It is almost November.
Berlin is fascinating.
A city to which everyone is welcome. I have been welcome here for four weeks now. On the streets it is as likely that you will hear a foreign language as it is to hear German. Berlin has the image of being the city of opportunities for contemporary artist in all fields; fine arts, music or dance. Many of us migrate from abroad to find work in this city that unfortunately, I feel, has already been filled/packed with young emerging artists. Berlin is no longer the city of opportunities. Yes, it is cheap, and yes, there is lots to do (maybe to much), but if you want to earn a living from your work, be prepared for a competition that might take a while to win.
Another fascinating thing about Berlin is how the history is still very present. It is possible that my obsession with it is the reason for this statement. But only by biking through the city it is possible to see the difference between former East and West Berlin. The typical Soviet block building, prefabricated or panel apartment houses, however one wants to call them, they are still just around the corner from Alexanderplatz. The Wall appears unexpectedly every once in a while on my rides through the city, with or without monuments. Even the traffic light symbols for pedestrians that are different in East and West are a constant reminder of the 27 year division of the city.
After talking to a few of those who have lived here for 20 years or more it is clear that the division still exists. Not just from a visual, architectural aspect, but it also seems to be a constant curiosity among those who are older than 25-30 years; "which side are you from?".
Unlike Armenia, where I spent the summer doing another project, Germany and Berlin has moved on in a fast tempo. You can still find Russians in Karlshorst and abandoned military bases that haven't been renovated yet. Armenia, on the other hand, is still completely dependent on Russia, mainly import of food and gas but likewise is the Armenian defense.
I question the tempo of the equalization between East and West. Who is in charge? Is it even necessary? How fast is it going here in Berlin and when, if ever, will the two sides be equal in a social sense?