February 24 marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. One year of bombing, violence, fear, cold, schools destroyed and families torn apart. One agonizingly long year of war in Europe. As the anniversary approaches, commemorative events will be held throughout Berlin: commemoration instead of indifference, hope instead of fear and solidarity in the face of a great challenge. These demonstrations, rallies and events take place in Berlin:
Ruined tank in front of the Russian Embassy
On Friday, Berlin museum director Enno Lenze plans to set up a ruined Russian tank from Ukraine directly in front of the Russian embassy in Mitte as an act of protest. The wreck is to remain in front of the embassy building for the entire weekend. The campaign was preceded by a months-long legal dispute between the organizers and the Mitte district office, which initially did not want to approve the unusual exhibition.
- Russian Embassy, through the weekend, more details
ANTIwar Comedy Show: Charity standup in English
Comedy has long been a weapon of resistance, stripping the aggressor of his self-seriousness and recognizing the absurdity of war. Space Meduza in Kreuzberg is holding a charity standup show this weekend to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. Tickets can be booked in advance for free, and donations can be made on-site: all proceeds will be donated to Voices of Children and United Help Ukraine. Other comedy shows related to the Ukraine war also take place this weekend.
- ANTIwar comedy show February 23, 20:30-22:30, Space Meduza, Skalitzer Str. 80, Kreuzberg, in English, more information here
Rallies and demonstrations at the Brandenburg Gate
Rallies and demonstrations are expected throughout the city, but especially around the Brandenburg Gate and the government district. On February 24, “peace train for Ukraine and worldwide” will start at 12 noon at Alexanderplatz and then move towards the Reichstag. According to a police spokeswoman, 5,000 participants are expected. From 13:00, 4,500 people are expected to attend a rally at the Brandenburg Gate. At 19:00, the Ukrainian ambassador Oleksii Makeiev will speak together with the mayor, Franziska Giffey at the Brandenburg Gate.
At 18:30, the Brandenburg Gate will be lit in the colors of Ukraine. Many cities have joined the initiative: Warsaw, Prague, London, Budapest, Madrid, Brussels, Paris, Tokyo and Buenos Aires are also taking part.
- “Peace train for Ukraine and worldwide” Alexanderplatz to Reichstag, 12:00, other events throughout the day
Café Moscow becomes Café Kyiv
The legendary Café Moscow on Karl-Marx-Allee will be temporarily renamed Café Kyiv from February 24 to 27. The 1960s DDR café was intended to foster connections with the Soviet Union. On the anniversary of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the building will be painted in blue and yellow – Ukraine’s national colors. On February 24 there will be a protest march against the Russian attack starting at Café Kyiv. The march’s motto? “Don’t accept the outrageous”.
Numerous personalities from science, politics, culture and civil society will join the rally – which anyone is free to join. Head to Café Kyiv at noon to hear speeches on solidarity before the march sets off across Berlin to the Brandenburg Gate. This is where the final rally with several speakers and a video message from the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will take place.
- Café Moscow, Karl-Marx-Allee 34, Friedrichshain, 16:00, details
Program at Café Kyiv
On February 27, come to the temporarily-renamed Café Kyiv and spend the whole day discussing different aspects of Ukraine: It’s about society, security, reconstruction and the country’s role in the European family. High-level panel discussions will take place, along with a wide range of workshops, cultural offerings and networking opportunities. One of the organisers, Kristin Wesemann, says that the renaming to Café Kyiv should send a clear signal that Kyiv is closer than Moscow.
The rooms at Café Kyiv are named after different Ukrainian cities that are all experience the effects of war. In the Lviv room, for example, you’ll find a pop-up market where numerous fashion and jewelry designers, artists, DJs and initiatives from Ukraine present themselves and offer workshops. Donations will be collected for humanitarian and medical purposes. Visitors are given the opportunity to get to know the Ukrainian creative scene and culture. More details.
The Odesa room is all about food. Specialties from Ukrainian restaurants like Marone will be offered, along with cakes and tarts from Sznezhana Oz, a very talented confectioner from Ukraine. In addition, you’ll find Ukrainian cuisine specialties from “Ukraine Aid Berlin” as well as food from “Taste of Samarkand“, which has had a street food stand in the Kulturbrauerei every Sunday since last year.
In the Bakhchysarai room, the G.ART gallery presents the art project Hardened. The Ukrainian Phenomenon, dedicated to Ukrainian women, who have endured many historical times of crisis. Other exhibitions are Charkiv: Fragments of Resistance, the photo exhibition Airlift and the VR station Wounded Culture. Another VR presentation will be offered in the Chernigiv area: War Up Close is a virtual reality project in which 360° panorama shots impressively convey the destruction in Ukraine.
- Café Kyiv Karl-Marx-Allee 34, Friedrichshain, February 24-27, further information and program here
Daganda: Benefit concert at Holzmarkt
Holzmarkt invites you to a Polish-Ukrainian concert on February 24 to commemorate the victims, show support and express solidarity in the struggle of Ukrainians for their freedom and values.
The artist, Daganda, has long been internationally active. The band started 15 years ago at a workshop in Kraków, and have been fusing elements of Polish and Ukrainian culture with jazz, electronics, roots and pop ever since. With their music, the four band members try to blur borders and build bridges, especially between the neighboring countries of Poland and Ukraine. There will also be an exhibition of works by the Ukrainian artist Maria Prymachenko in the foyer.
- Benefit concert with Daganda, February 24, 19:00, Holzmarkt, Holzmarktstraße 25, Friedrichshain, more information here
Ukraine.Resilience: Berlin Photo Exhibition
On February 24, there will also be an exhibition entitled Ukraine. Resilience – a crowdfunding project designed to highlight the remarkable strength and resilience of Ukrainians. The aim is to showcase the country’s struggles and triumphs, the steadfast efforts of the people and the creative paths they have taken against all odds. Special guest of the event: DJ Frolov with a live performance of “Kolyskova”.
- Ukraine.Resilience February 24, from 18:00, Room 48 Gallery, Zossener Straße 48, Kreuzberg, further information and tickets here
Stay United 2023
As part of the Stay United series, the Deutsches Theater invites you to a three-part series of events. Together with Deutsches Theater ensemble members, Ukrainian artists will present readings and musical performances that attempt to take stock of the war, one year later.
- Stay United 2023 Deutsches Theater, Schumannstraße 13a, Mitte, Hotel Continental, Elsenstraße 87, Treptow, more information here
#1: Thu February 23, Hall & Thu March 2, 2023 Hotel Continental
#2: Thu February 23 March, Hall & Thurs March 30, Hotel Continental
#3: Thurs April 27, Hall & Thurs May 4, Hotel Continental
Art is a Weapon: Ukrainian contemporary art festival
Art is a method of resistance and a means to uphold the dignity of the Ukrainian people. That’s the philosophy behind Art is a Weapon! – Berlin’s own contemporary Ukrainian art festival. Performances, paintings and music will be presented to oppose and educate against the invasion.
- Art is a weapon! 25 – 26 February, 12 – 8 p.m., Alte Münze/Molkenmarkt, Mitte, tickets 19.20 euros
Nation Code: Berlin’s Ukrainian cultural festival
Nation Code, a Ukrainian arts festival, promotes Ukrainian art and artists now living in Berlin. During the festival, creative works will be shown and cultural bridges will be built between Ukrainian artists and the world art community. Program items include performances by Ukrainian, German, French, Australian and American musicians, as well as an art exhibition with works by well-known Ukrainian painters. Traditional Ukrainian food and drink will also be available.
- Nation code February 26, 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Hotel Aquino Conference Center, Hannoversche Str. 5b, Mitte, further information here