Editorial

Articles & commissioned pieces from most recent to oldies but goodies

 

How Tradition Meets Change

Commissioned by

Burum Collective - Excerpt - May 2021

Over the past 75 years, Berlin has undergone tremendous political and social change. The city that was once decimated by WWII and then divided by the Cold War and the Berlin Wall, has unified into a booming and fertile ground of possibilities, open to the world. Today, Berlin is the living definition of tradition and change. German heritage now faces the new, the foreign and the different. Beer, Germany’s distinct cultural symbol, is a definite example. The mere fact that a French Canadian now living in this inspiring city is writing about beer history in Berlin, says it all. In conversation with Marc-Oliver Huhnholz, press spokesman for the German Brewing Association, I take a closer look at the historical evolution of Berlin’s beer scene, from East to West and from before the fall of the Wall right up to now. It’s a complex and fascinating story that illustrates how Berlin’s beer traditions are the foundations for new ones to come.

 

A Journey with the Sun

Medium- Excerpt - May 2020

I remember my first day moving into my apartment in Berlin like if it was yesterday. I was lucky enough to even have a legit apartment upon arrival to begin with. A practically non-existent scenario. Got it through a good friend of mine who happened to move here. Although I had travelled to Berlin before, I had no clue if my apartment was well located or not. At this point, it was just a dot on the map. A little shoe box.

When people ask me which neighbourhood I’m in, I still don’t know what to answer. Sometimes, I say Schöneberg. Other times, I prefer saying Kreuzberg. Or Mitte. I’m right at the intersection of all three. My door is sandwiched between Rocket & Basil — a trendy coffee shop, and the entrance of an old dive bar, Kumpelnest 3000. Good looking youngsters and smokey transvestites. Some Russian casinos down the street and an Acne Studio. Prostitutes at the corner and Blain Southern gallery on the other. Ying and Yang.

One of the things I love most about Berlin is the size of its streets. The sidewalks are so big. Spacious. It gives me a sense of lightness under my feet. As if I’m floating. That day, I was strolling down the big sidewalk of my street heading to the park. Another thing I love. The parks. They are huge and everywhere. Even in the most unsuspected areas. It’s so green.

And so I came across a stand with a poster on it: Gallery Weekend exhibit. My eyes shifted and saw the door with ATM stencilled on its glass. A small art gallery. In a semi-basement. On my street. How neat.

 

Berlin Art exhibit in Corona mist

Medium- Excerpt - May 2020

I like to call it Corona mist. It makes our lives foggy and uncertain. As we put one foot in front of the other, who knows when the next turn will be. And titling it as such for this story adds a tat of irony as it was actually a beautiful sunny day (and the art was colourful and by no means misty). It was the weekend when the city of Berlin decided to open up its restaurants and galeries again. Despite it all, the show must go on. It was a Saturday.

The sun is shining, and people are thirsty for food, art and mingling. I get invited to join my sister and her boyfriend to a vernissage at König Galerie. The old St.Agnes church that was converted into a space for emerging and contemporary art. It’s one of my favorites. A vernissage during these particular times requires guest list, as only a few can enter at once. Mask on or mask off, that’s to ones discretion. Luckily, we qualified as friends and family since Flo knows the galerie’s technical director.

 

All You Need is Love and Big Brother Watching You

Commissioned by

The Warehouse Magazine - Excerpt - July 2010

(...) In Montreal, we live in a modern multicultural city where God Almighty isn’t necessarily the one to punish us anymore. With the fall of the Catholic Church and its grasping religion came the rise of Big Brother and its many eyes. In fact, Georges Orwell’s science fiction novel “1984” written over fifty years ago, about pervasive government surveillance and public mind control, strangely, or should I dare say, scarily predicted today’s society. And he’s not the only one. With the proliferation of surveillance cameras and undercover cops, our values and living styles are rapidly being molded into this controlled society where the private domain is now public property. Is this for the better or for the worse?
I enjoy people watching. All you need is a place to observe from and some sort of living world before you. I love to simply sit in a coffee shop somewhere and glance at the city’s infamous creatures; imagining their past lives and drawing out their future. As I was doing just so last week in a Starbucks on Ste- Catherine street, I witnessed something I’d never really seen before. Of course I’d notice it maybe a couple of times in some fictive moving image and on some random highway, but never would I have imagined it right there in front of me, on one of the busiest streets in Montreal.
A lady was double parked on the street with her blinkers on when a car drove up behind her. Suddenly a siren goes off. Walkers and drivers looking left and right were wondering where it was coming from. The lady finally realized that the vehicle behind her was actually a police car.
I guess I wasn’t the only one people watching... (...)

 

NÜ{Clear}er Rising Nation or The Over-baked Oven

Commissioned by

The Warehouse Magazine - Excerpt - June 2010

(...) Nuclear weapons. The first thing that comes to mind when I think about nuclear weapons is Mass Destruction and Death. Our nuclear age is a very controversial time, especially when you realize that nuclear weapons were first invented for safety, as nation-savers.
Nuclear weapons were used twice in history, both during wartime. Needless to say, it was by the United States. These bombings led to the end of World War II as well as the start of a war unlike any other. A war where intelligent information was used to counter the enemies’ plan and build arms as never before. It was a “cold war”. For forty-five years, the world was divided into a bipolar system where U.S.A., king of capitalism, and U.S.S.R., king of communism, played their pawns accordingly to conquer the planet. This period is also referred to as the Arms Race. It technically stands for a race between states, running to gain as many weapons as possible in order to become the superpower.
Today, nuclear weapons represent the biggest man made threat to life on Earth. It’s hard to keep something so powerful wrapped secretly in some foreign policy of containment. As if no other kid wanted to have dessert... If you play the game, I guess you got to play it fair and square. Money spreads; oil spreads... nuclear arms proliferate as well. Therefore the game evolved into what we could call a potential nuclear war. The ingredients for such a cake include economic strength, evilly-muted means and stronger, more numerous players. (...)