My priority during Berlin journey was my workshop within Emergent Berlin festival. I named it REconnect, symbolically. Emergent Berlin, a two-day festival initiated by social center Baumhaus, included series of events and activities related to urban sustainable culture in Wedding neighborhood.
As soon as I arrived in Berlin, settled at Igor’s place, I contacted Scott (organizer). Scott referred to Moe since my workshop had been suggested to be at Moe’s place. The first thing I did in Berlin – I went to Wedding to find Moe’s place. I was still dazed after around 24 hours of traveling and a short nap at Igor’s place while heading towards S-Bahn Ostkreuz where I will catch a train to Wedding. Did I mention that ability to orient myself in space is not so brilliant? And I hate buying tickets from the machine – Gosh, I’m so anxious with this! So, adventure called Coping with my insecurities, started! Yes!
Of course, everything was fine. Moe’s place was exactly where he explained it will be. I found a building at Gerichtstrasse 60, rang at black door plate Hoodzilla, climb the stairs and entered the apartment. Moe’s place is actually his apartment which he rearranged to look like a club. There was good music playing and he showed me the biggest room which they planned for the workshop. Walls were black and at the ceiling, there was a disco ball. I noticed wooden machine gun hanging on the wall – question mark started rising in my head!
My first impressions of Moe were that he is pleasant, stylish, urban, good looking man in his 40’s with a boyish smile. He seemed peaceful and cosmopolitan person so I couldn’t connect machine gun with him. Boyish thing? Did I mention that the name of his place was (still is): Bitch Wedding? Cute, but not very good for psychological workshop:). REconnect at Bitch Wedding, haha:D. REconnect yo bitch at wedding…. Oops, imagination started unfolding.
Moe used to be a successful businessman, running his own company. After he lost a job and series of unfortunate events in his life, he was devastated. He was even suicidal. Sudden negative changes in our lives can break us, even destroy us. I’m glad it didn’t destroy him. He was back on his feet and decided that he won’t regret anymore for what he had lost but keep moving. He is using his apartment for a small tattoo shop and organizes other things as well. As I understood, this is something like a transition period to him. I think that he is still exploring in which direction he will develop himself.
Moe is his Facebook name and he could represent all the ones who are in transition – people who lived in a totally different era or circumstances, who lost something precious, including themselves, and who are finding and composing themselves again. Rare ones go even beyond, by transcending themselves and this is where true grow is happening. This story reminds me on the myth of the Phoenix – to die and to be born again from your own ashes. Isn’t this something happening to all of us soon or later, in this way or another – from the tiny deaths and tiny resurrections to the great deaths and great resurrections? Although it is so easy to write about it as a common human destiny, while it is happening to a concrete human soul, it is painful and it needs a lot of strength and courage to pass through the transitional process. In my mind and heart, I am with all Moes of this world.
Also, his story has been just first in the line to come; life stories which will confirm legacy of the era we live in – era of uncertainty and existential insecurity. Issues with (un)employment have been often light motive in conversation with the people I talked with – along with issues with refugees and serious political crisis Europe is facing. A lot of people whom I met in Berlin came there from different countries in order to seek for job or engagement opportunities. Did I mention that this was one of my motives as well? Of course, I could only dream about a job with my ‘inadequate’ citizenship; freelance engagement could be feasible, though.
Moe was really helpful. He showed me neighborhood and area where the festival will take place. On the way, we put several posters announcing my workshop. In one moment, I was splashed with totality of impressions – I was absorbing with all my senses: people passing by in the street, flavor of the approaching autumn, Moe’s words in the air, my poster on the wall; flashes of events that brought me there and awareness of the new experiences that will come – all this was in one.
I felt so easy, so full. I was ready.
On my way back to Igor’s place, I stopped by to a bar in Ostkreuz that drew my attention. I wanted to have a beer and enjoy impressions. It could be one of the alternative places I wanted to discover while in Berlin. Bingo! This was also a place where I met Louise.
I entered the place, to explore a bit, to see if I would feel like staying there or not. At the bar, there was a guy with a hat, so alike the actor William Mapother (from Another earth). OK, I took a beer and sit outside in the garden. I noticed a black girl sitting at another table alone reading a book…
To be continued… Read more about my impressions and thoughts related to Berlin journey soon!