Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Britons in Berlin: An Exploration through the Senses

Poster image

An interactive online student-led project held by the Centre for British Studies

Britons in Berlin: An Exploration through the Senses is an interactive online project held by the Centre for British Studies of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The project is the second of this theme, taking over and expanding on last year’s online exhibition A Hundred Years of Britons in Berlin: From the Roaring 20s to the 2020s. Once again, the project will take place in an online format to limit the spread of COVID-19. The project is curated entirely by the students and will go live on 11th June 2021 at https://british-berlin.com/.

Berlin has long been known as a hub for artists looking for both inspiration and a place to call home, where they feel free to realise their creative potential. Over the years, the free, vibrant, and stimulating character of the city attracted creative minds from all over the world, including many from Britain. How did British artists experience the city? What influence did Berlin have on their art? How was Berlin represented in their works? To answer these questions, the exhibition looks at British artists’ experience in Berlin, as it was felt with all the senses. The overall time period covers the 1920s to the present day, with particular attention paid to the Weimar years, the Cold War, and Brexit.

The exhibition will be organised around the five senses. Five stations - Sight, Sight and Hearing, Hearing, Touch, and Smell and Taste are set up to trace British artists’ experience in Berlin through different sensations. These stations introduce the audience to British visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, cabaret performers, writers, as well as to the art they have created in response to their experience in Berlin. In addition to this, the exhibition traces how innovations in technology have contributed to the British artistic creation in Berlin throughout the decades.

On 11th June, at 6 pm, our website launch will be marked by an online film event with Barbara Loftus, an eminent figurative painter and film maker. Together we will stream and then discuss her film Across the Land and the Water (2018), in which she explores the lives of family members that she has seen only in photographs and narrates the story of their separation in Nazi Germany. Dr Barbara Wünnenberg, who has done extensive research on Mrs. Loftus' works, will join our student project manager in moderating the discussion that will follow the film projection. You are welcome to register for the event at https://forms.gle/Ci9argjYqmZpM6Vs7.

On 12th June, at 7 pm, we will have an online panel discussion with Drag artists based in Berlin. Our guests will be Alexa Spread, nosmo_the_king, and Le Pustra. We are looking forward to having an enlightening conversation about Berlin’s reputation for being an especially safe and open space for the LGBTQ+/Drag community and whether or not that is still justified. This includes speaking honestly about what the city is lacking and possible ways to improve it, as well as our guests sharing their experience of performing and living in Berlin. The discussion will take place via zoom, and will be streamed on social media as well. To receive the zoom invitation, please register here https://forms.gle/kxNJVtoGHCcuEThQ9.

The project’s website will contain audio and visual materials, as well as interactive activities for the audience. For additional information and the latest updates on the project please visit our website at https://british-berlin.com/. Don’t miss out and follow us on https://www.instagram.com/british_berlin/. Should you have any questions, please contact us at info@british-berlin.com.

Contact

Catherine Julie Smith
Großbritannien-Zentrum/Centre for British Studies
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
catherine.smith@staff.hu-berlin.de  
Tel.: +49 (0)30 2093 99040

Afruz Rustamzade
Großbritannien-Zentrum/Centre for British Studies
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
info@british-berlin.com