Das Leben in Berlin ist wunderbar - Part 5

posted by ka:kanev on 2007/06/13 14:15

[ Das Leben in Berlin ist wunderbar ]

Das Leben in Berlin ist immer noch wunderbar*

Second Chapter

It looks like Berlin has a strange attraction and influence over the Sofia bloggers – it draws them toward itself, one by one – maybe with the promises of the “new cultural capital” of Europe, maybe with its hidden faces, backstreets and inner courtyards behind the illustrious facades of the after-the-Vereinigung “Neubauten” [not yet “eingestuerzt” ;)] and the postcard-symbolic monument of different pasts, or maybe with its schizophrenic heritage, the lingering imprints of the “arch-divided city”, the traumas of separations and reunions, or, after all, maybe with its vast and constantly shifting skies.
Whatever the reason and despite this melancholic introduction, here I am in Berlin,

revitalizing both Dimiter’s topic and my blogging

presence. Of course, “the facts” are more prosaic than that and actually I am doing a

research for my Ph.D. thesis with the help of a grant from the Riochi Sasakawa Foundation, who are, along

with the Sofia University, the contractors of my scholarship. I am kindly hosted by the

Interdisciplinary Centre for Historical Anthropology (Interdisziplinaeres Zentrum für Historische

) at the Freie Universitaet

, where I attend the regular Ph.D. students colloquia, but I am spending the most

of my time delving into the depths of the topics of the Information society, the digital,

the cultural logic of the new technologies, cultural memory and heritage, of recalling,

forgetting and (re-)constructing the past. I am mixing this strange theory-cocktail (one

part ICT, one part heritage, one part cultural policies – shake it until the ingredients

blend together, then add few case-study-cherries), called “Digitization of the Cultural

Heritage” with the invaluable help of both FU and TU libraries. See Dimiter’s experience there,

but I still prefer to borrow the books, instead of reading in the library, for I can not

help remembering the library scene in Wender’s "Der Himmel ueber Berlin" with the humming symphony of the

multitude of reading minds (and I am in Berlin after all) and every time I go to the library

(and this is especially true for the TU/VW library)my ears start ringing with silent


For the time being my main objective lies in the devouring and digesting of books and I have

concentrated myself, among other books and authors, on the bibliographies of Manuel Castells - maybe my main

author(ity) on the ICT part and of Aleida Assmann and Jan Assmann for their insights on the

problems of cultural memory and heritage. But the time is drawing near, when I have to face

the dreaded empty sheet of paper, or worse – the pale ghastly glow of the Word’s “new

document” – a challenging quest for sharing, tasting and proving the Digitization of the

Cultural Heritage cocktail.

* As you have guessed, our hidden agenda is to void the “Sofia Blog” of its

“Sofianess” and to “Berlinalyze” it :)


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Welcome to the [Sofia] weblog, a part of the Kakanien Revisited weblog network. The Team - Dimiter, Assen and Mira - all three PhD students in the Department of History and Theory of Culture at the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" will try to create an image - although sometimes a faceted and incoherent one - of the Bulgarian academia, culture, ongoing events, ideas, realities and virtual spaces. All of you - our readers - are warmheartedly invited to join us in this endeavor with your comments and suggestions.
The Sofia Team in Vienna: A working session with the local kakanian penguins
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