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FROM ISTANBUL TO BERLIN: HANDPICKED FASHION AND HOME DESIGN AT SOUQ DUKKAN

FROM ISTANBUL TO BERLIN: HANDPICKED FASHION AND HOME DESIGN AT SOUQ DUKKAN

Sited amongst quaint bars and restaurants in Kollwitzkiez is Souq Dukkan, a pretty, glass-fronted shop that is dedicated to curating design objects, fashion pieces and homeware items made by small artisans. Opened in September 2021, the store is the Berlin outpost of the Istanbul brand created by writer Yaprak Aras. Having worked for the likes of Vogue Turkey, Aras decided to switch focus in 2014 when she began selling vintage clothes in an Istanbul market. Out of this came the Souq project, whose aim is to give designers and brands a way to reach discerning design fans. Regular pop-ups, including at Soho House, followed before Aras opened up a shop of her own. We dropped by the Berlin store’s launch in September and were particularly intrigued by Krop Knives, a range of beautiful knives handmade by Istanbul-based craftsman Sinan Tansal (who, incidentally, is also a dentist and musician).

The knives feature handles made from all manner of recycled materials, from old skateboards to electronics and even used coffee beans. Other highlights in the collection include stunning ceramics by Istanbul-based Pinar Yegin, plates from Fil Ceramics from Bavaria, and dreamy dried flower arrangements by Berlin’s own Garden State Candles. Once you’ve picked out some pieces to give your home a fresh update, don’t forget to check out the shop’s organic wine collection. Cozy weekends at home: sorted!

Text: Rosie Gilmour / Photos: Dave Alcantara

Souq Dukkan, Kollwitzstr.54, 10405 Berlin–Prenzlauer Berg; map
Mon–Sat 11–19h

@souq.berlin

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TELLER STORIES: THE PODCAST FOR FOODIES — DISCOVERING ZERO-ALCOHOL LIQUOR AND MEAT-FREE FINE DINING

TELLER STORIES: THE PODCAST FOR FOODIES — DISCOVERING ZERO-ALCOHOL LIQUOR AND MEAT-FREE FINE DINING

Want to get a behind-the-curtain glimpse at Berlin’s food scene? If you haven’t already, it’s time to get Teller Stories into your podcast feed. This flavor-filled audio show is hosted by food critic Tina Hüttel and journalist Johannes Paetzold and produced in cooperation with Cee Cee. Episode #14 – out now on all podcast platforms – is all about food substitutes, including the full lowdown on fake meats, alcohol-free tipples and much more besides. We check out the Null Prozentzero-alcohol Späti which was a Cee Cee tip in 2020 and now is a shop in Bergmannkiez that sells everything from wine and Sekt to zero-percent gin, rum and vermouth. The shop is run by the drink specialists at Nüchtern (“Sober”), who also regularly host “Sober Editions” events including Home Bar, a workshop that shows you just how good alcohol-free cocktails can taste. As for meat alternatives, our one to watch is the cooperation between celebrity chef Tim Raue and Swiss start-up Planted. The plant-based food firm uses pea, sunflower and oat protein to create the herbivore-friendly meats on the menu of Raue’s Kreuzberg restaurant. Highlights include a “Peking duck” salad and “chicken” with Jerusalem artichoke, hazelnut and truffle. Worth a taste? We think so.

Text: Sophie Doering / Photos: Cottonbro

Teller Stories is on PodigeeSpotify and all major podcast platforms.
New episodes of the current season are released every Thursday.

@tellerstories

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MEET ME BY THE BAOBAB TREE: VEGAN COMFORT FOOD FROM GHANA AND HUNGARY, SERVED BERLIN STYLE

MEET ME BY THE BAOBAB TREE: VEGAN COMFORT FOOD FROM GHANA AND HUNGARY, SERVED BERLIN STYLE

No, they didn’t actually meet under a baobab tree. Victor Matekole, originally from Manchester, arrived in Berlin after stints in the Netherlands, France and Ukraine. It was here that he met Hungarian-born Györgyi Bòka at Adidas, where they both worked, and today they are married and live with their two sons. Their third baby is the restaurant Meet me by the Baobab tree, which opened in 2017. Although there aren’t that many baobab trees in Matekole’s parents’ homeland of Ghana, according to Ghanaian folk tales, the baobab is a place where people meet. It’s fitting for this spot on Wedding’s Soldiner Straße, where neighbors come to chat and eat, and a large space behind the dining room hosts concerts and events (when there’s not a lockdown, that is). The interior is lovingly designed and, like Wedding, is funky, creative and completely unpretentious.

The dishes originate only indirectly from West Africa: Matekole and Bòka were schooled on the cuisine by their Ghanaian neighbor in Berlin. Baobab serves many vegan and vegetarian dishes you’d find in Accra today like the authentic jollof with sweet potatoes and cassava which lend rich flavor and spice to the rice. Hungarian cuisine rounds out the menu, with cheesy scone-like Pogača breads. While Berlin is surely not the first place you’d think to go for African cuisine, things have improved a lot in the last five years, according to Matekole. And Baobab, close to the African quarter, is a welcome addition. Wedding reminds him of the city of Salford near Manchester: down-to-earth and residential. There are few frills at Baobab but it’s authentic, and like the baobab tree, it has put down healthy roots and is becoming an integral part of the neighborhood.

Text: Johannes Paetzold / Photos: Jonas Michel

For more culinary highlights in Wedding, check out Episode #13 of the Teller Stories podcast:

Meet me by the Baobab tree, Soldiner Str.41 13359 Berlin–Gesundbrunnen; map
Mon–Sat 12–19h, closed Sun

@meetmebythebaobabtree

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SOONER — STREAM FILM FESTIVAL FLICKS AND EUROPEAN ARTHOUSE FROM HOME

SOONER — STREAM FILM FESTIVAL FLICKS AND EUROPEAN ARTHOUSE FROM HOME

Need a break from the usual Netflix and Amazon Prime? Do you long for arthouse flicks, documentaries and film classics? Looking for hidden gems that educate as well as entertain? Enter alternative streaming portal Sooner, which gives you all this from the comfort of your own home. This collection of over 3500 titles includes 100 series and 600 documentaries including award-winning titles from Cannes, the Berlinale, Sundance and the Berlin Short Film Festival. Sample independent documentaries like “Water – In the Sights of the Financial Sharks” by French filmmaker Jérôme Fritel, who explores the increasing scarcity of drinking water, or “The Marriage Project”, in which the director of a psychiatric clinic near Tehran encourages the patients to marry each other.

The Berlin-based service’s founder Andreas Wildfang ran analog cinemas in the city before launching the platform in 2020. Since then, he has been on the lookout for films and programs that are beyond the mainstream, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ representation. The library includes collaborations with universities such as Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and the DFFB as well as theater and dance adaptations. Music is well represented too, with films such as “Punk the Capital: Building a Sound Movement” about 1970s punk subculture in Washington DC and 2015’s “Deutsche Pop Zustände”. Sound interesting? After signing up, you can try Sooner for free for a fortnight, and you can also rent and buy the films individually. Happy watching!

Text: Nike Wilhelms / Credit: Sooner / Stills: Luna / Photos: Lord of Water, Cottonbro

Sooner is available via web and on most major streaming devices.

@sooner.de

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PRUSSIAN COLONIALISM, POST-WAR REVOLUTIONS AND A GIANT DISCO BALL — BERLIN GLOBAL EXHIBITION AT THE HUMBOLDT FORUM

PRUSSIAN COLONIALISM, POST-WAR REVOLUTIONS AND A GIANT DISCO BALL — BERLIN GLOBAL EXHIBITION AT THE HUMBOLDT FORUM

By far the largest object you’ll encounter at the Berlin Global exhibition is a rusting, graffitied steel door. It is the preserved entryway of the 1990s Tresor nightclub, where young people from the East and West came together to party after the Wall came down. Both door and club were located in the vault of the abandoned Jewish-owned Wertheim department store – a place that was raided by the Nazis in 1938. This steel artifact serves as a perfect symbol for the whole exhibition. Opened to great fanfare in summer 2021 alongside the Humboldt Forum itself, this high-tech 4000-square-meter show takes you on a journey through Berlin at its best – and its worst. The subject matter becomes clear as soon as you enter the Forum: a giant floor-to-ceiling mural in the mezzanine shows in vivid color key images from Berlin’s history, from 18th-century colonial dominance to modern-day protestors seeking to end this enduring injustice.

The exhibition itself tells Berlin’s story through seven themes, each with its own room: Revolution, Free Space, Boundaries, Entertainment, War, Fashion and Interconnection. These are big, difficult subjects which could easily overwhelm, but here they’re made accessible and fun by the use of state-of-the-art multimedia. Interactive maps, playable DJ decks, video projections galore and even a giant disco ball make this less a history lesson and more a multi-sensory adventure. It’s a daring, forward-looking show that feels like an anomaly amid the stiff Prussian grandeur of the Humboldt Forum. But then where would Berlin be without its contrasts?

Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Anne Preussel & Oana Popa-Costea / Credit: Kulturprojekte Berlin und Stadtmuseum Berlin

Humboldt Forum, Schloßplatz, 10178 Berlin–Mitte; map
Wed–Mon 10–20h, Tue closed
Tickets for Berlin Global (€7 or free for concessions) can be booked online.

@humboldtforum

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