I had an overdose of live performances at Berlin Festival last weekend, so I’m pretty glad that this week’s dominating events promise to be a bit tamer.
Top of the list is, of course, the Litfest, and taking centre stage at that is Canadian author Yann Martel (photo: Fri, Sept 17 @ Babylon Mitte). Almost a decade after winning the Booker, he has finally followed Life of Pi up with another animal-fuelled novel, Beatrice and Virgil... but this time it’s about the Holocaust. The reviews have been drastically mixed, either loving it or hating it, so it's worth going to the reading to make up your own mind. Beatrice and Virgil is a mere 224 pages long, so you never know – Martel might even get through the whole thing!
Aside from that, there are plenty of other literary events to check out from poetry slams (Fri, Sept 17 @ C-Club), workshops with the bestselling kids' writer Trenton Lee Stewart (Sat, Sept 18 @ Die gelbe Villa) and a chance to meet Icelandic author (and Björk songwriter) Sjón (Sun, Sept 19 @ Deutsches Theater).
I tend to filter out a lot of art exhibitions in Berlin having been disappointed on many occasions with banal displays. How and ever, I’m prepared to make an acception for Willem de Rooij's Intolerance (Fri, Sept 17 @ Neue Nationalgalerie)p. It’s the odd combination of modern 3D sculptures, animal subjects based on those of the 17th-century Dutch painter Melchior de Hondecoeter and Hawaiian ceremonial objects from the 1700s all coming together to create a point about global trade that’s got me so intrigued. The exhibition runs until early next year, so there’s no need to fret if you miss it this weekend.
On the partying front, things are set to be a rockin’ and a rollin’ with the city's second official Roller Derby match (Sat, Sept 18 @ Arena/Badeschiff). So that means two teams of indie girls skating super-fast while trying to knock over the opposing team. I envisage it as a sort of catfight on wheels – how amusing that would be. And, of course, there’s an after-party...
Elsewhere this weekend, Barnes Dance (Fri, Sept 17 -19 @ Sophiensaele), a dance based on pedestrian intersection chaos, sounds like random brilliance. If you’re in pursuit of a harder party, Duck Down Records (Fri, Sept 17 @ Bohannon) presents Coney Island rapper Torae, with Canadian producer Marco Polo and Ruste Juxx.
Tschüss life, tschüss to party.