Podcast Archive

MINI MAEDEL: TREATS FOR ROMY

Mini Podcast Summary:

We all have fond memories of the food we loved to eat as a child whether it was a speciality cooked often by your grandmother, a rare treat or in Romy Klecker’s case, anything sweet.

Romy was born in the small town of Görlitz on the Polish-German border eight years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Sweet treats, such as chocolate were a rarity, but Romy’s experiences with food from the West before and after the fall of the wall, left her with a life-long sweet tooth, as the Mädels discovered.

This podcast was initially made for the Third Coast Audio Festival ShortDocs Challenge, sponsored this year by the James Beard Foundation — an organisation that celebrates, nurtures, and preserves diverse culinary heritages through awards, education, and outreach. The theme of the competition was appetite.

Links:

  • Tam’s raising money for LiNK, an organisation devoted to the North Korean human rights and humanitarian crises. LiNK also provides protection and aid to North Korean refugees hiding in China. If you would like to donate, please click here!

Music:

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THE EAST SIDE GALLERY PROTEST

Podcast summary:

In 1987, Ronald Reagan stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate and demanded that the Berlin Wall be torn down. Twenty-three years later, Berliners demanded that it stay put. When word got out on social networking sites that part of the East Side Gallery, one of the last remaining segments of the barrier that once divided East and West Berlin for 28 years before it was torn down, would be dismantled, Berliners took to the streets to prevent the destruction. Following a weekend of protest and public fury, the East Side Gallery, which is adorned with murals painted by more than 100 artists from around the world in the spring of 1990, was saved — for now. We’ve tried our best to document the confusing course of events and to dissect what the East Side Gallery means to people. Let us know if we’ve missed anything!

If you’d like to see photos of the East Side Gallery protest on Friday, head over to our Facebook page

If you’d like to see photos of the East Side Gallery from 2007, 2010, and from the Sunday protests, head back on over to our Facebook page!

Links:

Music: 

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MINI MAEDEL: THE TATORT PHENOMENON

Mini Podcast Summary:

Germany’s favourite “whodunnit” TV show Tatort (crime scene) has had viewers hooked for over 30 years. Every Sunday evening at 8:15 pm, Germans and foreigners alike love nothing better than to gather in their local bar to watch various fictional dectectives solve fictional crimes in a different German, Swiss or Austrian city each week. The show can often be cheesy (that theme music!) but it’s always entertaining.

The Mädels head down to a local bar to find out what makes people want to watch this hugely popular TV show with a bunch of strangers and wonder whether it’s a uniquely German phenomenon.

Music:

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DUTCH BERLIN FOR BERLIN STORIES FOR NPR:

Podcast Summary:

We are excited to announce our first podcast made in collaboration with Berlin Stories for NPR. Thanks so much to Berlin Stories founders, Anna Winger and Gisela Williams.

In this podcast, we checked out the Dutch expat scene in Berlin. We wanted to know why they came to Berlin, because, let’s be honest, there are some pretty cool cities in the Netherlands! We discovered that they came for many of the same reasons we did: affordable rents, the intriguing history, the promise of jobs, and of course, that certain Berlin vibe.

We talked to Tim De Witt a freelance radio journalist, Janine de Haan a nurse in a senior’s home, Edial Dekker the founder of online start-up Gidsy,  and Mathieu Sneep head of EMEA Sales at SponsorPay.

They talked to us about why they live in Berlin, how it differs from back home, and a little bit about bikes and cheese…

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MINI MAEDEL: THE RIXDORF CHRISTMAS MARKET

Mini podcast summary:

Darkness and cold has descended upon Berlin. The city is blanketed in snow and fairy lights adorn the trees. Yes, it’s winter again. But one of the lovely things about the Berlin and German winter is the season of Christmas markets. This year the Mädels bring you the sights, sounds and history of the Old Rixdorf Christmas Market. For just one weekend during the advent season, the Rixdorf Christmas market draws people from all over the city with its mixture of traditional crafts, entertainment and, of course, glühwein (German mulled wine).

To see images of the Christmas market, head over to our Facebook photo album.

Links:

Wonky Video of the Oberschlesische Volkstrachtengruppe zu Berlin:

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MINI MAEDEL: CHESS BOXING – THE SPORT OF KINGS AND QUEENS

Mini Podcast Summary:

On a rainy summer evening in Berlin, crowds gathered outside the Platoon Kunsthalle in Prenzlauerberg to find out who would become Germany’s smartest tough guy at the Fourth Berlin Chess Boxing Championship. But what is chess boxing? What are its origins and what draws people to the niche sport? The Mädels interview chess-boxing founder Iepe Rubingh and chess-boxing addict Tim Woolgar and bring you sounds from the fight night in their latest podcast dedicated to the thinking person’s sport.

To see images of the event, head over to our Facebook photo album.

Heartbeat courtesy of soundbyterfreesounds on Soundcloud.

Links:

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MINI MAEDEL: REFUGEE CAMP BERLIN

Mini podcast summary:

If you’ve taken a stroll down Unter den Linden towards the Brandenburg Gate lately, you may have noticed a large group of protesters, and an even larger group of police on Pariser Platz.

Many of the protesters are asylum seekers who marched 600 km from Würzburg to fight for their dignity, better living conditions, and faster processing of  their asylum applications. Currently, most of them are  just waiting to hear back from the authorities about their asylum claims, a process that can leave many in an uncomfortable state of limbo for years. Some of the protesters are on hunger strike and have been braving winter temperatures and rain to have their voices heard by politicians in the nearby German parliament. The police have removed sleeping bags, blankets and a first aid tent, saying that the protesters have a permit to demonstrate but not to camp.

The Mädels headed down to Pariser Platz to see what was going on and talk to those involved.

To see photos of the refugee camp, check out our facebook album here.

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MINI MAEDEL: SPREEPARK

Mini podcast summary:

Spreepark is the place to go in Berlin for urban explorers. Once a popular GDR amusement park, then a privatized post-GDR fledgling amusement park and now an abandoned and creepy amusement park covered in overgrown foliage and trees, it’s the perfect place to explore. Located in Plänterwald just beside Treptower Park, toppled dinosaurs, a 45-metre high ferris wheel that blows eerily in the wind, and ghostly abandoned fun park villages greet those who dare to hop over the fence.

However, for two weeks in July, Spreepark opened its doors to the public with a small festival. Rides, games, and ice-cream stands spotted the grounds inside the splintered fence, and the park’s old Santa Fe Express train took visitors on a tour of the former funfair, giving them a chance to check out the abandoned and crumbling amusements.

As it turns out that the story behind the park, its collapse into bankruptcy, and the destruction of the family who owned it, is much sadder than the remnants of this once beloved place.

Check out our facebook album for pics of the park or our youtube video for a small clip of the Santa Fe Express.

Websites:

Music:

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MINI MAEDEL: DECADENCE AND DOOM IN WEIMAR BERLIN

Mini Podcast Summary:

Against a backdrop of political unrest, hyperinflation, and extreme poverty; artists, writers, scientists and intellectuals flocked to Berlin to take in its decadent nightlife. The cabaret bar was where it all took place, and English novelist Christopher Isherwood was the perfect observer. The mädels went on a walking tour around Nollendorfplatz with Cabaret Berlin’s Brendan Nash and learned all about Isherwood’s neighbourhood and the roaring twenties in Berlin.

Check out our facebook album for pics of Isherwood’s neighbourhood.

Websites:

  • Cabaret Berlin by Brendan Nash. His website is a wealth of information about the Weimar era and its entertainers. He also posts information about his upcoming tours on the site, so keep your eyes peeled and check one out! They’re lots of fun and come highly recommended. (follow Brendan on twitter here)

Music (all music for this episode is available on archive.org):

  • Mackie Messer – Lotte Lenya
  • Ich bin die fesche Lola – Marlene Dietrich
  • Wat braucht der Berliner um glücklich zu sein? – Claire Waldoff
  • Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin – Marlene Dietrich

Books:

  • Christopher and his Kind – Christopher Isherwood
  • Goodbye to Berlin – Christopher Isherwood
  • Mr. Norris Changes Trains – Christopher Isherwood

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MINI MAEDEL: SLOWLYMPICS

Mini Podcast Summary:

While team Great Britain was winning Olympic gold at the London Olympics, Berlin was hosting its own athletic event, the Slowlympics. 18 teams battled it out against each other to be crowned slowest of the slow, and silliest of the silliest. The mädels spoke to organizer and Slow Travel Berlin founder Paul Sullivan, as well as a number of participating, slovenly teams.

To look at photos from the event, check our our facebook album here.

To check out Slow Travel Berlin’s official Slowlympics post, head on overe here.

For some even better photos, check out the facebook album of local photographer Maia Beyrouti.

Music: 

  • Chariots of Fire – Vangelis

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MINI MAEDEL: CLUB MATE

Mini Podcast Summary:

Club Mate is probably Berlin’s most famous soft drink. Its distinctive taste and extremely high caffeine content makes it the drink of choice for everyone from hipsters to techies to all-night partiers. You either love it, or you hate it, but either way, you haven’t been to Berlin if you haven’t tried Club Mate. And of course, there are those of us who grow to love it.

The mädels talk to a variety of people about what makes Club Mate so special.

Music:

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MINI MAEDEL – THE BONE CHURCH

Mini Podcast Summary:

For this mini mädel, we headed to Prague, and took a little day trip to Sedlec, a suburb of the town Kutná Hora. Sedlec is famous for a very strange and morbid reason: it’s home to the bone church, an ossuary decorated with the bones of approximately 40,000 human skeletons. They’re arranged in columns, pyramids, as chandeliers, and as a coat of arms. It truly was a bizarre trip. Listen to the podcast to find out more about the history of the church, an our experiences there.

A special shout out goes to Jonathan Dowler, who correctly guessed the location of this podcast based on a picture we posted on Facebook and won a mention in our podcast! Congrats Jonathan!

Want to see more photos? Follow this link to our Facebook photo album.

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PROTESTS IN BERLIN

Podcast Summary:

Berlin is a city of protests. Not a weekend goes by when there isn’t some kind of demonstration against something or other, especially in the spring and summer when the weather’s nice and warm, and perfect for a good old-fashioned march down the street whilst chanting and swinging banners. For this podcast, we picked three protests, which we feel encapsulate the feeling and current atmosphere in Berlin.

First, we headed to Tacheles, a well known artist house in Mitte. The building has gone through many incarnations. It was once a commercial center, then a prisoner-of-war camp, then it was left to decay during the period of Germany’s division, and since the fall of the wall, has been taken over by artists who have used the space as a series of studios. The building is very well known, both nationally and internationally, by both tourists and artists. The protests surrounding Tacheles are connected to gentrification and the city’s lack of support for artists and squatters’ rights. Plans are in the works to kick the artists out, and turn the building back into a commercial center. If this happens, the only thing that will remain is the name, everything else will be gone. We spoke with the spokesperson for Tacheles, Linda Cerna about the future of Tacheles, and current campaigns (such as a letter-writing and the “I Support Tacheles” projects) to save the building. We also spoke with the Belarusian artist Alexander Rodin, whose paintings were recently confiscated and allegedly destroyed by hired security guards who forced their way into his studio and kicked him out of his own space for six months. During this time, he had no access to his paintings, paints, sketchbooks etc… He says that some of his works of art were urinated on.

Second, we attended Berlin’s famous annual May Day festival/protest in Kreuzberg. May Day, which takes place on May 1st every year is also known as International Workers’ Day. The protest started back in the 1880’s with workers fighting for an eight hour work day. Rosa Luxemburg, one of Berlin’s famous left- wing activists, famously said about May 1st, “As long as the struggle of the workers against the bourgeoisie and the ruling class continues, as long as all demands are not met, May Day will be the yearly expression of these demands.” We spent the day wandering Kreuzberg, bopping our heads along to the music, and spoke with a few protesters about why they were there, and why they think it’s important to take part in the protests despite the cheerful festival feeling.

Finally, we headed along to an Anti-Nazi protest in Neukölln/Rudow. We spoke with Kate Davison, an Australian and a member of Die Linke. She told us her opinion on why Anti-Nazi protests are important, and why people should attend them. She also spoke about the arrival new right-wing populist parties in Germany. We spoke with Günther Brettschneider, a German who has been living in Neukölln for 30 years and who has spent much of his life protesting against the NPD (National Partei Deutschland) and far right parties. He believes that the NPD should be banned. He is a member of the Marxistisch – Leninistische Partei Deutschland (Marxist-Leninist Party Germany), and feels as though Nazi groups have been targeting leftist parties like his, and have been for years.

We learned a lot, walked a lot, and talked to some interesting people. Keep on protesting!

Want to see more photos? Follow this link to our Facebook photo album.

Music:

  • I’m a Better Anarchist than You by David Rovics
  • Tunisia 2011 by David Rovics
  • Burn it Down by David Rovics

Articles:

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MINI MAEDEL – TROLL 2

Mini Podcast  Summary:

A couple of weeks ago, the Mädels went to see “Troll 2” (1990) and the accompanying documentary about the film called “Best Worst Movie” (2009) organized by Thom Cummings through activities booker Gidsy.

Troll 2 is a very special movie. It’s kind of difficult to describe to someone who hasn’t seen it, but basically, it’s about a family who vacations in a town called Nilbog. The town is inhabited by vegetarian goblins (not trolls, which is one of the very weird things about the film), who want to turn the family into plants so that they can eat them. The goblins are seemingly lead by a witch who is a descendant of the druids of stonehenge. The goblins look like normal people at first, and only sometimes reveal their true, hilariously bad, form.

Joshua, the son and youngest child in the family, is visited by his recently deceased Grandfather who warns him about the goblins and helps him try to defeat them.

The movie is awful, but in a really great and sincere way. It’s clear that the director and the actors wanted to make, and believed they were making, a really great movie. That’s what’s so endearing about it and why it’s gained such a huge cult following.

There are public screenings of the movie all over the US and around the world, as the documentary shows. Fans dress up as their favourite characters and wear homemade t-shirts. The documentary beautifully portrays the people behind the characters, their hopes, dreams, and where they are now. It was made by Michael Stephenson who played Joshua in the film, and revolves mostly around George Hardy who played the father in the film, and who is a small town dentist with a larger -than-life character and heart. Hardy spends most of the film traveling to Troll 2 events with other cast members, reenacting scenes, and loving every second of it. He seems equal parts baffled and amused by the cult following.

Claudio Fragasso, the hot-tempered Italian director of Troll 2, on the other hand, really believes Troll 2 is a great film. The documentary shows him getting upset when people laugh in the wrong places (which is pretty much everywhere).

Apart from trying to find out about the actors who are behind the film, “Best Worst Movie” also tries to discover why people love it so much. We agree with the documentary in that the sincerity behind the film is what makes it loveable, but it’s also, absolutely ridiculous.

Special thanks to Marco Hamersma who has now appeared in his third mini mädel! Congrats Marco!

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JOBS IN BERLIN

Podcast  Summary:

The Mädels have a theory, and that theory is that when it comes to expats, there is a typical shared experience of working in the city. They generally don’t come because they have a job, they come because they love the city, or someone in the city. They don’t speak the language and often end up working odd jobs to make ends meet.

But the Mädels believe that these expats aren’t defined by their jobs. They’re defined by what they do outside of their jobs. Their creative projects, blogs, music etc… are what defines them, and what keeps them going.

The Mädels interviewed five people who were at various stages in their Berlin working life, from the inexperienced, to the experienced.

Music:

  • 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton
  • Black Eyes – Florian Hermann (performed by Lauren de Lasti)
  • Sous le ciel de Paris – Hubert Giraud (performed by Lauren de Lasti)
  • Flight of the Bumblebee – Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Jesu Bleibet Meine Freude – J.S. Bach (performed by Tam Eastley on the keyboard)
  • Minuet – J.S. Bach (performed by Tam Eastley on the keyboard)

Blogs:

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MINI MAEDEL – ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE

Mini Podcast Summary:

The Mädels celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Berlin at the second annual parade at Spreewald Platz in Kreuzberg.

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MINI MAEDEL – PUB QUIZ NEUKOELLN

Mini Podcast Summary:

Mini Mädel (a mädels with a microphone short) about Sameheads’ famous Neukölln pub quiz. There was laugher, there were tears, and in the end we lost.

Music:

  • Blockbusters – Max Tundra (find it here on Soundcloud)
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LOVE IN BERLIN

Podcast Summary:

Berlin is known as a city of singles. But is it really? Jen and Tam take a look at relationships and the single life in the city. The Mädels go veggie speed dating, peruse the BVG’s missed connections site, Meine Augenblicke, and talk to Berlin couples.

Music: 

  • Baby I Love Your Way – Bob Marley
  • Anyone Else But You – Moldy Peaches
  • La Dispute – Yann Tiersen (Performed by Tam Eastley on the keyboard)
  • Comptine D’un Autre Ete: L’Apres-Midi – Yann Tiersen (Performed by Tam Eastley on the keyboard)

Books: 

  • Extract from Russian Disco by Wladimir Kaminer
  • Poem to Lille from Felice from Aimee and Jaguar by Erica Fischer

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A VERY BERLIN CHRISTMAS

Podcast Summary: 

Jen and Tam celebrate the festive season in Berlin by heading to the organic Christmas market in Prenzlaurberg. They talk food, gift-giving, the history of Christmas and German traditions all while partaking in a spot of Glühwein.

Music:

  • The Embassy Singers (a Berlin-based chamber choir)
  • Mistletoe and Wine – Cliff Richard
  • All I Want for Christmas – Mariah Carey
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas – Performed by Weezer

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BERLIN GHOST STORIES

Podcast Summary:

Join Jen and Tam, the Mädels With a Microphone, as they explore haunted Berlin. First the Mädels hit the streets to discover what Berliners think of ghosts. Then it’s onto the grounds of the old Berlin city palace near Alexanderplatz to find the ghost of the White Lady who has haunted the Hohenzollern royal family for hundreds of years. Finally the Mädels go to Oranienburger Strasse to place a penny in the ghost wall and ask the children who haunt it to grant them a wish.

Music:

  • Schwarz zu Blau – Peter Fox
  • Scary Ass Music – marilynmansonrocks (find it here on SoundCloud)
  • Mystic Forest – KOLDMusic (available on Jamendo)
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