Posts Tagged ‘Inspiring


A Triestiner: Claudio Magris

Italian author Claudio Magris (Source: dpa)Magris spent most of his life living near the Iron Curtain

Italian author Claudio Magris has been awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade on Sunday. DW spoke with the literary giant about war, peace, the Cold War and the troubles between China and the West.

On Sunday, Claudio Magris receive the Peace Prize, awarded annually for the efforts of artists and scholars to overcome hatred. A native of Trieste, he is a retired professor of German literature who writes essays and novels. He had a brief political career as a Left Alliance senator in Rome for Trieste from 1994 to 1996.

His selection in June for the prize brought renewed interest in his philosophical ideas and incisive writing, and revived speculation that he was in line for the Nobel Prize for Literature. However some German arts commentators criticized the choice, saying his enthusiastic vision of European unity was out of date at a time when many EU citizens are bored with European Union politics and nationalism is rampant again.

Deutsche Welle: Claudio Magris, this weekend you’ll be awarded the 2009 Peace Prize at the Frankfurt Book Fair, let’s talk about peace and war. War plays a big role in your works. Do we have to accept war as a part of our lives?

Claudio Magris: No. Of course there are different kinds of war, not just war where bombs are dropped. There are wars in everyday life – latent wars. There are two dangers. Firstly, that people think that war is unavoidable, that it’s part of life. On the other hand, the false optimism that people think that in our world progress has eliminated wars like immunization has eliminated smallpox. This is a danger, because to fight a disease – and war is a disease – you have to know the disease. You also have to unfortunately be aware of how serious it is and how probable it is that another war will break out.

You’ve mentioned different types of wars, the Cold War, for instance. In Europe we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. You come from Trieste, one of the places where east met west. You were on the border during the Cold War. How did you experience the end of communism and how Europe grew together?

First of all it was a big surprise for all of us. Nobody could believe in September 1989 that the Berlin Wall would fall so quickly. I couldn’t have imagined it. Even people who were active in bringing down the wall, I talked with some of them, and right up until the day before they never believed that the wall would fall. And they were fighting for this to happen. This is a danger that we blindly believe. We believe that the reality and the situation we are currently in today can never change. This border that was impregnable up until the end – the Iron Curtain – was close to my house. I lived in the center of Trieste, but it’s a small city, so I always felt that someone in spirit I was on the other side of the border. Not on a political level, but because these regions were divided for absurd reasons. Today we have other barriers; invisible, social barriers. Ethnic barriers within our towns that we can’t or don’t want to see. So the borders are still there. Continue reading ‘A Triestiner: Claudio Magris’


Thomas Demand


When I visited the MOMA in NYC the most striking experience I took away with me were the photographs by Thomas Demand. He photographs interiors, sometimes even landscapes. The trick is, they are entirely made by paper, by Demand himself.

Now the Neue Nationalsgalerie hosts an exhibition which is unmissable. I am really looking forward to visiting it. Check the Monocle article




One year ago BerlinRomExpress was born, on a hot Roman evening. Time goes by, many events have unfold since then. The Crisis. The total disappearance of the Palast der Republik in Berlin and the appearance of a big green meadow. The Macro opening postponement in Rome. And so on.

We took this picture 2 years ago, during our holiday in Berlin in August 2007. Would it be crazy, we thought, to consider Berlin like our home away from home?

Continue reading ‘BlogPalast!’


Menkes sees green shoots in Berlin

It was a pleasure today to discover in the International Herald Tribune an article about Berlin, not covering politics, or elections, but…fashion. The occasion was the Bread and Butter fashion show at Tempelhof.

Suzy Menkes writes about Berlin. You’ve been warned! In the same page of the online newspaper “Haute faces uncertain times” and news on the Lacroix tears. The energetic, maybe confused, but definitely vital and vivid green shoots of a new era? Maybe some shoots are still very green…but Michael Sontag does things I’d love to wear tomorrow, between a meeting, a plane and an aperitivo at the Astor Lounge.


“How long will it be before Berlin comes up with designers whose creativity has a unique voice?” asks Menkes…probably a while according to Joop (“Berlin has good productions, good red carpets, good parties, better hangovers, but the fashion still needs some work.”). But maybe we’re at a turning point, and times are ripe to “distill that powerful German aesthetic”…

Berlin raw energy

  • PermalinBBy SUZY MENKESBerlin raw energy
by Suzy Menkes
Published: July 6, 2009

BERLIN — Scattered slabs of concrete, still daubed with their original graffiti, are pertinent reminders that 2009 marks 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. But the cultural revolution that came with the fusion of the city’s East and West is even more visible as arty photographs in smart spaces, music pulsating from abandoned government buildings and fashion that reflects this hot, hip and happening city. Continue reading ‘Menkes sees green shoots in Berlin’


moscow: crimson red (continued)

CIMG0275The weather we had in Moscow is exactly today’s weather in Rome. Blue sky, sun, fresh wind, late-spring temperatures bordering on “cold” in the evening. The Triest weather, without the sea.

The reds of the Red Square were particularly bright under such light and made the recent “PEMOHT” or “remont” (refurbishment of buildings) even more shiny.

MeinMann was in Moscow for a long week, myself for just a weekend, so my comments will not stretch far. Just a bit of color on the surface of things. Continue reading ‘moscow: crimson red (continued)’


teasing you about Berlin (and Rome)

A very packed week, but filled with interesting meetings and impromptu social clips and plenty of food of thought beyond the bread and butter rat-race…witty discussions, clever views, that’s one of the pleasures of Rome in June: friends but also business partners flock to Rome and make it more exciting!

It’s  friday night. The Monocle copy is under my arm. This one is a gift by an Aficionado (or addicted, just like us) to both the magazine and Berlin. So even more appreciated! The weekend starts and a light breeze is mitigating the baking-oven heat. The groceries will be delivered on our doorstep by the e-shop. Jazzanova is spinning the records. Perfect…


We are going to take it easy in Rome, which is something quite unheard of for locals during the week. We morph in tourists for the weekend, and like them, we are not commuting to Tuscany in tight air-conditioned car-sauros wearing Tod’s loafers but rather seize the best of Rome in Birkenstock style. We’ll be spotting the first cinema en plein air venues, and we planned brunches in the shade for today and tomorrow.

Friends in Berlin and London: please send us a bit of proper rain showers and we’ll give you plenty of sun we can part with. Reading the morning papers in yet another good cappuccino place with the metallic smell of dust being moist by the first fat drops of rain is a pleasure in the summer.

And yes, we are reading this issue’s Editorial by Tyler Brulé, “Observation” with a connoisseur’s smile…in August we’ll be at our buen retiro in Berlin…can’t wait…

So here we are, teasing you with the preface and a nice illustration from the Editorial, tempting you to discover why Brulé is now observing “love at the second glance” Berlin…

“What would win your heart – an alluring first impression or a tempting parting glance? For Tyler Brûlé it was the latter that had him dreaming of relocating the Monocle team to Berlin and bagging a summer retreat”.

Source: picture and quote = Monocle

berlin: pink pink pink!


So this is my first Pfingstein in Berlin. Pink pink pink Berlin. My friends in the Bezirk had told me: “you’ll see, pink is the colour of the year in the Schöneberg balconies”. It is indeed…and also, Pfingstrosen (peonies) were marvellous…they are my favourite flowers.

Schöneberg in bloom. Flowers are 1 month back with respect to Italy. It was like going back in time. Orange-blossoms filled the fresh breeze along the Volkspark. Rabbits had family brunches close to the Rathaus pond.


A nice photography vernissage on Uhlandstrasse. Checking out a brand new Leckerei in the Kiez, on a quiet spot on Grünewaldstrasse…


A couple of trips to my favourite flea market. A cappuccino in each of my local cafés. Nice dinners with friends during the long sunsets in Schöneberg and Kaffee-Kuchen is SO36…in the middle of quite violent late-spring showers.


The kerbs in Berlin seem to have engaged in fierce competition…roses in Goltzstrasse, in Nolle blankets of tender-green Linden leaves…


Shop-keepers and restaurateurs do their best to have clients stopping by…


Everybody is working hard sprucing up, decorating, making that window display nicer…or even making a dull wall look nicer…(Berliners know a thing or two about dull walls).


Florists treat the street as a part of their lives not as a convenient place where to dump stuff…trees lining the streets have all sort of plants making them company.

Oh I love Berlin! Public space is something everybody cherishes and takes care of and this makes the town splendid and civilized…like the nice pond in front of home.


Tschüss pink Berlin…gotta go to Paris for work…

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