A collage of two photos of the moon against a blue background.

Looking at the moon, twice

Gabriela Gordillo is an artist, born in Mexico City and living and working since 2015 in Linz, Austria. In this piece, she reflects on the work that her father has undertaken for many years, since her adolescence — taking photographs of the moon — and juxtaposes it with her thoughts about Minute/Year, a durational sound-based installation artwork by Kata Kovács and Tom O’Doherty.

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Text Reads Lesen am See

Lesen am See #2: COVEN BERLIN reads the YEAR OF THE BOG

with: Zinzi Buchanan, COVEN BERLIN, Inky Lee, Daniela Medina Poch, and Meghna Singh
NEW DATE: Sunday 4th of September at 6:00 pm (we will be there swimming at the beach from 4pm on! If you want to join, bring 3 euros and a towel 🙂

Address: Strandbad Tegelsee /Zentrum für Kultur und Erholung Schwarzer Weg 95, 13505 Berlin
Hosted by: Neue Nachbarschaft Moabit and Moabit Mountain College

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A closeup of a massive circle of black ink, cratered and three-dimensional, with metallic silver highlights and dust on thick grained white paper. Written in pencil above it is: The clock is always wrong.

Wart Paintings

Begun in 2021, Wart Paintings is an ongoing series that is part of an ever-growing body of warts Johanna Hedva has been cultivating for years. Mysterious, recalcitrant, and oddly sentient, warts testify to an animist reality, antagonizing our belief in individual agency by forcing us to negotiate with and relate emotionally to an inanimate foreign body embedded in our own. An old wives’ tale states that warts will leave the body if you simply ask them to, as if they are listening. There is a relationship there—what is it?

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Google Street View, Image collage, Sonnenallee, Berlin. Excerpts from: Artist unknown, Freya and her Cat Chariot, 1886; Fresco of Edigna in the Linden, c. 1800, St. Sebastian in Puch Kirche.

Unter den Linden

I turned the laundry hamper upside down, shaking the quivering body into the planter. A rat, fugitive found in the bathroom of my shared flat, tumbled into the mess of cigarette butts and weeds growing near the trunk of the tree that separated the sidewalk from the parked cars. I’m sorry, I thought, following the rat’s ecstasy as she fled to the faintly fissured gray bark. I couldn’t find a wild place to bring you. A siren howled, blue and white light lit up the underside of the branches that graced the first floor of the apartment building where I took shelter.

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pink text reads "axe pulse" on a green, furry background.

AXE PULSE

Adolescence is nothing if not an endless series of paradoxes. As a teenager you spend your days with packs of people, and yet often feel utterly isolated. You’re carving your own identity, yet are indelibly shaped by the influences around you. It’s excruciating, and magical, and formative, with highs and lows that are as devastating as they are delirious.

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It is a small swamp in Grunewald on a sunny day. The picture was taken from slightly above. There is an area covered with the thick high grass in the middle of the image. One can distinguish separate plants on the first plan. Behind this area, more to the upper right and left corners of the image are green deciduous trees.

Unmeasurable Falling

The first time I stepped into marsh water was when I was about 7. One of the first sunny days in early May. My friend’s family took me along with them to the reservoir. We were all neighbors living in the same street on the outskirts, and in the summer all the kids were biking there quite often. But at that time we probably were yet too young to go there by ourselves.

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This is a photo that is out of focus. It captures a small section of a wall where there are what appears to be family photos hanging.

The Art of (Not) Forgetting – photographing memories as a way to resist censorship

In my project “The Art of (Not) Forgetting”, which began in February 2021, around 4 months after the start of the protests in Belarus, I tried to use storytelling and photography as a means of opposing the regime of the last European dictator: Alexander Lukashenko. The idea that brought me to address these issues was prompted by the situation I was observing in my country since August 2020. During massive rallies against the rigged presidential election, one of the symbols used by the opposition was the white-red-white flag that refers to the period of an independent Belarus and dates back to 1918. Very soon the regime declared this combination was “extremist” and eventually banned. People wearing clothes, scarves, bracelets, and even socks with the “wrong” colors were detained, fined, and given prison sentences.

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An image of birch trees in a forest. On the closest tree, a squarish red area is visible. In the middle of the area is a small oval black and white portrait.

Forest that Cares – on Belarus, Partisans, and Thicket We Can Learn A Lot From

Human culture, people’s beliefs and behaviors are shaped by the natural environment we live in. Climate defines our diets and clothing habits, but certainly the most intricate interactions occur at deeper levels – deserts or jungles, the closeness to big waters or high mountains determine the way we perceive ourselves and others and feel about this strange thing called “life”.

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The End is Not an Option: Carrier Bags and the Rhythm of the Bog

I’ve spent a lot of the last years in bogland – literal and metaphysical. For six years I obsessively returned to a river in Lancashire, (U.K.). I spent most of my time on top of the peat fells (big swathes of high altitude, boggy moorland with flat tops), looking for the source of small rivers that swell out of the wetland and spill down the cracks they make in the hillsides.

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A glitchy image, with black ,peach, grey, red, and blue shattered pixels, which seems to have originally been a selfie-style photo of someone's lower body and feet in the bathtub

It Glitches at the Sight of Our Nipples

Day to day, I write and organize projects about the digital commons — where groups of people with aligned goals build systems of digital communication and information that they rely on and steward together. Like a community garden, but we dig our hands into signals, scatter bits and pixels so they grow into something meaningful. Platform co-operatives, community networks, digital research and cultural archives, Free and Open Source projects, are just some examples.

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Two people sit at a desk outdoors in front of a gallery, in warm evening summer light. On the left is Anisha, a brownskinned person with long dark hair wearing a pink shirt and skirt and smiling. The other person is Schwarzrund, a Black person with curly black hair, wearing a long black floral dress and talking into a microphone.

A Conversation on Care

‘A Conversation on Care’ was the official name of the talk SchwarzRund and I gave in Summer 2021, as part of COVEN BERLIN’s event “an invitation to sink in to the bog.” Watching it back though, I realise that another title could have been ‘A long overdue catch up between friends who are always keen to work together, could forever talk to each other, but don’t always have the energy to do so.’

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A surreal watercolour painting of a black sky, red sea, and green creatures. Many planets seem to rise in the sky, and there appear to be gohsts and amoebas coming out of the sea.

Poem 1, 2, 3

Poems by Inky Lee.

I knew of an asian man. His body was small and he was going blind. He quit his office job and was training to become a masseur – to see with his hands while his eyes cease to see. He was a devout christian and was known to pray for many hours every day. People called him a holy man. One time, I went to his place to get a massage. After the massage, he prayed for me. As I was about to leave, he smirked and told me to never bring a black man home because that would make my mother go into a long fast.

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shiny 3D letters fall through space, reading "bogside down part 1" 19-21 November, covenberlin.com/bogside-down-part-1/ , Jennifer Mehigan, CHASCHA collectiv, Feminist Healthcare Research Group.

bogside down part 1

November 19-21 2021

at feldfünf e.V.
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 7-8
10969 Berlin

and online

A few nights in a friend’s apartment, a Zoom support group, a Telegram chat that share free hormones: these are the bogs of queer commons some of us rely on. In an upside down hyper-capitalist world, COVEN BERLIN welcomes you to bogside down part 1: a weekend of discussion and workshops looking at the alternative structures that support us when the outside world can’t or refuses to.

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A soft, blurry, circular, geometric pattern of blue and white

Initiation.

This is the story of my arrival to Berlin.

1. The setting. (Separation) t is spring 2019, and I have just moved to Berlin. I am filled with excitement and curiosity to rediscover the city I was born in, but that I haven’t lived in since I was a toddler. I am still able to romanticise the U-bahn and the fact that I sleep in a bare room on a shitty mattress. It suits the coming of age narrative I created in my head. The 30 days I spent here so far have been full of encounters and activities, as if I made it my goal to explore each facet of the city as fast as possible.

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A black and white ink drawing of barren plants surrounded by a thin, wiggly border

soul death in a digital dating app

Have you ever walked into a room on a warm evening and noticed an unpleasant odor? So unpleasant and complicated that it is visible to the naked eye?

I haven’t smoked for two months, yet I wake up every day with an acid taste in my mouth. The bitterness that I reflect to others mirrors the bitterness within me. It’s a bitterness so rich with associations, so raw and complicated.

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A bird's eye view of where the river Tietê, São Paulo used to be, and is now is dried and filled with cars, appearing to have been abandoned in the middle of a traffic jam. Green trees and bushes grow above many car tops, between concrete walls.

I try to remember and all I can taste is earth.

I am writing this days after the Ahr river flooded in the west of Germany, killing 184 people.* The pictures, a friend says, look photoshopped, as they show me how to move the cursor from right to left, displaying the before and after scenes. All I can think is ‘less green.’ The same friend tells me of the flooding of the Elbe river that happened in 2002, and that it was Eurocentrically named “the flood of the century” (Jahrhundert Flut). After all, most floods of this century have not covered European soil. The broken banks are presented as a governmental failure to predict, re-inforce, and secure. Control measures failed and Germany’s immunity to climate disaster has been torn a little, despite the appearance of success. The holy see it as a message from God, the capitalists call it a time for harder intervention and more capable management, and time travellers say, as with every so-called year, this is the year of the bog.

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An image of a social distancing messaging sticker in the Berlin subway. The decal features 3 corgis in outline, indicating the appropriate distance.

Touch As In

During a time that transmuted touch into a mere theoretical, that differentially and differently affected the people around me, I felt an impulse to gather together—an attempt at a grand, unified theory of the sensory, particularly of touch.

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An image of 5 stylized flames on a red glitter background. The flames are next to one another in the middle of the frame, and are in a left to right gradient from black to light blue.

Five Stages of Heat

While the five stages of grief can be a useful tool for understanding your emotions after loss, the five stages of heat is a useful companion BEFORE making a big change, because it can help you understand why you feel equal parts hot and bothered.

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Photo collage by Bard. It consists of three images, each with a bright blue frame. Two of them are selfies, one of his body in shorts and t-shirt lying on a bed, and one of his face also lying on a bed. The third image is a comic of a bear and a man kissing.

Hot or Not? 2

I’m 33 but my face is 2 years old. No, I haven’t had a face-swap surgery like in that Nic Cage movie. I’m just a trans guy enjoying the magical touch of Testosterone.

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Screenshot of babygrow/onesie designs.

How to Boil an Egg

With long talons on feet and fingers and scruffy thick hair, we move slowly. Fluidly, awkwardly, heavily. We survive a heatwave, extremities doubling and then tripling in size, itching and prickling, I run them under cool water for relief.

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An image of Megan Fox from Jennifer's Body projected on a white curtain, with flames across the bottom of the screen and "come home, steamy love" in yellow text across the bottom.

Fiery Swallowed Rage

I’m laying down in a fetal position, knocked out by pain. Saliva drips from my mouth and I’m on the verge of passing out. I’ve taken a mix of random painkillers and they’re finally hitting. The pain stops; I have a mini orgasm.

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A diptych of two images of plants coming through concrete. On the left side, a purple pansy comes up through a crack in a cement sidewalk, pictured from the side, with the sidewalk edge at a diagonal across the screen with street asphalt visible in front. On the right, A small treelike plant comes up through a hole in a concrete sidewalk, next to a metal grille gate surrounding an enclosed area and some garbage cans. The edge of the sidewalk and the edge of the gate from the first and second images meet at a point in the middle of the composition.

Normality

During the Corona time, I have been hearing the word “Normalität” almost daily in the news: the eagerness to return to “normality.” The following poem is a small glimpse of my normality.

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