Listen Here, Queer!

A podcast by Alejandro Sandoval, Brandon Drake, Michael Grubb and Reuben Holt

With the closure of establishments due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many people lost the only space where they could freely express themselves and create community bonds. 

This was the case with Sonntags Club. Originating in the former East Berlin, for years the club has provided a space of visibility and safe gatherings for queer people. It has also expanded into a mental health clinic and counselling services in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood. 

We spoke with Michelle Hartman, Peter Rausch and Jan-Jules Zimmer, who told us about the importance of the club and the adversities they faced when they had to close their doors during the pandemic. Listen Here, Queer, is a podcast dedicated to the spaces that make Berlin a place where queer people can call this city “Home.” 

“How often have I heard in discussions, ‘I thought I was alone, that I am the only one who is like this.’ And then they realize there are others, but they have to find them first. We wanted to create spaces where people could go.” said Peter Rausch about Sonntags Club. 

For more information about Sonntags Club, the activities there or the counseling services, please visit the following link:

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Just Go By Bike

A podcast by Paul Krantz (MA Digital Journalism) produced as part of the module Media Production with lecturer Clarisse Cossais.

“I met Damien Cahen in Hokkaido, Japan in March of 2020. I was taking a short break from my work in South Korea and he was taking a short break from his bicycle, which he had ridden from Paris — across Europe and most of Asia before hopping on a short flight from Vietnam to Japan. I was fascinated by his stories from the road, and we easily shared some hours talking about his recent cycling experiences.     

“Nearly a year later, after Damien had returned home to Paris and I had moved to Berlin, I interviewed Damien via Zoom and asked him to recount some of the interesting moments from his trip. In our conversation Damien recounted the most memorable parts of his journey: from discovering a rich and welcoming culture in Iran, to crossing the Pamir mountains in central Asia, to quarantining for a month in Mexico.

“Through all of his stories, one point came up again and again — that to experience the richness of the world traveling on the ground is far superior to catching a flight.”

PC: Damien Cahen (instagram: @damgc)

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A podcast by Sonia Chien, Lamyae Lasfar, Volha Khomich, Annette Nöstlinger, and Ole Wetjen (MA Digital Journalism) produced as part of the module Media Production with lecturer Clarisse Cossais.

Berlin is known as one of Europe’s most progressive capitals. That, however, doesn’t mean that everyone is taken care of. Berlin hosts 10.000 homeless people, that’s over 20% of all homeless people in Germany.

Through this audio report, we wanted to find out how one experiences life on the streets of Berlin, what the city is doing to tackle homelessness and which solutions are already there. The report was produced in December 2020, pre-Covid, therefore the impact of the virus on the life of homeless people has not been reported upon.

We talked to Alex, who has lived on the streets for two years now. “What would help me would be entertainment, I need distraction (…) I’m trapped in my head all the time,” he said sitting under a bridge at Wedding’s Hansaplatz, while explaining why he avoids the capital’s shelters.

Every week a group of volunteers – from the organization Berliner Obdachlosenhilfe – gathers in Wedding to provide people with food, clothes, and a warm conversation. We met Alex through the organization and talked to its volunteers who, through their weekly encounters, know the population well and call upon the city to start acting up.

The magazine ‘Arts of the Working Class’ is one of those who have done so. The magazine is sold by homeless people as equal partners. Its online editor, Hallie Frost, explained that the magazine’s goal is to provide people with a wage, instead of being dependent on charity. “Our main goal is to redistribute economic wealth,” she said.

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