Such examples, presented in the panel by some of the workshop participants include Cafebabel.com, Cosmopublic.eu and Europe&Me and there are many more where they came from, all differing in quality and approach but all serving the same European public. They all boast a respectable number of readers, especially considering the volunteering nature of the projects and the limited or non-existent funding they make use of. The costs of such projects may be limited – as most are online based and the only expenses they have are the administration of a website and the seemingly never-ending time invested by editors and contributors alike. But if a public exists, why is there no market for European magazines or newspapers? If given the chance, would anyone pay for this? Opinions between the participants are divided. While the quality of the media isn’t
necessarily put into question, it is mostly its approach that makes its audience limited. “The language barrier is simply too big” says one of the participants actively involved in the debate than ensued. “We keep addressing the same limited elite – that speaks English, or German or French. That’s not representative of all Europeans”. While a few projects try to break down the language barrier by offering translations and multilingual editions (such as Cafebabel or Presseurop) their numbers or even days are limited. Presseurop, an often cited example of a true European outreach news portal, is said to be closed down next year pending the loss of their financing from the European Commission. The public has also become used to not paying for anything on the internet – and online media is not easy to sell. This leaves project such as E&M, Cosmopublic.eu or Cafebabel to fight for the limited grants available to fund journalistic projects, research or debates – and this unfortunately limits the possibilities to create even more valuable output. In the search for the European public, one participant argues the misappropriation of the word ‘European’ that has become synonymous with the Brussels political bubble – an association that makes everyday people squint and turn their backs. The MEP sitting in Strasbourg discussing with NGO representatives is as European as the farmer in Ireland who never leaves his village for his whole life. “But you need to travel to truly experience Europe” a voice comes in from the background. This may be true, however since it’s not in everyone’s possibilities to do so, perhaps we need to bring Europe to them. It’s not necessarily a lack of interest in EU politics themselves many would argue, but the gap between Brussels and the people is not an easy thing to cover, especially if we only speak in “EU language” with acronyms and program names that only the Eurocrats are familiar with. The European public undoubtedly exists, but it is also in the hands of the media, be it voluntary or professional, to be the voices between people and to bring different realities to the doorsteps (or monitors) of Europeans everywhere. And this is no easy task. Olimpia Pârje
JOUR N A L I S M X.0? 42
There is no question in anyone’s mind that the world of media has changed dramatically thanks to the existence of the internet. Social movements and reporting alike have moved from the living rooms and offices to the streets thanks to social media. Since the Arab Spring in 2011 and the “occupy” phenomenon, people have realized the potential for mobilization through the internet and different kinds of social-media movements have taken off. Most recently in Europe there has been a wave of protests sparked by various motivations from environmentalist concerns to pro-European perspectives. This has engulfed the streets of European capitals, from Istanbul to Sofia, from Bucharest to Kiev, taking over the front pages of the online sphere from your Twitter feed to your news platform. It is no longer the privilege of the so-called ‘mainstream’ media to reach out to the public, influence and shape their perspectives on the events happening around them. Partly disillusioned by a mass-media that answers to financial gains and political influence more than to its public, people turn to alternative media and information sources – from personal blogs to web platforms or smaller projects to their own social media feed. Previously respected news channels have failed to live up to the ethical standards of journalism when they ignored important events
like street protests – due to whatever political pressure they were put under – and the public will not easily forgive or forget their mistakes. However it’s not only the tense social moments that illustrate the dramatic paradigm shift when it comes to journalism and reporting. Citizens’ journalism has become an important element that fills the gap between what sells and what people care about, through community projects, personal stories and seemingly uncorrupted perspectives. But this opens up a brand new range of pitfalls, with a disillusioned public seeking out new sources of information which are not structured or bound by any code of conduct or ethics (be it even in principle) and this can lead to serious misinformation. It all revolves around the internet, which has become a stronger part of our lives with the large spreading of tablets and smart-phones. Who needs a newspaper today when you can just go online on your phone, read the news in real-time, share it with your friends and have a coffee on your way to work? The internet provides the public with many options and alternatives to find everything they want and don’t want to know. And this is where the role of the journalist becomes important once again. In the sea of information available it’s easy to lose the truth between reactions, counter-reactions and differing interests.
It is the journalists’ task to dig through the pile of information, both online and offline and present the public with a reliable and balanced story. Web 2.0 and beyond It is not only the public that’s changed its ways thanks to the evermore interconnected and online world. Journalists and mass-media alike are turning to the newest technological advancements to do their jobs well. Leaving aside the already accepted premise that a good story needs to be shared on all possible social media platforms, the multimedia opportunities of the internet have become more and more attractive for journalists. Radio didn’t die out but turned to podcasts and internet broadcasting, while a platform such a YouTube or Google+ Hangouts allows for high-quality video streaming – live or not. Relevant television shows are recorded and broadcasted online only a few hours after they aired giving the media-makers the chance to spread their work indefinitely, unbound by the constrictions of a particular airing-time. A more recent and exciting trend in journalism is data journalism – a type of journalism that reflects the increased role of numbers in reporting in the digital era. Data journalism includes a special attention to the visual aspect and often includes a possibility for direct interaction. One of the most popular examples of data visualization are the so-called Infographics – a simple and effective tool for representing complex data with images now popular not only in the online world. Infographics range from minimalistic design with the well-known bars and pie charts to more creative examples using any kind of support image to get the message across, leaving a great space for people to go on a wild imagination streak. Unspoken rules of the internet promise that good content will always become ‘viral’, especially when it looks good. Some have acclaimed the future of journalism to be something like the so-called ‘snowfall technique’ created by the New York Times (with the newest example from The Guardian: NSA Files decoded) – a combination of video, text and images
in a sort of interactive documentary style webpage that provides an all-rounded perspective on a subject. While this particular method is very time consuming and cannot be entered into the news category, it does give the perfect example of all the possibilities at the disposal of the media promising that the future of reporting incltudes a fourth dimension – interaction with the public. A new transnational way of reporting As far as reporting Europe is concerned there are two main features that need to be dealt with – bringing the international character of the continent closer to people on every corner and bridging the gap between Brussels and the real world. Leaving aside populist approaches to sell newspapers is important on all levels of journalism – but most of all on a European level, where the media has proven to be detrimental to the European social construction, often undeserved, by promoting xenophobic headlines. The current distress of the EU is partly a fault of the european national media entities, who have often chosen to present a less than whole picture to their public, as it was an easier sell. This criticism falls not only on the tabloid dailies but on more professional publications who couldn’t help but question the future of Europe and proclaim disaster at any available occasion. To bring Europe closer to its people, the media needs to disconnect from its national roots and take a look at the bigger picture – and from here bring european stories to every doorstep and bring local stories to european readers and viewers. A new transnational way of reporting Europe means always keeping in mind that a story can be relevant for more than just the community it affects, it means looking further behind appearances and always remembering the complexity of the highly interconnected European world. The future of european journalism lies in the aspiration of the media and journalists to use every means the new world has to make a transparent Europe the reality. Olimpia Pârje
This publication was a part of â€œThe Future of Reporting Europeâ€? project organised by E&M, together with the legal association, Europa neuer Ideen e.V.
The project was financed with support from the Allianz Cultural Foundation Allianz Kulturstiftung. The content of the magazine does not necessarily reflect the views of the Allianz Cultural Foundation and they cannot be held responsible for them.
The “Future of Reporting Europe” workshop could not have been made possible without support from our partners:
Citizens of Europe e.V.
Hertie School of Governance We would like to thank the following people for their contribution to the project:
Clemens Schöll Jess Smee Christoph Janosh Delcker ... all workshop participants, editors and proofreaders.
For the online version of the magazine, please visit www.europeandme.eu/reporting-europe
Published on Jan 5, 2014
Special Edition developed during the workshop "The Future of Reporting Europe" in Berlin, 7-10th November 2013: http://www.europeandme.eu/r...