Our Own Private Germany

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a group of squatters from East and West set out to build their own unified Germany. And, despite endless parties, questionable hygiene, and neo-Nazi turf wars, they pulled it off.

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Draw a straight line between Tel Aviv and Hebron, it's 68.5 kilometres long

That’s about the same as the distance between Berlin and Templin, or London and Brighton, or halfway from Manhattan to the Hamptons. Getting to Hebron from Tel Aviv by public transport takes about two hours via two stops, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and costs roughly 40 shekels, or 8 Euros. No passport controls are involved. You use the same currency and the same mobile operators.

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This is Youssef

His mother is deaf and a terrific cook. His father smuggles alcohol into Hebron and fills the backyard with things he finds in the street, with the vague idea of selling them at some point. Mostly they get stolen. 

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The first thing I noticed when I arrived at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport on Wednesday were the balloons

Everyone waiting at the arrivals gate seemed to have them. They were attached to prams and backpacks, tied around toddlers’ arms, and clustering on the ceiling. The usual atmosphere at airport arrival gates is hurried, impersonal, a sense of people very impatient to get away. At Ben Gurion, the arrivals gate felt like a big family gathering, as if every single person here had come to pick up much-loved relative who’d come to Israel for a wedding.

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The Germans

“The idea behind The Germans was to rethink society, to look at how society and things like work are changing,” Nicole Zepter explains, as her son Otto expertly disassembles his pretzel. “I wasn’t happy with the status quo and I’m not satisfied with German media. There’s no corrective, they’ve lost their credibility. We wanted to do it better.”

Published in Gym Class Mag n°10, November 2013. 

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Magazines as Identity Platforms

Magazines are artefacts: A presence in one's home, library, café hotel or meeting place. Increasingly, magazines have been using this power to expand their reach into the real world. 

Published in The Alpine Review n°1, Autumn/Winter 2012

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Recortes: The People's Bullfight

Everybody has at least heard of the Spanish bullfight, that pompous business of the ritualized killing of the animal by men in dazzling suits. It's a graceful, proud and fascinating spectacle, but it also comes with all the discomfort of watching an unfair fight. No matter how impressive the bull's performance, the game is forever rigged against him. Bullfighting is also an expensive and elitist affair: today's bullfighters marry into nobility, party with the Marbella jet set and are regular subjects of celebrity TV programmes. They're not "common people".

Published in HuffPost Books, August 9, 2012. 

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Ein Land wird kulturlos

Javier Bardem stahl natürlich allen die Schau. Als am 19. Juli mehr als 100.000 Beamte, Polizisten, Feuerwehrleute, Gewerkschaftler und andere Bürger in Spanien auf die Straße gingen , um gegen erneute Sozialkürzungen zu protestieren, da marschierte Bardem mit, zusammen mit seiner Mutter Pilar und seinem Bruder Carlos. Die Schauspielerfamilie sei wegen der Kürzungen dabei, sagte er, aber vor allem wegen der Mehrwertsteuererhöhung im Kultursektor. Diese sei "der Todesstoß für ein Kollektiv in der Krise" und "für den Zugang der Bevölkerung zur Kultur", zitierte ihn die Tageszeitung El Periódico .

Published in Zeit Online, July 24, 2012. 

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“Wenn du Glück hast, bekommst du einen Stier, der schnell und gerade läuft. Die langsamen Stiere, die sich schnell ablenken lassen oder faul sind, die sind nichts. Noch schlimmer sind die, die schlenkern, die überall hin gucken ausser da wo sie hin sollen. Die sind unberechenbar. Am allerschlimmsten aber sind die, von denen du glaubst dass sie gut sind weil sie schnell und gerade laufen, die dann aber im letzten Moment den Kopf hochreissen. Die Schlauen. Das sind die ‘hijos de puta’ – die Hurensöhne. Nein, du willst einen Stier, der schnell und gerade läuft, aber nicht zu viel im Kopf hat.” 

Published in FROH! magazine n°8, Spiel, May 2012.

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El catador de agua

En una tienda de Barcelona un hombre conoce más de cien sabores de agua. ¿Porqué al resto del mundo le sabe igual?

Published in Etiqueta Negra magazine, February 2012.

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