30 July 2015

on modern science, spirituality and what holds communities together

opening the ANSA e.V. Conference 2014 in Lingen

Modern Science and Spirituality: Implications for development in Africa and Europe
is what the October 2015 ANSA e.V. conference is supposed to be about.

It is funny how the titles of these conferences are rather easy at hand - and then there is this vast intangible space of possibilities on what it actually means. And what it does not mean. And what it does not mean at all. Mostly leading to dismissing any thought before it could even find its way to the paper.

I like to fill these spaces with experiences of my own. 
It makes it easier for me to grasp. 
It makes it more concrete.
It allows me to adopt my thoughts and put them down on paper.
So here they come ...

Modern Science and Spirituality: Implications for development in Africa and Europe 
- sounds like dichotomies, right? 
I like to mess with dichotomies and stereotypes. In the two days of the conference we will hear many great academic works and will have high-level academic debates. 
So why not start this conference with a little story.
With my story.

I grew up in a village. A small village - 20 houses, 100 people. All farmers, in a farming region. Wealthy people in one of the riches regions in Germany - the SüdOldenburger Land. 
Benefiting from the advancements of modern science and technology for farming, processing, packaging - the entire production chain basically. 

So I grew up seeing when Mercedes-Benz would have a new model as surely one of the people in that village would get it. Unlike today where I live in Berlin, Germany's capital city and I look at poor but sexy people (as the former berlin major coined it) in public transport systems. 

Conservative to the bone were these quite wealthy farmers. Christian catholic. Black through and through, like the entire region - as my green party electing mother who had migrated to the village used to explain to me, with black being the color of the conservative Christian Democratic Party (I think Angela Merkel is trying to change it as she always wears red, right?). 

And yet, what held these people together - and this is curious as each and everyone of them would shun you off when you would mention the world spirituality what held them together - what held these people together, what holds us together up to date and what created community, was not church, christianity or debates around modern science. 

It was the celebration of Karneval, of Schützenfest in full traditional gears, the celebration of easter fires, of setting first may trees, of celebrating new years, the darkest night of the year. 
Pagen festivals, traditional festivities, cultural practices. Which despite the looting and burning of the pagan practices remain. Alive. In everyday life. As unquestionable/self evident practices. Of course also granting beautiful excuses to enjoy alcohol in rauen Mengen so I was trained early, don’t dare me on that one ;-) No I am kidding, I don’t drink alcohol again.

There are some points I derived from this. 
In practical everyday life, spirituality and modern since are not that far apart. Are not mutually exclusive. Rather go hand in hand as it serves to the people. In the practical life of the people they can each find their space and place. They can be accommodated and do not in every case have to be mutually exclusive. 

Sure they change over time and some things are given up for new things to come. But they are accommodated and do not exclude one other. And secondly - Spirituality is certainly not something inherent to the African continent. Just that the African continent had the opportunity to exercise it some centuries longer before the looting and burning of christianity would come ;-)  

Wow, I love these thoughts.
Having thought all this tough, I am realising that both, pagan and christian believes are probably understood as traditional and that the dichotomy is about those two to the modern science. But I shall look into that as my next step.

über die Kreativität von Stipendiaten

ANSA Insights - wie diese deutschen und afrikanischen (Ex-)Stipendiaten die Welt verstehen
Hinter den Kulissen passiert so viele gemeinsames.
Die Insights des Alumni Netzwerks Subsahara Afrika e.V. bringen auf die Bühne, was die (ehemaligen) Stipendiaten des Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienstes kreieren.

Aber lest selbst :-)

19 July 2015

back door entrepreneurship

It is fascinating to me, the dedication and creativity on how to bring products to a market.
How Mr. Gasmilla was able to think and rethink on spotting and addressing his customers. Would he have ever been this successful, if the front door had been open? I guess that sometimes the tough way, the unconventional way, the extra miles those have to walk that do not enjoy the privilege, is what makes them more than a one hit stand.

Aside of this,
a totally interesting inside to the dynamics of the Ghanaian markets.
Thanks there, nice lesson!

what solidarity means ... Tumenta Kennedy on the Greek crisis

I love this inside to the Greek crisis ...

"Even in Simbabwe, in Iran, in North Korea
we have not had this happening, that a country was collapsing. 
And all these are countries under heavy sanctions. But Greece is a country under any embargo.
But it can not survive - this is shocking!"

"Trust will be a fundamental element during the coming negotiations between the governments."

"He has to explain to his people, that solidarity means, investing into the conditions that will make us be sustainable in the long run."

... but watch it for yourself.


who I am proud to call
my mentor

one of the brightest minds I know
as he is never tiered to challenge the mind beyond what seems possible
drawing out the best in you - in me :-)

Aside that he is
political analyst and advisor on Europe-African matters / also to the former German president
man of the medicines and herbs
entrepreneur with African BIB.

to catch a buyer

with my dear friend and colleague at the Green Showroom Berlin Fashion Week 2015

04:05 pm
No parking space in sight at the Alte Postbahnhof at Ostbahnhof, Berlin. No Accreditation as well.
Show start of the Green Showroom runway show 4 pm sharp. Meaning we never gonna make it. You know how these fashion people in Germany are like. I thought. 

But then again, I was with Ernest. Ernest O. Look. And as it usually is, when we are moving together, everything works out just the way it is supposed to work out. Our colleague Andreas Suhr from G & A Underwear is right at the entrance to get us into the showroom, be it coincidentally or destiny, and the accreditation people at the runway show seem to know our notorious lateness from the past years, can not withstand Ernest's charming vigorous charm in any ways - the result of his years of networking work - and put us to sit in the first row, since we are coming too late. 

It is the exiting times, the show, the glamor, which got me interested in fashion week. I still love it today. Especially with the Green Showroom's and Ethical Fashion Week's relaxed atmosphere. Nevertheless, what makes me dedicate the energy of an entire week - up to now I was not able to figure why Fashion Week consumes this crazy amount of energy - is the business behind it. The how and why behind the design - buyer - press - store - trend - chain. 

What is it, that moves buyers to show interest in a designer, in a collection, to come to the showrooms and purchase the next seasons's collections. What does it take for a press to dedicate time to cover a show, a designer, a collection, to draw buyer's attention, to draw trend setter's attention, to draw blogger's attention. 

In times where everyone talks about the demise of Berlin Fashion Week.
About the bankruptcy of Fashion in Berlin.
Arm aber Sexy.

with Prakash Chandra Jha from Cocccon - Creativity Can Care
Cocccon built up their buyer relations at the Green Showroom over some years. With orders from buyers peaking every year and again. Fashion Can Care - Creativity Can Care, is what Prakash, the Hagen based designer standing behind the brand, found at a point in his career. And it excites - him, press, politicians, buyers. It definitely excites me, this idea, to wear organic vegan fair trade silk and cotton on my skin. Produced in the village of his origin in India, handmade, local.

And then there is underwear, this year it is everywhere. With Ernest O. Look working on his new underwear collection - Men's styles - with his unmatched ability to surprise people, to amaze people with his style, making his style be the one they want. A genius, on top of that, when it comes to production, press and retail relations.
With George Andreas Suhr - G&A ORG&ANIC Underwear - and his own unique take on haunting simple designs for the man of style, comfort and conciseness. For him who wants to feel all organic cotton only on his preciousness. It convinced the fashion press. 

And it convinced me, that there definitely should be something like this for my preciousness - for women. Maybe even by myself, so I can put in action all the impressions, ideas, inspirations, strategies I gathered over the past years on what it is, that moves buyers to show interest in a designer, in a collection, to come to the showrooms and purchase the next seasons's collections, on what it takes for a press to dedicate time to cover a show, a designer, a collection, to draw buyer's attention, to draw trend setter's attention, to draw blogger's attention ;-).

18 July 2015

the video girl

"Are you going to be the video girl?" 
It was Wanlov, chilling next to me on the hill,
glancing at the entirety of  Glastonbury Festival craziness in the beneath valley.

I didn't even know that the word exists.
But sure, why not.
So I got to be the video girl,

It gave me the most beautiful inside to this side of the music industry. 
What it is that it takes for a music video.

Not much.
To my surprise.
A mobile phone with the song. 
And a Go Pro.

And yet so much. 
A crew creating the good vibes - the atmosphere of the song. Determining spaces to set the story of the song. Creating the space to tell the story of the song. Creating the space for everyone in the video to feel the song, the tunes, the story and perform the story.  Opening spaces of the unknown, to create the right moments of laughter, fun, to do the right thing at the right time. Catching the right moment with the camera. Cutting the right moment from the camera. Creating a video that will take along the people that listen to the song, to hear the story, to see the story, to feel the story, to emerge with the story, to make it their song - their story.

Unique skills Wanlov and Silvastone put out there.

Just my type of a challenge - I enjoyed.