August 22, 2015

still around


Dear lovely Readers, I am still here. And then again. I am obviously not. And I miss this place and I miss you, I miss writing about studio life and I miss reading your comments and emails. A lot. I didn't hold a brush in almost three weeks. But this summer turns out to be very different, from what I had anticipated. We are still out there, trying our best to make the current refugee situation in Berlin, a little more human and respectful. Hundreds of helping hands from other volunteers do the same. What started out as the collection of donations, like clothes and toys, went over to chopping vegetables and buttering sandwiches, to a felt like million calls and emails, and much more organizational stuff. Ten to fifteen hours a day. And still, it doesn't seem enough. The stories we have been told over the last weeks, the people we have met, both of us in the Fishbowl are completely overwhelmed by them and we will have to take more than a moment to come to terms with our experiences. And as I have written before, I am not in it for the fame or to expose human beings in uncomfortable situations, I am simply in it, because I was raised to help people, who do need help. And because I am a strong believer in the fact, that all humans are worth the same. Therefore I barely have my camera with me. This is up for good photographers, who know what they are doing, but not for me. I am absolutely certain, that you'll understand, why you see only little snippets of my current routine; like a quick breakfast in front of the coumputer screen and such. And I know, you also understand me being around so little. Today I am taking a rest from all that is crashing in. And hopefully, the situation will soon be a lot better, so that everybody can go back to their ordinary lifes. For today, I am trying to enjoy this weekend. And wish you will do the same.





August 12, 2015

queen of colors

 

Unusual situations demand unusual solutions, as I have already written in my last post, our week has been very, very different. Therefore an even later Queen of Colors, than the sometimes already late ones. But we all simply have only so many hours in a day, right. Despite the regular errands and jobs that needed to be finished, everything was about donations, collections and organizing help. But we did also manage to pack in an afternoon BBQ with the husband's family, a fresh little art project on the window sill and a little dip with Emma, in the close by channel. Now we're already in the middle of another next week and all I can say is, we are exhausted. But also happy and determinded to push things a little further. Not forget to rest in between and to take in the great summer weather around here.

Greetings from the couch, chilled water and August peaches by my side.









August 09, 2015

refugees most welcome


On Thursday, well actually this is going on for months, but last week it became finally known to a wider public, it turned out that at least 500 people from Syria, Libya, Albania and many other countries, had been kind of stranded in front of the Office for Health and Social Affairs Berlin. Every refugee arriving in this city has to show up at this office to get registered and to receive help, with for example a place to sleep or to get food. An inevitable step, before properly being able to seek for asylum. The problem these days, it can take days, or even up to weeks, to get this simple number aka the appointment, which means that people who have fled horror, who are most likely traumatized and totally exhausted, that they have to wait in line for at least hours, if not days. Not daring to leave their spot; no food, not even water by their side. As the temperatures were rising, it became more and more obvious, that in the middle of my city, this bright and exciting Berlin, there is a humanitarian catastrope building up. As we couldn't bear even the thought of this, the husband and I decided to take action last Friday and we've opened the doors to the Fishbowl, asking the hood for donations of food, water bottles, kid's clothes, whatever our neighbors were able to give. What happened during that day, will stay with me for a long while. Within two hours the studio was filled with food, with clothes and toys, we had ice cream, tents and strollers. People were offering money and help. Others distributed the information about our collection point via social media or the papers. After only two hours, we had enough stuff to fill up two cars up to the max. Incredible. Berliners, you absolutely rock.

After everything was safely stored into the cars, we've made our way to the Office for Health and Social Affairs, only being awaiting by hundreds of like minded Berliners, who had already shown up with even more help, goods and men and women power. And by refugees, who haven't seen food, not to talk about ice cream or toys in quite a while. Within minutes, we gave out everything, heard "thank you" constantly and looked into faces so thankful, I don't even have words for it.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't do it for this pleasure, but because I am angry and shocked about the officials. I can't believe, how they couldn't see this coming and how little they are obviously willing to do something about it. I am angry about a horrible and inhuman discussion on who is a "real" refugee and if Germany is able to help them all. And about the so called "besorgte Bürger", claiming our social security is at danger. It is not. Forget it. And it is not the question. (There are quite a few blog collegues who have written impressive texts about this topic. If you are German speaking, you should have a look into their bright and intelligent thoughts: Minza will Sommer, Frau Meike or Kurzhaarschnitt). I trust my fellow Germans to be smart and emotional intelligent enough to understand, if someone needs help, you do exactly that. Help. 

Therefore, we have made space in our schedules and will be opening the doors tomorrow again.







August 04, 2015

queen of colors



Just when you're finally back on schedule, a nasty virus hits your devices and well, another week of silence around here. But this time, I am not complaining. It is alright. First, I was able to defeat the beast and second, it has been a good week anyway. Here is a random selection of last week's highlight; a little roadtrip to Brandenburg. A visit to beloved friends, an afternoon spent in their beautiful garden, a swim with Emma (no  pictures, because hell no, I am not going to risk aditional water damages to the mobile phone), great food, including the most delicious Pavolva (thank you husband!) and a sunset to dream about. It was a magical day and I am ready for more good things this week. Isn't summer a delight!