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Students’ Event Guide & Literary Journal University of Hamburg
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weblinks university life film/cinema exhibitions market travel music locations theatre creative corner tba-related
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t able of C ontents
3 EditoriaL 4 My eyes like the oceaN 5 Michael’s record casE 6 The city of love and photographY 8 GängevierteL 10 Rap geniuS 11 HonigfabriK 12 Review: josh garrelS 13 Wong kar-waI 15 Northern comforT 17 We are hungrY 19 The end of a cult cluB 21 Right to the citY 23 International tba 25 Bacchus comes to towN 26 Sherlock holmeS 27 Winter wonderlanD 29 Review: the helP 30 Short cutS 31 Imprint & the tba-familY
You probably expected to find the editorial in this segment, but we took the liberty to move it to the next page, partly because this month’s editorial is slightly longer than usual, however we, the layout-team, also have a brief announcement to make. Our former layout-expert has completed his studies at the University of Hamburg and we now have a brandnew team in place and ready to take on the challenge of delivering the best tba journal possible
every month. However, we all have individual styles and tastes, so as you leaf through this issue of tba, you’ll find an array of different approaches. Nevertheless, our established layout mostly prevails, yet we would greatly appreciate you to give us some feedback on the latest changes or the journal in general. So hit us up on Facebook, send us a tweet, shoot us an email or... just talk to us in person. That being said: enjoy tba ed. 9.0!
Time & Tide WaiT for no man
A new semester has begun, Summer’s charms have given way to Winter’s bite, and tba rises from the ashes, here to serve up the best of Hamburg’s cornucopia of delights. Universities experience as much ebb and flow as any other organisation, students and staff come and go, familiar faces fade out to be replaced by wonderfully enthusiastic fresh-faced freshers (aka - Ersties). The cycle of university life is both reassuringly familiar and yet subtly altered by the infusion of new faces and new ideas. tba has also experienced this “commodius vicus of recirculation”, we’ve said au revoir to some of our original cast...the founding fathers and mothers... and we’re in the process of
welcoming some brilliant new tba family members. Our magazine and its staff are constantly evolving, but our mission to bring you the finest selection of events, news and creativity remains at the core of everything we do.
is in a constant state of flux...it seems like many of the old certainties are in the process of giving way. Tony Blair’s good friend, Colonel Gaddafi, has fallen into a despot’s grave, Wall Street has been occupied, and cities around
We’re over the flippin’ moon to bring you our Christmas edition, and to introduce you to some new faces. Of course it’s not just the university that
the world have been occupied in solidarity. The Thatcherite fantasy of self-regulating free markets is in ruin, and Europe and the Euro are perched
rather uncomfortably on the precipice of change. And if that wasn’t enough the face of Hamburg is rapidly changing. But hey, Christmas is just around the corner and there’s only so much time that one can spend worrying about the fate of Western Civilisation. There are presents to buy, mugs of mulled wine to gurgle down, and friends and family to embrace... not to mention copious amounts to eat. So let us guide you through this Winter Wonderland, get comfortable and browse through this edition to find out what you absolutely can’t miss, and what you still have to discover in our glorious city on the Elbe.
MY EYES LIKE THE OCEAN
tonight I cannot write
tonight my heart hangs empty and so very still between my hand and my head you have burned the tear ducts from my eyes you have branded my breath with blackness you have bedecked my eyes with diamonds the tips of my fingers with glass and my feet with feathers
spewing forth from my mouth with every spiting word I find in my mind
tonight I cannot write
tonight my heart hangs heavy like a loaded sling between my hand and my head my sight has turned gray against the evening sky you trample across the past like quicksand
through the meddling ruckus spewing forth from your mouth you wallow in our what-has-beens like a sullen boy while I feel the threads of history uncoil deep within me tomorrow rises colorless like an orphan bird in my eyes
Michael’s RecoRd case Vol.1
First off, let me introduce myself: I’m Michael and I’m a DJ at one of Hamburg’s finest indie rock clubs, Molotow. From now on, I will introduce you to one of my favourite records in each issue of tba. I will mostly concentrate on records that I think are very underrated which most people have never even heard of because they never got the critical acclaim they deserve. So let’s get started.
This month I’d like to present Some Are Lakes (2008, Saddle Creek Records) by Canadian indie rock trio Land Of Talk. The band formed in Montreal in 2006 and so far has released two albums and two EPs. I first came across Land of Talk when I saw them support
The Boxer Rebellion on their first German tour in 2008. Some Are Lakes is the band’s first full-length album and was produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. The songs on this record are full of insecurity, vulnerability and hope. Singer Elizabeth Powell manages to somehow carry a sense of subtle resentment towards the topics she sings about. At moments, her voice has a certain angelic quality to it, while only seconds later, you might be hit in the face with her hatred towards certain people or situations. This is what makes the record so special, you can listen to it while taking a stroll through your local park and enjoy the more quiet and calm songs (“It’s Okay”, “Troubled”) while looking
at leaves falling off trees, but if you feel more like having a run, just skip one or two songs and you’ll find heavy guitars (“Corner Phone”, “The Man Who Breaks Things (Dark Shuffle)”). While Powell’s straight-forward lyrics and honesty have always been the main reason for me to come back to this record, let’s not forget about her playfulness on the guitar, Andrew Barr’s tight and powerful drums and Chris McCarron’s sometimes haunting basslines. All three of them are very talented musicians who were presumably inspired by bands like Sonic Youth, Arcade Fire, American folk music and early college rock like R.E.M.. All in all, it’s a perfect record for the cold season because, while setting the mood for a quiet night with hot cocoa and a great book, it always manages to pull you out of your winter lethargy just when you need it. I’m already looking forward to listening to it while walking through the snow as the sun sets over Hamburg. I highly recommend you give it a spin as well. Welcome to my musical world. M.N.
Rating: Key tracks: For fans of:
7/10 Some Are Lakes, Corner Phone, Troubled Sonic Youth, The Besnard Lakes, Bon Iver, Kings Of Convenience, Women, Dum Dum Girls, The Maccabees.
The City of Love and Photography
Everyone knows it. You see it everywhere, in movies, paintings and pictures. You are even
able to own it. You just have some tough choices to make. First the color: plain and classic in black & white or sepia, in color, black & white with a colored element, colored or even with artistic effects. If that’s not a toughie, you also have the possibility to choose between high-angle shot, top-shot and the Dutch angle. Putting this together you can call yourthe fuss people made about this big iron thing. With this attitude I sat in the metro in
a vast numbers of different angles: bird’s eye perspective, low- angle shot, straight-on angle, self a proud owner of a totally unique poster of the Eiffel Tower. I couldn’t understand all the direction of Champ de Mars, not really thrilled to see the Eiffel Tower. But I had to see with my own eyes why everyone is so fascinated by it. OK, the actual reason was
my friend wanted to see it- I was dragged along. I have to and even analogue. It was as if a ghost took possession of
admit, I found myself shooting several pictures of it, digital me or maybe my Asian genes dominated that moment. The
Eiffel Tower certainly has something but as we explored Paris day by day we found more beautiful places and views. So you don’t have to be suicidal to queue up and even walk all 654 stairs just to have a view over Paris. More importantly, it doesn’t sparkle which the Eiffel Tower does hourly every night! I thought it was a jokeI’m a girl and I love kitsch. But seriously, it sparkles! Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre by night is just as breathtaking and the view over the city is dazzlingly beautiful.
add different techniques in order to make their pictures unique. An example of such a technique would be pictorialism. The pictures were still in black & everything was a little blurry. ter Afmy white but certain techniques created a soft mode, as if one was dreaming and Arriving in the 21th century now, one can see some color and a far more
realistic and even more subjective view on Paris being displayed. Paris, the city of love showed her other face, her dark and mysterious one. A critical and political view was now the main motif and violence left a mark on the pictures. Where the beautiful and touristy Paris had once been the theme, realistic, more flawed and dirty perspective. now prostitution, race, transsexuality, raids, rapes and death showed a more
great vacation I was keen to visit the exhibition “Eyes on Paris” and experi-
One thing is for sure- I saw a much more varied view into life in the city
ence how photographers from 1890 to 2011 have seen Paris, how they have to work myself through the centuries beginning with the 1890’s. You could
during this exhibition than I had on my vacation. I saw Paris from her different angles and moods. It was really inspiring and yet disturbing. People who visit and experience her charm and her gloom. Or alternatively just visit her down the centuries in the Deichtorhallen! Where: When: How much: Deichtorhallen 16. Sept-08. Jan Tuesdays 4-6 pm 4,50 other days students 6,00 other days regular 9,00 Deichtorhallen page aren’t in love with her yet will fall in love or at least feel the urge to pay her a
captured it and how their art may have affected my view on Paris. I decided see and read how the motifs, the technique and the attitude has changed over black & white pictures, all in all a quite objective and documentary perspec-
time. In the early years, monuments, streets and famous places dominated the tive was chosen. I recognized a lot from my own Paris trip and as a tourist it’s likely that you’ve seen most of it. Like Notre Dame, Île de la Cité, the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumph etc. Moving into the 20’s & 30’s one can see a clear
break. A more subjective view developed and a motif shift to portraits, scenwasn’t seen as an art form by other artists back then, photographers tried to
eries from the street and everyday life is recognizable. And since photography
Gängeviertel – an alien place in hamburg
Excursions with courses from University might be boring. But not if you are in the company of a group of aliens, as we were, visiting a city on planet earth for our very first time without having the slightest idea what an earthly city is like. Wandering around Jungfernstieg through foggy air, over wide squares and between huge buildings made of grey stone, we didn’t feel comfortable. It was loud and cold and the city didn’t seem to be a joyful place. Even the earthlings themselves gave the impression that they’d rather be anywhere but in Hamburg. They were strolling around randomly, not smiling, some talking to each other silently, and carrying plastic bags they apparently picked up in some of the buildings. Nevertheless, the content of those bags didn’t seem to be making the earthlings any happier. Disappointed by what we had seen so far, we decided to go elsewhere and found a place so very different from the city we had experienced up to now that we were literally blown away (Ed – Probably not ‘literally’). There were green plants, even flowers here and there, between small buildings made of red stones and wood. On the walls you could see colourful paintings and some sculptures were hidden between trees. Above us there were colourful garlands (some consisting of clothes...). Moreover it was a very silent place, with no cars driving around – The main means of travel were bicycles. You could see the houses were much older than the ones we had seen before.
We had just found Gängeviertel.
The houses of Gängeviertel, most of which were built in the 19th century, were occupied by artists in 2009 to prevent demolition and to create an area for art, culture and social work in the centre of Hamburg. Because the houses were built for workers, there are large rooms made for work which are perfect studios for the artists, but of course there are also flats – As a result, Gängeviertel is the perfect place for them to combine living and working. But there aren’t just studios: Since occupying the buildings, the artists have established cafés, galleries, a library, rooms for concerts, parties, theatre groups, dancing workshops, a recording studio, and also offices from which Gängeviertel is organised. And organisation is especially important since activists are still debating
with the government of Hamburg about the future clearance, preservation and utilisation of the quarter. Regarding what the artists have already established, you understand how important this project is to them. All in all, the place is refreshingly different and unique. If you are interested in art and culture I strongly recommend a visit to one of the galleries. You like Experimental Jazz? Then go to Gängeviertel on 17 December and see John Hughes and The Low End Trio. Want more information? Visit Gängeviertel’s website or, even better, just go there and ask somebody, the people there are open-minded and welcome everyone’s questions. And last, some advice from an alien to you earthlings: Support this place to save your city from becoming all grey and cheerless. F.E.
Source: all pictures by Fiona Eicks
Now what do you MeaN by that? – Rap geNius
Raise your hand if you can relate: You’re listening to a song, maybe on the radio or at a party, and somehow you don’t quite understand the words, so you go online to look them up, and sometimes you still can’t make any sense of what you find. This is twice as likely if the track is not in your native language and probably four times as likely if we are talking about rap music. I know, I know, rap music is a bit of a contentious topic. I’ve been told rap isn’t really music, but rather an assortment of criminally inclined males, talking about narcotics, cash, vehicles and female dogs with auto-tuned voices and some computer-generated sounds in the background. There are also those who call rappers the poets of the 21st century. (Ed – Indeed) Admittedly, as an avid listener, I lean towards the latter view, but, as always, I know the truth lies somewhere inbetween, at least when you talk about the genre as a whole. However, regardless of your feelings towards this particular genre, the influence and scope of rap music has increased considerably, so you certainly have made ‘first contact’ and it is likely you have faced the aforementioned problem. This is where rapgenius.com comes in handy. Not only do they provide a commendable array of rap lyrics, but the online community also takes the time to explain the meaning and origin of most of the lines. You want an example? When Kanye raps ‘... and pray that all of their [his people’s] pain be champagne…’ in “Otis”, it’s not just some decadent call for drinks, but he also makes use of a homonym (playing on sham pain, but of course you already knew that) which dates back to at least the 1860’s. Another example?
In Jay-Z’s song “99 Problems”, not once does he insult women by
using the word bitch, even though it features repeatedly and quite prominently. So if you ever wondered what the hell rappers are intending to say, this might be the best place to look for answers. Besides providing an extensive library of lyrics, the Rap Genius editors publish entertaining articles on a regular basis as well. These are not simply updates on the latest drive-by or mix tape release dates, as you might suspect, but rather examinations of rap culture, like obituaries for the founding fathers of the genre or essays, philosophizing on the existence of triple entendres in rap. Thus, it is also an excellent source for your rap-related reading. B.B.
Where once margarine was produced and a honey firm had their site (hence the name) something culturally valuable has emerged. In 1978, some young people decided that the cultural netherland that was Wilhelmsburg needed a place where youngsters could actually participate in creating culture. Since its opening in 1979, 28 years have passed and after a renovation, the Honigfabrik has evolved to become a veritable hive of activity. This is not just a retreat for young people as people of all ages can find activities to attend. You can visit an exhibition or even display your own art or participate in the ‘Geschichtswerkstatt’ where one can learn about the history of our Wilhelmsburg. Free yourself from your daily routine and attend concerts, lectures or even private festivities – it’s possible to rent the concert hall. Not to forget the smaller events: there is a vast offer of excursions or playgroups, the kids play and the mommies and daddies can relax at the café ‘Pause’ or in the evenings at the bar ‘Hofa’. The Honigfabrik even has practice rooms for those of you who want to play your instruments without enraging the neighbours. For those among you who are not into lectures, kaffeeklatsch, excursions or literature, it can get dirty. The vast program also offers possibilities to visit the pottery, the photo laboratory, the wood-, the metal-, the auto- and the sail workshop. There are even more activities than one can imagine, it is a true Cockaigne and not only for children… and before I forget to mention it, there is even a houseboat! Where? Read more? Industriestr. 125- 131, 21107 Hamburg Honigfabrik page I have to admit since I moved to Wilhemsburg over a year ago, I have never set a foot near the Honigfabrik. This is about to change! I think I will pay the photo laboratory a visit soon and who knows maybe this is just the beginning. S.Ri.
the libeRatioN will Not be teleVised
ListeNiNg to josh garreLs
Thirty-one musicians came together and huddled around the voice and guitar of Josh Garalbum Love & War & the Sea In Between. rels to create eighteen songs that make up the One year of intense work and inspiration songs, which mesh together in a colorful fabric plants lyrical seeds that may thrive and root in thoughts that are provoked by his words. “White Owl“ juxtaposes a flowing guitar lick in which a softly prancing voice calls upon the belief in one’s self.
with an offbeat piano, creating a midnight mood
brought forth this conglomeration of eclectic that flutters in the falsetto singing of “Ulysses“ and tenderly tears in the uproar of “The Resistance“. The cornucopia of melodies is filled with folk-
“Farther Along“ celebrates the power of hope tion that spurs the listener to sing along.
and embeds the lyrics in a gospel-like composiAs in the instrumental piece “A Far-Off Hope“, Garrels does not need to use words to create a lyrical picture. Speaking melodies of harmonidreamy image of vastness and might.
like guitar-strumming, hip-hop beats, sampled soundwalls and unique voices of flutes, accordeons and mandolines. Creating dissonances that strangely harmonize with the mood of the
cas and the impelling drum beats conjure up a
music and the lyrics, Josh Garrels’ work leaves a appetite for harmony.
fulfilling taste on the ear’s tongue and whets the Garrels is a modern-day minstrel who has found
Love & War & The Sea In Between offers more than 60 minutes of music that craves to be listened to. Therefore Josh Garrels has decided downloadable on his homepage www.joshgarit: “We were so provided for during the making of this album, by both God and men, that it received,”. seems appropriate to give away as freely as we S.G.
inspiration in the word of God. His belief manifests itself in his lyrics which are cries of injustice and stories of man’s mysteries whose resolutions can be found in hope and redemption.
However, Josh Garrels does not besprinkle the listener with auditory holy water, but rather
He can bring His truth through the mouth of a mule You can move a mountain without any tools It just takes the faith of a little seed to make a way through what might seem to be Impossibility, And the ability will match the occasion The outcome will defy explanation The liberation will not be televised When it arrives like lightning in the skies - “The Resistance“
to offer his album for free, for everyone. It is rels.com. A gift for the ear, or as Garrels puts
LOVE IS ALL A MATTER OF TIMING: Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood For Love and 2046
Back in the old days, when people had a secret they didn’t want to share, they would climb a mountain and find a tree; into the tree they would carve a hole and then whisper their secret into the hole; finally, they would cover up the hole with mud, sealing their secret within and ensuring that nobody else would ever learn of it. And yet at times, when watching the movies of Wong Kar-wai, it somehow feels like the mud is slowly being scratched away bit by bit, never completely but just enough to let you catch a glimpse at the secrets, unspoken words, and missed chances the characters of his films carry around. Together with The Days of Being Wild (1990), In the Mood for Love (2000) and 2046 (2004) form a trilogy, yet purely on a cinematographic level the first movie is so drastically different from the two follow-ups that the unobservant viewer might never even make the connection were it not for the common underlying theme and the familiar characters. The one recurring character throughout all three movies is Chow Mo-wan (portrayed by Tony Leung): appearing as a silent role for just a few minutes at the end of The Days of Being Wild, it is his story that becomes the focus of both In the Mood for Love and 2046.
Chow is a writer in the Hong Kong of the 1960s; against the historical background of political instability and economic growth, he battles to make a living, indulges in his gambling addiction, and leaves a trail of broken hearts from Hong Kong to Singapore and back. The women in his life are numerous and diverse: a nightclub girl and occasional prostitute (Zhang Ziyi), a professional gambler (Gong Li), and the daughter of his landlord (Faye Wong), yet always, it is his love for Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung) that hangs over any new relationship like a ghost from the past. Perhaps it is the tag line from another movie that best describes this trilogy: “This is not a love story. It’s a story about love,”¹ and love is neither easy nor perfect, no matter how much you may want it to be. Both Chow and Su are married and their affair is doomed to fail before it even has a chance to begin. At another time, in another place, things might have been different, Chow remarks in 2046, but with the way their lives are, those three magic words remain unspoken. And like these feelings that are clearly present but never explicitly expressed, so much seems to go unsaid, in words at least; Wong Kar-wai instead chooses to let the camera speak, relying on close-ups, slowmotion, and captivating angles to blur the lines between solitude and loneliness, cutting from one social gathering to the next to reveal how utterly alone a character can be in a room full of people. Rusty streetlamps pelted with rain and ever-present cigarette smoke lend the films a certain noir-esque touch while street corners, windows, mirrors, and billowing curtains create ‘natural’ frames that liken each shot to a painted still life. Aided by a remarkably chosen song selection (including contemporary singers like Nat King Cole and Connie Francis) and a haunting score by composer Shigeru Umebayashi, Wong Kar-wai’s directing thus creates a peculiar atmosphere that seems to hover somewhere between melancholy and longing, apathy and elation, never satisfying but leaving the viewer somehow fulfilled when the screen finally goes black. Finally, a little piece of advice: if you can, avoid the dubbed versions of these films; instead turn on the subtitles and enjoy the multitude of languages and dialects² the characters converse in, seemingly without any trouble at all. It will add yet another level of experience to the sensory feast that watching In the Mood for Love and 2046 (and, despite its differences, The Days of Being Wild) can provide. S.R.
1 2 (500) Days of Summer Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese, French, Filipino, English, and Japanese
at the first team meeting in the new office. Yes, everyone knows me as the crazy-cat-girl now. Frustrated, I let my roommate and her friend pick me up and drag me someplace. Mind you, the random hotel they accompanied me to hosted the largest carnival celebration of the day and thanks to my roommate’s excellent connections, we were let in through the back door
The Northerner vs. the Westerner or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the pomp There is a nasty rumour out there that the Northerners are a reserved and distant breed that wouldn’t know humour if it bit them in the butt. In contrast to our sourpuss-ways, the Westerner, more precisely the happy population of Cologne, seems the epitome of jolly cheerfulness as they dedicate roughly 35 days each year to drunken hustle and bustle in stupid costumes. This is not exactly why I came to Cologne. I was offered an internship at a TV production company and had to move here for three months. Big deal, as if one big city could differ much from any other, and three months was like a walk in the park compared to half a year in boarding school. So much for my expectations. My friends, on the other hand, seemed worried that I might turn into some mush-brained carnivalist shouting “Alaaf ” in a clown costume while downing the horse-piss imitation of a beer that they sell there. Almost one month into the experience, we have all been proven wrong. I may be a Northerner but that only seemed to spur on everyone’s enthusiasm to show me what carnival really meant. However, 11 November started off as a bit of a disappointment. I was the only person in the entire office who was dressed up at all. Those really into the celebrating had taken the day off and I was a lonely cat who, above all, had to introduce herself to the CEO
joyed a traditional Cologne carnival concert. After a very thorough and exhausting bar crawl through the city’s gay bars and cocktail caves, where I met the madam of cologne’s largest brothel and a never ending flow of men in top gun or
sailor uniforms, I went home. Thrashed, I spent the rest of the weekend in bed, nursing my hangover and an abundance of minor bruises. I don’t know if I’m exaggerating, but it felt completely amazing to me. People were not only friendly but welcoming, enthusiastic and extrovert to the max (Ed - Oh goodness). If you’re pathologically shy and don’t like strangers to touch you, never go to Cologne. Other than the carnival episode, life in the West has been calm and uneventful. The internship is very enjoyable, not only because of the amazing co-workers but also because there is no dull repetitiveness in the tasks you’re performing. Every day is like a clean canvas (forgive me for the soppy simile but it’s true) and you work on different projects with different people, helping them to develop a concept for a new show and to present it to the TV station. Now that the Christmas market season has officially begun, we promised ourselves to have mulled wine in our lunch break every day. If this doesn’t get me fired, I will present a deeper insight into the life and work of a development intern in the next installment of Northern Comfort. Also coming up: What are inhibitions and where can I buy them? Why does the waiter not stop pouring me beer until I put my mat on the glass? And why on earth are there so many bloody churches in a single city?
We are hungry!
I really appreciate the Klimateller-idea. I believe that many aren’t aware Writing to you is a supposedly rare species, someone who is talked about a lot, the basis for many jokes, and in the end ignored. I am a vegetarian. And whenever I say that, people ask me for reasons and justifications. I am tired of this and I won’t go into detail. Today, I’m not justifying myself but want to make use of the opportunity to talk about my every-day-life as a student. A few times a week, I stay at the uni the whole day. When I bring my home-cooked meal and go and eat it in the Mensa, everybody stares. This is not a boycott, it is a tactic that allows me to avoid having to eat pasta every single day. Because eating vegetarian in the Mensa presents you with two problems. It lacks variety and quantity. Whenever I enter the foyer of the Philturm in the morning and see that, for example, “Hokkaidopuffer mit Salaten der Saison” are offered, I know exactly that by the time I am hungry they will be eaten up. This is because they must taste really good – I have actually never had a chance to try them. Also, the couscous-salad or the bagels start to become a legend. I always hear how good this is, but when I’m hungry, I’m stuck with pasta and salad. Of course, it’s not the omnivore’s fault, but think about it: If they eat everything, including rare vegetarian food, why don’t they offer more vegetarian food in general? It appears to be tasty enough that everyone likes to eat it, even prefers it over the rest of the food. of the fact, that what they choose to eat has influences on the climate. Animal husbandry accounts for 18% of greenhouse gas. This is as much as the whole transport sector causes (information from the “Klimateller”flyer). Making the Klimateller-menus on Wednesday mostly vegetarian would absolutely support its idea and wouldn’t exclude anyone from eating at the Mensa, too. Still, most of the times they only offer one vegetarian meal on Wednesdays. As I don’t only want to complain and ask for the impossible, I would like to present the canteen-system of Oldenburg (and its canteens) which have been awarded for their quality. All the coffee is fair-trade and also most of the tea and some sweets. I have talked to a student who recently became a vegetarian and attends Hochschule Emden (The canteen in Emden belongs to Studentenwerk Oldenburg). He used to eat at the Mensa nearly every day and enjoyed that nearly 100% of the food is organic and regionally grown. “For some meals they post notes that say which farmer the vegetables are from. They even posted an extra-note one week when they had delivery-problems with organic potatoes, pointing out that these potatoes are not organically grown”. Another positive aspect he points out is that the food is inexpensive, “For less than 3€ I am full and ate regional and organic food”. But recently, he
is not as happy with the food in the Mensa and sees disadvantages, “Now that I started eating vegetarian, I either have to eat before noon or it’s just pasta. When I started studying, they offered the famous “3-Schälchenmenü”. Side-dishes and small portions of potatoes, fries and rice were offered in small bowls for 70ct each. If you took three bowls, the total price would still be 70ct. This would have been great for a rich vegetarian meal. Now, they no longer offer a discount, but in return, the bowls only cost 45ct each”. As a last point, he stated that more people tend to be vegetarians and he observes that especially fellow-students think about being a vegetarian. It would be a helpful starting point, if more vegetarian food was offered, so that it is easier in practice and doesn’t feel like a loss. The “Biowoche” at the Uni Hamburg, in which most of the food that is offered that week is organically-grown, is a great idea, with two major flaws: First, it only happens once a year and second, the price for the food is significantly higher than it normally is and many students aren’t willing to pay (sometimes) nearly twice as much. Also, information should be clearer. When I asked whether the apples are organic, I didn’t receive a clear answer, just a mumbled “They are the same, but this week everything is organically grown”. I understand that it is not the cashier’s task to inform me, but signs would help everyone. Originally, I also wanted to raise awareness for vegans, but as I wrote the article, only two major points came to my mind, and they are already included in the article. It isn’t special-treatment-advice for vegans, but advice for everyone who wants to be conscious about what s/he wants to eat: Clear labeling of what is in the food. The sign for “meat-free” menus is a helpful
starting point, but vegetarians and vegans also need to know about, for example, dairy products. Also, offer more, regarding quantity and variety. No vegan or vegetarian only wants to eat pasta and as the vegetarian food is often eaten up soon, why don’t you provide everyone the chance to eat it. This doesn’t mean I would like to convert anyone to a vegetarian lifestyle, but we need to react to what changes are happening and what we (want to) consume. For those of you still hungry: The Mensa organizes “Bio-Kochkurse” in cooperation with “Ökomarkt e.V.”. You can cook and eat together, using organically-grown products. On 15 December you can cook a Christmas menu. Further information is available at www.oekomarkt-hamburg.de, the cost for students is 10€. K.F.
MOLOTOW – THE END OF A CULT CLUB?
A Saturday night out in St. Pauli. On our way from one bar to the next, there’s always a reason to stop at the ESSO petrol station in the middle of the Reeperbahn, be it to fill up on cigarettes, grab a drink or just something to eat. It makes more money than any petrol station in Germany – while selling the least petrol. (Ed – considering ExxonMobil’s appalling environmental record, this is just as well) Heading down Spielbudenplatz from there, we pass a small hotel, the famous Hundertmark store, and a sex shop, to finally end up in front of the blood-red façade of Molotow club. Above our heads, an impressive list of names: the ‘wall of fame’, assembling a large number of well-known bands such as The Killers, The White Stripes, Billy Talent or The Hives, who all started their quest for fame from this very basement with a capacity of just over 300 people. Nils (23) still remembers his first time at the club: ‘One night I somehow ended up at Molotow, walked down the stairs; it was dark, I came in and the room was full of people. Some band was playing, everyone was having a great time, and after the band, a DJ came on. It was total mayhem! I stayed until the end, until 6 in the morning. Ever since then I kept coming back every weekend.’ That’s a couple of years ago now. Today Nils is a trainee in event management – at the Molotow office. He helps run up to 100 concerts, parties and readings per month. However, this could all be over in three years. The whole building complex stretching from Molotow to the ESSO petrol station, including about 100 flats, is in danger of being demolished. A Bavarian company bought the 60-year-old building and wants to replace it with new and more profitable housing and business space. This is why we met up with Nils and Fred, a booking agent at Molotow, to find out about their views of the consequences – both for the club and for St. Pauli in general. Fred (26) began as an intern at Molotow in 2005, then completed a training program as an event manager at the club. He knew he wanted to organise concerts since starting to do ‘free beer parties’ in his rural hometown, age 14. ‘When I first came to Hamburg, there were about five other clubs with a similar program,’ he remembers. All of these are now gone. Molotow, which has been around for 20 years, remains one of the last places for alternative club culture. ‘If Molotow was gone, I wouldn’t know where else in Hamburg our 300 shows a year should take place’, Fred points out. Without the basement club and its upstairs bar, the city would effectively lose two important stages, and a big part of its appeal to international tourists, many of whom come to Hamburg precisely to see a show at Molotow. But it doesn’t stop here. ‘Demolishing the ESSO houses would change the entire face of St. Pauli,’ says Fred. This change is already happening. Rents are rising all over the city and in St. Pauli especially: here they have increased by 16% in the past year alone. Nils is concerned about this change, as fancy new apartments
pop up all over the quarter: ‘Walk along these newly built areas at night, and you’ll see they are dead. There’s no one there.’ In his view, the city administration is destroying the tourist magnet St. Pauli: ‘They are building fences against the homeless because they allegedly disturb tourists. Next thing are the sex shops and prostitutes.’ Even bands coming from the US, he says, recognise that the quarter’s cult status is in acute danger. Local politicians have repeatedly acknowledged the cultural importance of Molotow in public, but thus far, no specific promises have been made. However, they don’t have a lot of influence on the matter because the building is private property. Fred is uncertain whether the building company actually cares about the cultural importance of Molotow because they obviously have a different point of view as an international corporation. ‘We are talking about two completely different dimensions of money,’ Fred says. With Molotow gone, many bands won’t be able to play in Hamburg because of the lack of a venue that fits their needs and that is willing to give talented new artists a stage to perform on. Yet, as Fred points out, it’s not only the space for up and coming artists that will be deeply missed, but also a social structure, developed over the course of twenty years. Between the staff - be it doormen, sound engineers, janitors, caterers or DJs - as well as the guests, it almost feels like a family, says Nils. As patrons, we share his view: Molotow has become a kind of second home to us, where we’ve found a lot of friends over the past years. Fred says he can’t imagine moving Molotow to another location, for people love the venue as it is now and its special flair, which is unique to the basement on Spielbudenplatz, can’t be reproduced anywhere else. That certain feeling you get, standing in front of the stage, directly facing the band without any kinds of barriers between them and you is what makes going to gigs here a very special and intense experience that keeps you coming back for more. So how likely is it for the Molotow to remain at this site? ‘The building company said a renovation would be possible’, Fred replies, ‘but rebuilding it completely would be more economical for them.’ Residents of the building block have formed an initiative to protect their homes and the businesses located on the complex. They met up with the company in early November to discuss the issue, but as of now the business concern holds on to the planned demolition. While negotiations continue, we can only hope for the preservation of this characteristic building, for the loss of Molotow would be a loss for the whole of Hamburg. ‘It’s an important refuge’, says Nils, ‘both culturally and socially’. M.N. & D.P.
“Right to the city“
Stickers, posters and demonstration announcements give one the feeling that there is a lot going on right now in town and we can be happy that this is so (though it would be better if there was no need to go to the streets). All this action is planned under the slogan “Right to the city”. ”Right to the city” is a network, connecting a number of initiatives in different cities all around Germany and especially in Hamburg. At the moment there are 47 different initiatives for different neighbourhoods fighting for diversity in prices, houses and inhabitants and against gentrification. Gentrification is used everywhere but what does it actually mean? The Oxford Dictionary of English defines gentrify as to “renovate and improve (a house or district) so that it conforms to middle-class taste.” In cases like Hamburg it means to make it expensive, to make it fancy and to destroy the character of the districts by changing them at will (or urban development plans). The consequences can be seen and experienced already. How many of you have looked for a new place recently? And how long did it take you to find a proper one you can afford? I went through this just a couple of months ago. My boyfriend and I lived in a bedsit and it took us only seven months to find a new flat that matched our income and expectations. I know a lot of friends who looked for more than two years and that is not an exception.
There is an extreme shortage of reasonably priced flats in Hamburg. In the last couple of years the city simply forgot about building new houses and giving permission to turn industrial areas into building areas for council housing. Though the number of unemployed has risen in recent years, the number of council housing has dropped by almost 50 percent. Areas that used to be working class neighbourhoods where a lot of students as well as artists lived turned into the new bourgeois districts with newly rich and well-earning youngsters, making it impossible for the former inhabitants to pay the rising rents. One well known example is the Schanzenviertel which has changed already and is one of the more expensive areas of Hamburg. The next districts changing will be Barmbek and Wilhelmsburg (with its old houses, not the areas with eight-storey blocks of course) and St. Pauli. St. Pauli, known all around the world for the Reeperbahn is the subject of a radical change. The ancient concept of the Reeperbahn shall be changed into a new one, one that gets rid of the red-light district and turns into a family friendly entertaining area. Apparently the people working on the urban development plans are quite unworldly and have not talked to the tourist department. Otherwise they would know that they are in the process of destroying Hamburg´s biggest industry. The sad thing about this concept and the desire to maximize profits is that there are not enough people to live in all these fancy new places and that there are not enough offices and companies to rent all the office space. A real scary experience was the Hafencity. Two years ago it was almost
The different initiatives need every support they can get. If you want to participate visit: www.rechtaufstadt.net. 10 hoch wir like a ghost town, because there was no one. No children, no shops, no people, just houses and empty streets. And still there are lots of places for rent but who can afford a room in a flat share for 900 Euros? Did the city and the construction companies learn from that? No, there will be another district next to Hafencity with the same concept (though there shall be some council flats). At the word of ghost town I remember a story a friend told me recently. A couple of years ago Hamburg airport was supposed to be enlarged. The city wanted to avoid fights with the house owners and tenants and bought all the places which were supposed to be torn down. Since the airport was not enlarged all these houses are empty and not habitable anymore. If you walk along those streets it is a ghost town. Houses that still look good from the outside, with no one living in them, in a city without enough living space. I ask myself, how can this be possible? And what a waste of money and space! The centre of Hamburg is a huge business district, unlike in other cities, where the industrial and business districts are almost outside town. But there is no need for square-kilometres of business space so there are a lot of vacancies. One of the initiatives, “Leerstand zu Wohnraum”, demands that these vacant spaces are turned into living quarters. The solidarity within Hamburg´s citizens is huge and the hope remains that the citizenship of participation will be successful in this case. R.G. AKU Wilhelmsburg annaelbe Apfelbaum braucht Wurzelraum AZ Altona Brakula – Kultur in Bramfeld Buchenhofwald-Initiative Centro Sociale Einwohnerverein St. Georg von 1987 eV Frappant GartenKunstNetz Gruppe Zomia Infoladen Wilhelmsburg Initiative Recht auf Wohnraum Kein Ikea in Altona Leerstand zu Wohnraum LOMU Mieterinitiative Elbtreppe Nicos Farm Noya Hamburg Pferdemarkt bleibt Schröderstift-Initiative Wunschproduktion Unser! Areal
iNteRNatioNal tba: loNdoN calliNg? Maybe Not...
Just recently, I happened to visit a Post Office branch near King’s Cross Station with the sole intention of wanting to send a standard letter to Germany, and quickly felt that I was entering an absurd scenery of a play called “Public Sector War Zone”. A queue that initially consisted of three people, including me, was witness to an argument that was going on between an older woman and a hysterical counter clerk, who were discussing whether said old woman would be able to return a small package or not - and it quickly grew into an argument when it became apparent that the clerk was completely out of her mind. The content of the argument did not really matter, it was rather the way this conversation went what made the whole experience a wonderful showcase of how the whole public sector in the UK apparently has gone to the dogs. During the ongoing argument, the office clerk raged herself into a frenzy and needed to be repeatedly calmed down by the older woman (the client!), who seemed to be acting in a calm and rational way. The end of this scene was me finding myself in a queue of twenty people, waiting for any kind of progress with the other clients for half an hour, because the badly-tempered clerk had decided to occupy both
counters that were available during this time of day, and doing weird things like repeatedly stamping several envelopes and counting money, while simultaneously continuing to argue about whether the old woman would receive a refund for the package or not... ... after half an hour, the argument was lost and she paid the old woman the vast amount of ₤ 4.50 - and the normal routine of the Post Office could go on. You are surely wondering why I am writing about this experience, and the point I want to make with this excerpt is that we, in Germany, can be more than happy about how our public sector is working. It could be so much worse. I have been living in the UK for seven weeks now, and one of the first things I learned is that one need be very, very patient. Patient with every visit to any authority or bank, patient with getting to know people - endurance is the key. I was warned about the NHS, Britain’s health system, and I must say, at the moment it seems that this is one of the more effective parts of the UK’s social system. Every visit to an authority requires a formal appointment (and the earliest appointment you can generally get is
about three to four weeks in the future) and when you
Source: stampcollectingroundup.blogspot.com Source: mansanity.com Source: socialistworker.co.uk Source: coolography.co.uk Source: zdnet.co.uk
then, finally, are allowed to meet someone supposedly responsible for the matter or concern, you realise that many of the office assistants, clerks and receptionist have had such bad training that they completely seem to lack any competence and knowledge about what they are supposed to cover. Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to blame the people in these positions (often enough they themselves are just victims of a system that does nothing except trying to keep itself alive), it’s just that you get the feeling that nobody seems to have even the smallest clue of what they’re actually supposed to do - and everybody else appears to have simply agreed upon the fact that things need to be this way. On the other hand, you find people arguing about how much better it was during Great Britain’s Golden Age, when people were still producing ‘good stuff ’ and businesses were flourishing - but still, apparently there’s nobody with an alternative plan around... and this is a sad thing to witness. London, in particular, has long been one of the beacon cities of ‘modern’ life, but at the moment it looks as if the metropolis is an exemplary case of the slide towards the abyss of social decay, with no one around to stop it from failing. The August riots in the Greater London area, which quickly were battered down by
massive numbers of police, followed by mass arrests, instant trials and a press coverage that indulged in fostering public hunts by publishing CCTV pictures of suspected ‘criminals’ show an understanding of power of the governing body that should alert anybody who loves his or her personal freedom. With a whole generation - recently labeled the “lost generation” by one of this country’s front-row politicians in reference to the 1920s US Lost Generation - without any perspective regarding a proper job or decent standards of living, in a city a lot more expensive than, say, Hamburg, I guess this will not have been the last riot. For other examples of this ongoing decay, you only need to watch the news, but here in London, it appears to have a distinct particularity to it, because it feels as if Great Britain has stoically agreed on doing nothing a long time ago - but I suppose, that could be said about many countries, then... Concluding this piece, I have one of those Terry Pratchett quotes in mind, recalling a Chinese curse,that goes: “May you live in interesting times.” - It seems that’s where we are right now. T.S.
Bacchus Comes to Town
Shantel and his Bucovina Orkestar @ Gruenspan
Shantel and his delightfully bizarre Bucovina Orkestar are the secular man’s Whirling Dervishes. They play, sing and dance an incredible fusion of gypsy, Balkan and pop music, and they do it with a maniac’s pure energy. You can see that every single musician on stage is absolutely passionate about what they do, and this passion is so infectious that it’s not long before the entire audience is starting to become more than a little crazed. This was not such much a concert as a celebration of music and life. Shantel has the endearing (and somewhat unnerving) habit of stepping down from the stage mid song, to wander among the audience like a man possessed. He’s like Klaus Kinski’s sweet twin brother, drawing his audience in while getting every ounce of energy and passion from the musicians around him. It’s a great shame that Shantel and his Orkestar aren’t in Hamburg on a regular basis because the feeling I get when at their concert is one of pure freedom. Their music and bacchanalian spirit is still vibrating through my body, making Winter feel a little less daunting, and reminding me of music’s unique life affirming properties. For those of you who may not be familiar with the man or his albums, it’s quite possible that you may have come into contact with this musical anarchist while watching Fatih Akin’s masterpiece ‘Auf der Anderen Seite’. Indeed any fans of Emir Kusturica’s kaleidoscopic films wouldn’t feel out of place while revelling at a Shantel concert. The only criticism I could possibly level at the concert is that, like everything else in life, it had to come to an end. But please please, don’t leave it so long until you return to these shores. M.L.T Read more Shantel´s page
Meanwhile, 1887, in Baker Street 221b...
“Doctor Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes”... Do you sense the rising feeling of suspense? Of mystery? Can you imagine the dark streets of 19th century London, shrouded in fog and unsolved crime? This is the scenery for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s two most famous characters. Mr. Holmes, an extremely talented and intelligent mind, always eager to investigate even the most abstruse or complicated cases, and his sidekick, Dr. Watson, his loyal friend and companion, both concerned by Holmes’ propensity for drugs and amazed by his crime solving skills. I’m certain that everybody has their own image of Holmes and Watson in mind, which, I guess, might look somehow like this: Holmes, always with a pipe, a magnifying glass, a deerstalker (you know, this checked hat, two brims, the stereotypical hat for a detective...) and a coat or even a suit. As for Watson, a mustache and a walking stick, always accompanying Holmes. This is, more or less, the traditional image of them, presented in the early novels and short stories written by Doyle and the paintings and sketches by Sydney Paget, who was famous for his illustrations of Doyle’s stories. But this image of Holmes, solving every case only with the help of his magnifying glass and his powers of deduction, has shifted significantly over time. In fact, Sherlock Holmes is the most portrayed fictional character in film, holding a Guinness World Record. This simply had to lead to some alterations. For example, if you watch the BBC series “Sherlock”, the story and even some text passages are based on Doyle’s stories but Holmes is no longer the man with the pipe and the magnifying glass. He is dressed in a modern way, using smart phones and laptops. Visually, the series plays a lot with “digital” extras and effects. And now we come to the actual point of this article! There is a new Sherlock Holmes movie coming out in December! But before you rush to youtube to check out the new trailer, please, finish reading my article! The new movie coming out is the sequel of the movie “Sherlock Holmes” from 2009, with Robert Downey, Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law (yes, he is starring in the sequel...again please, finish the article!) as Watson. It is entitled “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”. My first impression of the trailer was, that this sequel is even more suspense-packed than the first movie. It evokes the impression of a thrilling action-film, combined with great effects and a captivating story. “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” is coming out on the 16 December, so be sure to mark this in your calenders. Oh, and now you may check out the trailer... O.S.
Winter Wonderland – Aldi, Lidl, Penny and co.
tba has decided to offer you a clear insight into that swiftly impending time of the year we call Christmas. It is almost upon us, so imagine the following setting: You wander around Hamburg,you see many people enter shops, you do that as well, in order to purchase the perfect Christmas present for a special person. We don’t know who that might be. This special person might be a child, a loved one or a parent. At this point it doesn’t matter. People still storm the nicely decorated stores which give you a feeling of happiness and warmth. The delight at how lovely it all looks, the whispers about the shop assistant, who’s more than pleased to see you with a satisfied look on your face when you leave the store after buying the long sought item. All these moments enter your mind and you know it. It’s Christmas time again. You continue to walk down the road. Now you have a completely different destination and you pass the market place, let’s say it’s the Rathausmarkt in Hamburg. You see the lights, the green fir trees, the cutely assembled huts. They remind you of the “Winter Wonderland” by Bing Crosby. And then you realise that you also smell this “wonderland”. The sweets, the food, the trees, all sorts of spices and scents, covered by the silently falling snow, even the scent of hot chocolate and Glühwein enter your nose. Once again the feeling of joy overcomes you. It’s Christmas time again. Finally. You’ve waited an entire year for this moment. You’ve waited one year to walk around the city, either alone or with friends, in order to enjoy this very special time of the year. But It is about time we come back to reality. Because it’s not only you and all the other people who enter this Christmas-madness. No, dear readers, the stores are entangled in this as well. And it’s not just about the ornamentation. Because the human being is a consumption-driven creature, stores have decided to play on this consumption addiction. They have done this by dramatically extending Christmas.
This is the point we want to make. You’ve actually had it up to your eyeballs with this entire Christmas-theatre by now, because since September you have been exposed to “chocolate Santa Clauses”, “Dominosteine”, “Spekulatius”, “Lebkuchenplätzchen,-ringe und -taler”, “Christmas-Goldbären”, “Zimtsterne”, “Santa Clause-chocolate-lolly-pops”... We could go on with this for pages. Anyway, because stores, and mainly the store managers, seek opportunities to have a greater transaction volume than the year before, the poor consumer is confronted with a delightful event such as Christmas well before its actual date. This leads to the over-consumption of Christmas sweets. (Ed. – that doesn’t sound so bad). If one thinks back to the imaginative story, then we soon realise that we cannot enjoy Christmas anymore. Not really at least. Firstly, because we simply can’t look at those goods anymore. People are bombarded with Christmas goods long before they’re supposed to. What’s the point in offering these goods in summer? Don’t those people think about over-consumption? People are just going to be spoiled and lose their appetites! We want to enjoy Christmas and be happy when it’s Christmas time again, not groaning when we see it coming...in February!? K.B.
Review The Help
Read more: The Help page
After watching the trailer for The Help I expected a light-weight movie about the life of African-American maids in Jackson Mississippi in the 1960’s with a happy-ending to it. The trailer makes it appear to be a comedy but it is not just a comedy it is a deeply touching human story filled with humor and heartbreak. The film adaption of Kathryn Stockett’s novel of the same name is a drama about the African-American maids who are employed in white families. They cook, they clean the house and raise their children but they are not treated with any respect. It is an excellent ensemble performance, I was drawn into the lives of the characters and quite moved. The Help is about two and a half hours long but for me the movie didn’t seem to be that long at all. It never got boring there were funny parts where I had to laugh a lot and other parts were troubled and sad and they also made me think about US society back then. The story deals with a painful subject but does not care to be that painful for the viewer. Even though the theme in the movie is a very depressing one, the viewer will be satisfied with the outcome of the film. After seeing the movie I was very inspired and I wanted to know more about the civil rights movement. The Help by Tate Taylor is coming to movie theaters on 8. December and I’d recommend the movie to everyone who likes a drama with historical background and with some humorous parts - you will enjoy it! F.E.
beautiful af teRthought s
Where? When? Free?
abgedreht Filmfestival 8./9. Dec 2011 No, 4,00 Metropolis
If we had a staff of 50 and the ressources of DER SPIEGEL, these are some of the events we would have covered in more detail...
What? Where? When? Free?
IAA Christmas Party Anglarium Philosophenturm R171 Yes!
16. Dec, 6 pm
What? Where? When?
Märchenhaft! Advent in der Hasenschaukel Hasenschaukel, Silbersackstr. 17, St. Pauli maybe, probably What? Where? When? Free? Dein Bester Silvester Best of 2011 31. Dec, 11pm No, 8,00 Molotow Where? When? Free? What? Montagsperformer 12. Dec, 5 pm apparently Galerie der HFBK, Lerchenfeld 2
4.,11. Dec 3 pm
What? Where? When? Free?
Davide Monteleone Red Thistle 4th Nov - 23rd Dec
What? Where? When? Free?
Shadow Dancer Pilobolus Dance Theatre Shadowland 22.12.2011-08.01.2012 No: 39,90-64,50 Kampnagel
FREELENS Galerie , Steinhöft 5
It seems so.
Imprint - the tba familY
Marc-Liam Toolan Björn Behm, Jesco Brodersen, Sarah Rähse, Stephanie Richter, Tobias Steiner, Julia Tegtmeyer Behm Björn (p. 10) Bortel Klaudia (p. 27f ) Eicks Fiona (p. 8f, 29) Füllenbach Kim (p. 18) Graham Shaun (p. 12) Groeneveld Rika (p. 21f ) Nolte Michael (p. 5, 19f ) Prahl Danja (p. 19f ) Rähse Sarah (p. 4, 13f ) Richter Stephanie (p. 7f, 11) Spyth Olivia (p. 26) Steiner Tobias (p. 23f ) Tegtmeyer Julia (p.15f.) Toolan Marc Liam (p. 25) - see picture credits Björn Behm, Rika Groeneveld, Tobias Steiner
tba - to be announced Students’ Event Guide & Literary Journal University of Hamburg
Meet the familY
photography layout copyright
2011, all rights reserved
Source: Sarah Kaufmann
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