Article by Nora Kovacs in Berlin // Tuesday, Jun. 23, 2015
B_Tours is taking over Berlin this week with its international festival of urban tours. This year’s theme is titled Re-Placing the Periphery and will explore the notion of a city’s “center” and its “periphery”. From June 26th to 28th, B_Tours invites you take part in any and all of the 15 tours by 26 artists from 11 countries that will be going on throughout the city. The festival not only offers a chance to explore parts of Berlin you may not be familiar with, but also provides the platform for learning and discussion about how we define urban spaces based on social, cultural, economic, and geographical factors.
Ligna: ‘Tanz Aller’ // credit: Anja Beutler
The 2015 programme has something for everyone, offering a variety of perspectives and lenses through which to view the city. In “Neukölln- A Better Place”, artist Wanda Dubrau takes us on a tour of the increasingly gentrified area of Berlin and asks us to consider the consequences of such rapid urban development/change. Johanna Steindorf takes a feminist approach with her tour, “The Strange Half-Absence of Wandering at Night”, in which participants will follow a female protagonist through Treptower Park at dusk as she reclaims her “freedom to wander”. “Homelessness in West Berlin” will question how we, as a society, treat marginalized groups like the homeless, while “Tourgasm: Marzahn”, organized by Nima Keshtkar, Iva Kirova, Danielle Kourtesis, and Ina Weise and in collaboration with Ella Tetrault, advertises itself as a “once in a lifetime transcendental journey to transcendence”, including a special performance by Claire Flaubert.
Nima Keshtkar, Iva Kirova, Danielle Kourtesis, Ina Weise – ‘Tourgasm: Marzahn’; credit: Nima Keshtkar, Iva Kirova, Danielle Kourtesis, Ina Weise
From group walking tours and immersive audio experiences to one-on-one sessions, B_Tours Festival goes far beyond what you may think you know about urban tours. In addition to the organized tours, B_Tours Festival will host a series of public panel discussions and events. The prices range from 7 euros (1 tour) to 30 euros (5 tours), so be sure to check out the full programme to narrow down your choices! B_Tour Festival is guaranteed to enhance the way you view and think about Berlin and its ever-changing urban spaces, so be sure to visit the festival’s website and get touring!