4 days in Kyiv / Some memories

On the list of things to do in the new year, I had written down that I had to renew my passport. Luckily, they let me keep the previous one with my Ukrainian stamp. The last trip of 2019, and the last of the decade.

I already told you about Ukraine, but after checking all the pictures I had on my mobile, I wanted to share a little more of that trip. For a while now, my phone is the camera that I always carry, and HUJI is the app that I always use for my memories. Maybe it’s extremely repetitive, but I’m a fan of single-use cameras, but too lazy to buy them, and this app seems like a comfortable way to make everything seem lovely saturated, and with a somewhat cinematic look. It’s like I want my life to be similar to a movie.

Coming back to these photographs, I returned to Boris Mykhailov. Recommended by several friends, I spent one of the afternoons at PinchukArtCenter, perhaps the most important Contemporary Art Gallery in the city. It had been a long time since I had not connected so intensely with the work of a photographer. Especially with a male photographer. It is important that you understand that I do not reject art made by men, but as a feminist woman, in general I do not have much interest in the representation of women from the male eye from the male eye that sees us as an inspiration, as muses, as something divine, something extremely beautiful. And I think that in a way, Boris’ work is extremely feminist in the sense of representing a human Soviet woman. Boris’ photography is a revolutionary weapon, the purest representation I have seen of Soviet society, without being a political pamphlet, nor a criticism. I recommend you take a look at his work.

Without being one of the main reasons why I traveled to Kyiv, however, I took advantage of the fact that I was there for four days to discover a bit of the music scene. Since a time ago, I had heard that the capital of Ukraine is the new Berlin. Techno parties in the city and raves stand out on the scene as authentic. So, we ended up in Closer, one of the most important clubs in the city. And we enjoyed it a lot. We also took the opportunity to go to the Opera to see a piece of ballet (a ticket can cost about 4€). The rest of the time we spent the time walking around, eating typical food and drinking beer. I promise it is the last time I write about Ukraine, but please, add it to your list of pending countries to visit, especially if you have little budget like me.

4 days in Kyiv / Ukraine trip

During this year I have not traveled so much. It has been somewhat a chaotic year in terms of time and money; and although in recent months I have taken root in Berlin; I am finding my place, and I start calling this place home; Sometimes I have that need to get out of here. And why Ukraine? During the last years, I have met many friends who were born there, and after so many conversations about their country, and their traditions, I really wanted to go. I felt a certain curiosity and a special attraction for the country that I still don’t know how to explain. I have always been quite attracted to the Soviet society, and I am not generally interested in very touristy places. The first idea of ​​the trip was to travel several cities and take several trains, but again the lack of time made us decide to stay for four days in Kyiv. And it was definitely worth it.

The first thing the pilot told us when landing in Kyiv was that the temperature was -9 ° C and he wished us good luck.

It was like a time travel. A trip to a chaotic city, cold, and full of charm at the same time. I have a fascination for contrasts, and it was full of them. Beautiful buildings and abandoned buildings, the cold in the streets and hot food in traditional Ukrainian restaurants , the surly character of the people, and their charming kindness; the music on the subway, the hipsters bars and the underground techno scene…I felt in love with the capital, and I may soon return. Probably not during the winter time.

#8M / International Women’s Day in Berlin

Two days after International Women’s Day, I still tremble and I get excited when I see images of the demonstrations, and I listen to the testimonies of the women who lead the strike in Spain. I saw the streets full of women who fought, who shouted, who have taken out the anger and transformed it into movement. I believe, and I am proud, that Spain is very aware of what feminism means and the importance of taking to the streets to claim. That on women’s day there is little to celebrate, and much to do. And it hurts to me to see that while in my hometown 350,000 people filled the streets, in Berlin we did not reach just 10,000. And honestly, I do not believe that Germany, with a salary difference of 21%, has no reason to fight.

Here, in Berlin, I joined the demonstration called by several international feminist groups and participated along with the Hispanic / Latino / Portuguese block in the chants and the march that took us from Lichtenberg to Warschauer (almost 5 km of walk). And I shouted, and I shared, and I celebrated the sorority.

This same week, I published in Berlin Amateurs (web page with which I collaborate, in Spanish), an article about the Spanish-speaking feminist groups in Berlin, in which I wrote the following: “It is important to point out that when someone is a migrant, they feel that they have the support of people in whom recognition is equal, is essential. When we talk about sorority we talk about creating a network of support, of being united, growing and learning together. (…) We have to make visible for all the years of struggle and for those that still remain. For creating bonds and getting to know our sisters. We make visible because even the media do not give voice to minorities, who raise their voices more. We make it visible so that on March 8, 2019 we fill the streets, to make it a festive and feminist day.”

Because the day of the woman is every day.

Napoli / La città del vento

During the last 4 years, I spent my birthday in a different country. I think it’s a nice tradition that I would like to keep as long I can. This year, since I have not moved away for a while, I decided to use Skyscanner and check the cheapest flights to anywhere. The options, considering my low budget, were reduced to two: Sweden or Italy. Finally, although I am looking forward to visiting the Nordic countries, I decided to spend my birthday in Rome, going through Naples first. 5 years ago, I was living in Turin, Italy, but then, I only toured the north of the country, so it was my first time in both cities.

This entry could be called 48 in Naples if it were a travel blog. But I do not want to give you a tourist guide because honestly, I’m not the best tourist. I do not really care if I do not see the most ‘popular’ things in each city. The luck of Naples is that I was hosted by local friends who took care of me, and recommended what to do and what to eat at any time. I can not be more grateful to meet people in so many parts of the world.

View from the fight, before a wind storm caused turbulence.

One of the reasons why I chose Italy before Sweden was because of the weather. Who was going to tell me that the day I landed in Naples, we were on orange alert because of a wind storm? Imagine my face when getting off the plane and see small snowflakes. In spite of everything, after having my first expresso and tried my first Sfogliatelle, I was able to explore a bit of the city and the seaside.

In the afternoon, and because of the cold did not allow me to walk through the narrow streets of the city, I decided to visit the museum of contemporary art Mother. The temporary exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe “Choreography for a show” was very inspiring. In general, all the pieces in the collection are quite interesting. The recommendation I was given was to go up to the third floor and go down through the entire building.

Floor plan of the building, Madre Museum @ Naples, Italy.

The rest of the time, I spent walking around its streets. Stopping so often to taste every typical sweet, and all possible combination of fried things. I also drink hot chocolate with beautiful people, attend an improvisation performance, and practice my (forgotten) Italian.

One thing that I found fascinating about this city, despite its amazing food and its magic spirit, was its relationship with religion. I found in the streets several small chapels where people pray for their dead people. Also, most of its churches, become emblematic spaces. My favorite, without a doubt, the Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo. I suffered a little Stendhal syndrome when I entered this building that, on the outside, seems austere, and that inside is a museum.

Chiesa del Gesù Nuovo @ Naples, Italy

Winter in Berlin / Sunny days

After one year and a half living here, I can say that Berlin has two faces; the sunny-one and the grey-one. I remember, one year ago, some friends flew here to spend my birthday with me, and they almost die frozen. We were -6ºC and a thermal sensation of -12ºC. Well, this year, at the same dates, the thermometer reached 16ºC. But we are not going to talk about climate change. Well, sunny days are basically to spend time in any park, near the canal, and walk (or with the bike instead) around. And when it gets dark, definitely, to take refuge in beautiful places and eat.

Berlin 2019

Summer 2018 / Analog treasures

I’m in love with disposables cameras. Above all, because I always forget about them, and I end up developing the reel many months later. It happened to me again. I bought one in the summer, just before escaping a couple of days to the Baltic Sea. And recently, in the middle of winter, I picked them up from the store. Well, it’s not California, and it also rained when we went to the beach, but what a silly joy to have this with this cold.

Postcards from Madrid / Hi 2019

2019 began between borders, fireworks, lots of hugs, and some wodka (with orange and water, it will be my favorite drink of the year). During the last years I have been living between Germany, Poland, and Spain, my country of origin, and the first day of this 2019 I decided to tread all of them. After a taxi, practicing my little Polish, a bus, and an airplane, I landed in Barajas on January 1 with a bar of extra chocolate (perks of flying on a special day), a little jetlag, and eager to enjoy my city, relax a little, and load my batteries.

When you leave, and I’ve been going back and forth for more than three years; There is always a part of nostalgia and fear that invade one whenever you land. And I understand how lucky I am to be able to come back once every little while. But the feeling becomes stronger as the days go by. It’s like one of my favorite songs, which says in Spanish: “Now everything is the same but nothing is the same”.

And although the nostalgia is strong, how beautiful is Madrid. With its light, its breakfasts, its narrow streets, its beautiful people, my friends -who will always be despite the distance- the views from the Círculo de Bellas Artes, its roscón de Reyes, its crowded streets at Christmas… Or maybe that was too much. I really love Madrid, and I hope to come back soon.