I love Bremen: Refugees Welcome

refugee camp Bremen

Inside one tent of the refugee camp at the University of Bremen.

Now this is something else than what I originally intended with my little “series” about Bremen. But I never had such a good reason to love this city before because it is literally overflowing with helpfulness for the refugees who come here.

“I love Bremen” – Part Two: How Bremen welcomes refugees

Since a few weeks – I think it may be about one month – there is hardly any other topic on the news than the arrival of refugees in Germany. Suddenly they were not in Greece or Italy anymore – they were here, on our doorsteps. They are also in my hometown Bremen.

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A new blog is born!

Breaking News: I finally found the time and courage to start a second blog!! ­čÖé A while ago I noticed that some of my more controversial and serious posts don’t really fit into “Wonderland”. Sometimes I like to write down my opinion about politics, media and society, and this blog works best as a photography and travel blog. From now on I will (roughly) split the two topics. So let me introduce you to my new “opinion blog”:

“Schweigen im Walde”

It is written in German because I feel more comfortable to talk about difficult topics in my mother language. I am very sorry to exclude my readers who only speak English, but the decision had to be made. They had to be two entirely different blogs.

Don’t worry, “Wonderland” will stay the same: Photos and travel stories, insights about the life in Bremen and German customs. If an opinion piece fits into this profile, you might find it on both blogs.

I hope you stay with me – and see all the German-speakers at “Schweigen im Walde”! ­čÖé

Cheers,

Alice

Festival Stories

Festivals are for the love of music, clearly. But they are also an opportunity to go hog-wild. I’ve just been on Hurricane Festival in Schee├čel, one of the biggest music festivals in Germany. It’s three days of playful anarchy. Don’t wash, don’t behave, shout at people, dance wildly, drink too much… altogether very interesting asocial behaviour, especially on the camping ground. I’m not saying I like everything people do there. Like peeing against your tent while you sleep. Or being so wasted that they feel the need to jump around completely naked (interestingly only men do this). But it is kind of liberating to get rid of civilized life once a year. ­čÖé

Hurricane Festival_3 Continue reading

“Visions for Nigeria” – Interview with James Olusanmi

Nigeria, in Southwest Africa, is a land troubled by many conflicts and social problems. You probably all heard of the terrorist organization Boko Haram, which riots in the North roughly since 2010. Recently, Nigeria elected a new president, Muhammadu Buhari – a former military dictator (from 1982-1985) who promised to wipe the terrorists out. It is far too early to say in which direction he will lead the country but he has been democratically elected and the change in power was peacefully. Still the country suffers from high poverty, unemployment and inflation – despite the fact that Nigeria is very oil-rich and the biggest market economy in sub-Saharan Africa.

Since about one year I am member of a non-profit organization in Bremen called “Human & Environment”. They work together with a grassroot NGO in Nigeria, founded by James Olusanmi. A few months ago, he was in Bremen and I took the chance to interview him about his home country.

James Olusanmi interview Nigeria Continue reading

Tweeting Eurovision

Every year I am surprised that it’s Eurovision Song Contest again. To be honest, I think this is a waste event. I got goosebumps because of more than one song yesterday, but not of the good kind. I confess, I watched it anyway and it actually was interesting this time, but not because of the show itself but the millions of tweets on #ESC2015. Did you ever do this, watch TV and simultaneously comment every minute on Twitter on what’s happening? Don’t you think that’s strange behaviour?? Not that I am in a position for a judgement as I did it myself yesterday – and the ESC is probably the only thing on TV where it really doesn’t matter if you pay attention or look on your smartphone. But it’s weird. Everybody wants to throw in their two cents; it seems nobody really cares about the music, it’s just a contest about the funniest tweet. Even some of the big journalistic media participated in the collective bitching. Subjectively, this was what most tweets were about: Continue reading

The question of the refugees

A few days ago I had a conversation with some people I usually really like (and think of as reasonable human beings) about the problem of the huge numbers of refugees coming to Europe at the moment. See, I normally avoid discussing controversial political topics, be it with friends, family or strangers, because I don’t need that stress and see no point in trying to persuade somebody of my worldview. I think the basis of tolerance is to allow somebody his own opinion and belief, whether you can understand it or not. But there are some limits, and that’s for example when it comes to the basics of human rights and justice – things everybody should share because of common sense. The question of the refugees is one of these basics. Continue reading

What I actually learned about Aborigines.

Everybody who visits Australia should be aware that this country originally belonged to another people – the Aborigines. This post is about them. It is a matter of respect as they have lived in Australia for thousands of years before the white people came (colonization by the British started in 1770 with the arrival of James Cook) and things went badly wrong. Diseases, fights, stealing of Aboriginal kids to raise them in white families – just to mention a few things. When I came to Australia, I was very interested in learning about Aboriginal culture and hoped to meet some in person. Well, I learned… ┬á ┬á Continue reading

What is it with Germans and Australia?

australia flagLet’s face it: When we visit the beautiful places on this earth we will hardly ever have them exclusively for ourselves. There will be other tourists and unless it’s not totally crowded that’s fine for me. But I’d still like to keep the impression that I’m in a foreign country. I don’t travel to the other side of the world to hear nothing but my own language around me, right?┬áBut indeed when you come to Australia as a German and especially when you sleep in cheap┬áhostels like all the backpackers, this will happen to you. It is incredible how many of my folks run around on this continent. Of course ranting about all the Germans down here is a bit ridiculous as I am┬áone myself.┬áBut I can’t help but think┬áthat Germans are invading this country.┬áHere’s why. ┬á Continue reading

The “New Utopia” on TV – Philosophy and Reality

There is a new reality show on German TV channel SAT1. It’s called “Newtopia”. There’s a lot about this show that I find interesting. It already begins with the name. At first, the show was supposed to be called “Utopia”, like the original TV format that was created by John de Mol in the Netherlands. The name refers to the 16th century novel by Thomas Morus that frames an ideal society. But the German Online Magazine for sustainable living “Utopia” sued SAT1 so the name was changed. Not the very best start for the “greatest TV experiment ever” as the call it. Continue reading

Social Media and Journalism

I will soon finish my Bachelor thesis. (And if I repeat this sentence often enough it will become true! ­čÖé ) I would like to share some of my scientific insights with you. This way this thesis which steals my time and brain capacity for blogging is at least good for something. I am exploring the relationship between journalism and social media. Social media in my definition are all internet-based applications that serve the interaction, connection and relationship building of people. The most common are of course the social network Facebook and the microblogging platform Twitter. But I also include comments or forums on journalistic websites into my work.

I was interested in the question why journalists use social media. What is it good for? Continue reading