Letter from the Editors: 9th May 2024



Tonight (Thursday) in the Jockel Biergarten, Berlin Queers Against Racism and Colonialism (QuARC) are organising a film screening and talk on the subject Boycott Eurovision. Join us for a screening of John Greyson ’s surrealist camp docu-opera about BDS, pinkwashing, and gay penguins: PHOTO BOOTH. Outraged by the 2021 bombing of Gaza, Palestinian queer activists Hamza (Sam Al Esai) and Walid (Ramzi Zain) recruit novelist Jean Genet (John Gilbert) to sabotage the Eurovision song contest in Jericho. Their method? Secure the collaboration of Buddy and Pedro, Toronto’s famous naked gay penguins… 🎤 We will begin with a short talk about why LGBTQIA+ groups around the world are calling for a boycott of Eurovision. Doors open at 6.30pm. The film starts at 7.

Also this evening, theleftberlin is showing the film about Climate Change, Capitalism and Resistance in India. Join us to watch a short film (~ 20 minutes) that highlights the situation of refugees directly affected by climate change in the Sundarban region of India (and Bangladesh). We will also get to hear from Parimal Bhattacharya, author of the book ‘Field Notes from a Waterborne Land’ followed by a discussion. The film starts at 7pm at Café Karanfil, Weisestraße 3.

On Saturday evening, it’s Palivision, an  an evening of live music, spoken word performances and speeches. Palivision is an evening of culture for people in Berlin who want to observe the Eurovision boycott. Join us at Al Hamra in Prenzlauer Berg to see 12 live acts and 6 speakers from organisations working for solidarity with Palestine. Doors open at 6pm – the venue is relatively small, so come early to be sure of a place. The first act will take the stage at 7pm. All money raised at PALIVISION will be donated to the European Legal Support Centre to help their fight against the repression of Palestinians and their supporters in Germany. Palivision is our Campaign of the Week.

If you can’t get in, we are planning to livestream Palivision. More information on the Event page soon.

On Sunday, theleftberlin is organising the world premiers of the walking tour The Red Island in Schöneberg. The Red Island is a 33-hectare triangle in Schöneberg surrounded by train tracks. The steel skeleton of the Gasometer towers above the neighborhood. Once, up to 30,000 people lived here in tenements — today, it’s more like 10,000. “Red” might have once referred to red-brick military barracks next door. But the Island was also a socialist and communist stronghold. The train tracks created something of a fortress, and even after 1933, the Nazis had great difficulties establishing a foothold here. The tour starts at 2pm at Ella-Barowsky-Straße 68, behind the Shell gas station on Sachsendamm (S-Bhf Schöneberg). It will end two hours later near Yorckstraße.

On Sunday, it’s our latest Palestine Reading Group, where we’ll be discussing Emile Habiby’s novel The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist You can find the selected reading here. The Palestine Reading Group takes place every week, on either Friday or Sunday. Check the page of Events we organise for the coming dates and discussion topics. If you’d like to get more involved in the group, you can join our Telegram group and follow the channel Reading group. The Reading Group starts at 7pm, and there is a meeting for Moderators at 6.30pm open to everyone who’s interested.

Finally, a couple of recommendations from the programme of Sinema Transtopia, a transnational space for film culture, art, knowledge and community, creating a bridge between urban space and film as cultural practice. On Tuesday at 7pm, there’s Motoshinkakarannu, a film about the right to memory and autonomy of lands and bodies. And on Wednesday at 8pm you can see Fala da Terra (Voice of the Earth) and Para Onde Voam as Feiticeiras (Southern Sorceress) about communal solidarity in Brazil. Sinema Transtopia takes place in Lindowerstraße 20/22, Haus C in Wedding.

There is much more going on in Berlin this week. To find out what’s happening, go to our Events page. You can also see a shorter, but more detailed list of events in which we are directly involved here.

If you are looking for Resources on Palestine, we have set up a page with useful links. We will be continually updating the page, so if you would like to recommend other links, please contact us on team@theleftberlin.com. You can also find all the reading from our Palestine Reading Groups here. You can also visit the Palestine film evening every Wednesday at 8.30pm in Al Hamra. The title of the film is usually released too late for us to name it in this Newsletter, but you can stay informed by following Al Hamra on Instagram and facebook.

In News from Berlin, Berlin has a new transport secretary, and mayor Kai Wegner pushes for a fence around Görlitzer Park “as soon as possible”.

In News from Germany, suspects for the attack on an SPD politician are identified but not arrested, security errors mean that Bundeswehr meetings were available online, AfD on trial for being a confirmed right-wing extremist organisation, Greens and ver.di push for a €15 minimum wage, and study shows a correlation between racism and the risk of poverty.

Read all about it in this week’s News from Berlin and Germany.

New on theleftberlin we have an Open Letter to support artist Candice Breitz, Maria Kofalka looks at increased repression against Palestine activists in Germany, while Roser Garí Pérez reports on the eviction of the Camp for Gaza outside the Bundestag. Steven Klett in the USA and Florian Marchais in France report on the campus protests for Palestine in their respective countries. Sarah Adler interviews Yerachmiel Sneiderman, Adi Liraz, and Eliana Pliskin about their artistic project tackling historic German antisemitism and reactions to the bombing of Gaza, Ilya Kharkow recollects a nightmare, momo looks at the forthcoming elections in India, and we interview Zohar Chamberlain Regev, one of the organisers of the Freedom Flotilla which is currently headed for Gaza.

This week’s Video of the Week is a new video from Macklemore which references the current protests for Palestine on US Campuses (see report on theleftberlin this week). Because of the usual YouTube censorship, the age limit for this video is age-limited and we cannot include it in this Newsletter. Follow the link to view it at source.

For a video which is closer to home, here’s some footage of the camp for Gaza at the FU. The University authorities immediately called in the police.

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If you would like to contribute any articles or have any questions or criticisms about our work, please contact us at team@theleftberlin.com. And please do encourage your friends to subscribe to this Newsletter.

Keep on fighting,

The Left Berlin Editorial Board