• Formats

    The Berliner Gazette e.V. ties together different media formats: the nonprofit and nonpartisan association publishes the berlinergazette.de as an independent and non-commercial medium, organizes symposia, launches initiatives, edits anthologies and offers seminars.

    All of these formats are highly permeable and allow dialogues, with the Berliner Gazette e.V. acting as a facilitator, creating conditions for participation, communication and the formation of publicity. Along these lines the formats become both technical and discoursive tools.

    The formats as tools, allow a heterogeneous group of people to digest their experiences, views and problems and to put them in a wider context. In this way anyone can get actively involved in the major debates of our time and influence them. That means: the formats of the Berliner Gazette e.V. are not only made for media users, but also, in a high degree, by them.

  • Feuilleton

    At the end of the 1990s, the cultural scene in Berlin had no platform on the Internet. First online projects had already failed, the commercialization of the Internet was progressing. Facing these conditions, Krystian Woznicki started a new publishing project. Its aim was to take both the social dynamics of the Internet and the idea of the classic feuilleton seriously (the culture section of the conventional newspaper). Thus, in July 1999, Woznicki founded, within the online community Kulturserver, the Berliner Gazette.

    At first, Woznicki’s project took the form of a weekly electronic newspaper: not a newsletter, but a weekly feuilleton in the form of an e-mail, delivered every Wednesday to its readers’ mailboxes. Choosing the content, the editorial staff followed guidelines still relevant today: turning readers into authors, while also inviting outsiders to become authors. In order to distribute the content, the staff also seeks synergies with various offline formats: symposiums, anthologies, etc. In this way, the network of the Berliner Gazette has continued to grow – leaving the physical boundaries of Berlin far behind.

    When in 2002 – after the crash of the new economy – the Internet was declared dead by many, the Berliner Gazette presented itself with an extended Web site. The staff launched Germany’s first collective blog and systematized their thematic work: the editors interview representatives of various sectors of cultural innovations ((sub-)politics, economy, technology, art, science) on annual focus themes and publish weekly protocols of these interviews. Be it “Work,” “Language,” “Time” or “Water” – the annual themes continue to question important issues of our time as the commons of the 21st century.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………..

    In the press:

    The voice of Post-Germany.
    Geert Lovink/fibreculture

    A new form of journalistic intervention.
    Christoph Dreher/Digital Spirit

    Smart selection of authors.
    Anne Heaming/fluter.de

  • Symposium

    Authors and editors of the Berliner Gazette get together at the symposiums. People who have met virtually are given the chance to gather and talk in a material space. Regarding the topics, the events are based on the annual theme of the digital mini-feuilleton. The two most important formats are: 1) The annual anniversary event (Gala) presents the contributors to the feuilleton of the Berliner Gazette from within the contexts of their primary profession: art, film, music, literature, etc. 2) The panel discussion enhances the annual theme of the Berliner Gazette’s feuilleton by inviting interviewees from various fields of work from different countries for discussions.

    In previous years, the Berliner Gazette e.V. organized more than 50 symposiums at locations on the independent cultural scene (Dr. Pong, filesharing, General Public, German Theater Abroad, Kim, NBI), 80 percent of which were realized without outside financial support. Between 30 and 300 guests attended the events without being charged admission. About 20 percent of the symposiums were realized in cooperation with the German Federal Cultural Foundation, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Italian Institute for Culture Berlin, Media Arts Lab/ Artist House Bethanien and transmediale. Among the locations that hosted the symposiums were Amerika Haus, Museum for Communication and the The House of World Cultures.

    Symposium, “Wir-Maschine ’68”, Amerika Haus, May 2008

  • Initiative

    The issues developed for the Berliner Gazette’s feuilleton take shape within an international network of cultural producers. In this way, specific needs are made visible and new forms of knowledge are created. Moreover, certain demands are voiced. But how can these needs, forms of knowledge and demands become politically effective? The initiatives of the Berliner Gazette e.V. are to be understood as movements of inquiry. The focus of those movements is the search for a political context, in which the annual theme of the Berliner Gazette’s feuilleton can unfold its whole potential, even overcoming the boundaries of established formats.

    The first initiative of the Berliner Gazette focused urban conflicts. In spring 2003, temporary embassies of the “Neue Republik Schwarzenberg” (“New Republic Schwarzenberg”) were installed in several parts of Berlin. The initiative was entitled “Temporäre Botschaften” (“Temporary Embassies”) and took place in the framework of the art project “Aktion Territorium Jetzt” (“Territory Now”). The initiative was provoked by the threat to clear “Haus Schwarzenberg”, one of the most important institutions of independent and alternative culture in Berlin. On the one hand, the initiative “Temporäre Botschaften” led to a debate on gentrification in Berlin, on the other hand it helped to develop a stronger awareness of the meaning of “Haus Schwarzenberg” in the cultural scene of Berlin. One result of the initiative: the concept of temporary embassies was institutionalized.

  • Anthology

    The anthologies, which have up to now been published by Krystian Woznicki, are editorially supervised by the editors of the Berliner Gazette. The purpose of the publications is to break new ground for the translation between “new” and “old” media. When working on the Berliner Gazette’s digital feuilleton, the aim is to translate the format of the newspaper into the language of digital-networked media, whereas the anthology’s aim is to translate the digital-networked media back into the printed word.

    Each anthology underlines two aspects: first, the accomplishments and importance of the printing tradition; secondly, the richness of digital-networked media. The book is a tangible archive of the contents of the Internet, reaching a public outside the digital world. The anthologies of the Berliner Gazette assemble, on the one hand, texts on specific annual themes – and thus serve as a documentation of these. On the other hand, the anthologies compile articles from different annual themes, to point out important aspects of writing digitally and in a network.

  • Seminar

    With the aim of offering its long-standing experiences systematically to others, the Berliner Gazette e.V. develops seminars on a regular basis. The imparting of media skills is of central concern. This means that the seminars are about both the operating mode of media and its contents as well as social dynamics. The audience of the Berliner Gazette Seminar are people who have no or little experiences with new media as well as prospective or rather young publicists, press spokespeople, copywriters but also cultural producers, who are interested in word-based mediamaking under digital-networked conditions.

    The Berliner Gazette Seminars consist of theoretical and practical classes which enable the students to take part in the work of the digital mini-feuilleton berlinergazette.de. The seminar program is based on a practical approach, ‘learning by doing’ and the acquisition of knowledge on par with the tutors. The participation in the seminar opens the access to a big network of people engaged in the cultural sector. Thus social sustainability is ensured.

    The Berliner Gazette Seminars are developed and realized in cooperation with cultural institutions, political foundations, consulting companies as well as universities. Previous partners include: Grips Theater, iq consult, Sophiensaele, Transient Spaces – The Tourist Syndrome.

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    Ein Jahr endet, das naechste beginnt. Eigentlich kein schlechter Zeitpunkt fuer einen Perspektivenwechsel. Doch das ist gar nicht so einfach heutzutage, meint Krystian Woznicki. weiterlesen »