Making Plans with LOLA: 18.11 – 21.11

Our pick of this weekend’s cultural happenings

Words By Jonny Tiernan
Photos By Main image: Banana Island film still

Does anyone else hit 5pm these days and think “Oh look, it’s dark already, must get ready for bed!”? The short days are a bit of a pain, but you can add a little more light to your life by getting out and enjoying some of Berlin’s wonderful culture.

This weekend you can experience the power of short films, an illuminating Christmas audio/visuals installation, a huge multimedia art exhibition, an open and friendly kink party, and a rhapsodic performance in a church. Of course, Berlin has much more happening than we can cover in this roundup, but you can’t go wrong with these picks.


Interfilm 37th International Short Film Festival Berlin


Category: Film
Where: Various cinemas throughout Berlin
When: 16th-21st November
Admission: Varied

Do not make the mistake of thinking that the short film format means it is something that can be quickly and casually consumed with no real impact. The short film is not a response to our ever-decreasing attention spans, but rather it is a longstanding artform that affords space for experimentation, challenge, and the chance to discover something new.

The Interfilm Short Film Festival is now in its 37th year, which is impressive in and of itself. What is even more impressive is that it is still pushing its own boundaries as well as those of the short film format. For the first time ever, this year the curation of films was taken up by a programming commission rather than a single creative director. It’s not that the previous approach was broken, but you could argue that widening the net in this fashion has led to an even more diverse representation of film than ever before.

The program features a huge array of films in a range of Berlin’s best cinema spaces, so we recommend taking some time to dig through the extensive program and see what piques your interest – you’re sure to discover something new and inspiring.

For all the information on Interfilm, visit their website.



Dark Matter’s Winterlights


Category: Light Installation
Where: Köpenicker Chaussee 46, 10317 Berlin
When: Mon, Tues, Sun 16:00-23:00 / Fri, Sat 16:00 – 01:00
Admission: €5 + booking fee

Let’s talk about why we like Christmas Markets. If we’re being totally honest, the main attraction is being able to drink mulled wine, eat delicious snacks, and be surrounded by stuff that is kind of festive. Now, imagine if you could have the same kind of experience, except instead of ‘stuff that is kind of festive’ it’s actually 200 Christmas trees adorned with 80,000 LED lights. And they’re not simply lit up, they’re engaged in an intricate dance of illumination and sound, creating waves and patterns of light in synchronicity with a morphing electronic soundscape.

This sounds like a much better Christmas Market experience, right? Well, this is the experience you could be having RIGHT NOW! We say right now, but really we mean within the opening hours of the new Winterlights audio-visual installation at Dark Matter. In case you don’t know, Dark Matter is the new permanent exhibition space from Christopher Bauder and his team at WHITEvoid design studio. It houses a number of his unique art installations, all of which sit at the intersection of technology, art, design and sound.

The Winterlights installation is worth a visit in its own right, but if you haven’t been to Dark Matter yet we recommend doing the double whammy of visiting both in the same trip. If you have been to Dark Matter already, then you know the exact kind of aural-visual treat you can expect. This is a Christmas experience, Berlin style.

For tickets and more information click here.



Corona Culture closing festival


Category: Art
Where: Alte Münze, Molkenmarkt 2, 10179 Berlin
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 12:00 to 00:00
Admission: €11 regular / €5.50 reduced

Let’s be honest, there haven’t been too many silver linings to this pandemic. Sure, we’ve all found our own ways to make it through these times, but in general it’s tough. Yet there are some things we can look to as sources of inspiration, and the creative response of the cultural and artistic community is one of them.

The Corona Culture exhibition and sociocultural program is a perfect example of the kind of creative response that is helping us to not only make it through this moment in history, but also to examine what it means to be a part of it and the myriad ways in which it impacts our very being.

The exhibition element of Corona Culture spreads across 30 rooms of Alte Münze and features work from around 100 artists hailing from more than 30 nations. It has been put together by Berlin-based curator duo Kala & Krüger, and the diversity of the artists is reflected in the diversity of the work.

Alongside the exhibition, there have been discussion panels, performances and more. This is the final weekend of the whole event, and it’s ending on a high. There will be special performances and showcases from a range of artists, musicians, comedians and more taking place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

If you’re looking for some stimulation that might help you make sense of this time, or at the least just help you get through it, then Corona Culture is the place.

For the full program and tickets visit their site.





Category: Sex Life
Where: Insomnia
When: Saturday September 20, 22:00 – 06:00
Admission: €25 / €18 for students

Kinktastisch hits that sweet spot between the club-oriented sex positive parties, like House of Lunacy and Pornceptual, and the potentially intimidating world of more straight-up sex and fetish parties. Headed up by scene queen Hilly Leader, Kinktastisch has a friendly, welcoming and trustworthy atmosphere. The party can be lighthearted, hardcore, and everything in between. Whatever your experience level, fetish, or desire, you’re welcome to step in and explore.

Taking place in Insomnia – arguably Berlin’s sexual epicentre – there is a dancefloor to move on, a sensual area to play in, a jacuzzi to heat up in, and a fully-equipped BDSM dungeon. In addition, there will be a number of special guests, including performances from Shivahontas and a whipping battle from Miss Lizz and Edi. DJs on the night will be DJ Scary and DJ Munso.

As always, if you’re not familiar with the sex positive scene you should do your research and educate yourself. Consent is key, and there will be a team of Unicorns on hand to make sure everyone is made to feel safe and at home. All genders and non genders are welcome, as are fetishes of all kinds. Explore your kinky side and meet like-minded souls and new friends.

For more information visit the Kinktastisch event page.



Organ & Synthesizers : John Kameel Farah


Category: Music
Where: Taborkirche, Taborstraße 17, Berlin
When: Sunday, 20:00
Admission: Donation based (€10 suggested)

The first time we saw John Kameel Farah at the Taborkirche was almost six years ago, and it was an absolute revelation. For a start, somehow the event went totally viral and there was a queue of people hundreds deep. This might have been down to the simple yet effective event description: Organ & Synthesizers. It just sounds like an instantly winning combination. The good news is that John Kameel Farah’s performances live up to both the promising description and the hype.

John uses the church organ of Taborkirche in conjunction with his own synthesizers to create incredibly lush and undulating music that feels like it has been beamed into his brain from outer space before being channelled through his hands and into your ears.

The location adds to the intensity of the experience. You’re seated in an actual church, in a pew, while John plays from the balcony behind your head. The effect of hearing the music reverberate around the room combined with the absence of a traditional focal point can put you into an almost meditative place, which is only accentuated by the surroundings.

We’ve since seen John perform many times in many different locations. It’s always  mesmerising and never a disappointment. We know that when people say they’re “going to church on Sunday” they really mean Berghain, but when we say “go to church this Sunday” we really mean go to church – it’ll do your soul some good.

For more information on John Kameel Farah visit his website.