28 August 2014

Blast From The Past: Witch Costume

I´ve told you about Purim, the jewish version of Halloween that is celebrated in Israel every spring. In fourth grade (9 years old) I was dressed as a witch. Purim has always been my favorite holiday, and my mom happily helped me to construct an outfit each year. We mostly bought the supplies and didn´t make our own, but we knew how to combine things so that they looked interesting. Fourth grade was the time before Harry Potter was popular, if I remember correctly.

Picture has a very "Call Of The Wintermoon" feel to it XD

I was very excited to find these spider web tights and even wore them a bit when I began getting into goth when I was a teenager. Mom loved to keep all the past Purim accessories in the closet :)

My costumes got more dark and eventually more subculture related with the years. In my last 2 years of high school I was basically dressed as "myself" (since I wasn´t brave enough to dress goth everyday).

I can´t wait for Halloween this Autumn! Luckily Germany sort of celebrates it, and it is much more traditional than Purim, which is basically has nothing to do with the dead or dark aesthetics.

N. Finsternis

23 August 2014

Framing Postcards DIY

This Summer is (dare I say "was?") all about reading and decorating our new home. I have 3 Berlin postcards from the DDR which I´ve been wanting to put in frames a long time now. It is a DIY project I have been planning long ago, to have that "full wall of black and white framed pictures" look. And I just love old postcards, it is beautiful photography and history in one picture!

Those 3 were taped to the wall near the mirror, here is a close up on each:

The postcards depict Berlin right after the wall was built. On the horizontal one there´s a sign in German that says "Warning - go away, Soviet Union".
I bought cheap black frames and had fun nailing them to the wall.

The postcards hang next to the bathroom door (you can see a glimpse of a Depeche Mode poster on it). I would love to have like a cloud of those little frames on the wall.

 Do you love decorating your home in a certain way? I would love to hear some ideas.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

N. Finsternis

18 August 2014

Dark Photography - a trip to Potsdam

Last week Boris and I decided to visit Potsdam, a small city south west to Berlin. We haven´t visited other places in Germany but Berlin yet, and it was nice to discover a very old city an hour away from where we live!
Potsdam looks nothing like the urban Berlin. The old city was made of baroque houses only which was so beautiful, and the castles and the park of sanssouci were enchanting.
The weather was amazing: warm but fresh, bright but cloudy. If only all summer was like that!

I finally managed to take some photos after a very long brake from photography due to lack of time. I was so happy to be inspired from everything, I´ve missed this feeling so much!

I´ve realized that I am greatly inspired by old architecture and the most cheesy church and garden monuments (and cemetery monuments of course). Something in the way they turn out on camera is just so magical, and the statues as if coming to life and shining with so much personality! I can take pictures of statues forever...

This is my most favorite picture taken that day!
We were walking all day and eventually got tired, and just then we saw another piece of cathedral ruins not far away from where we were, but it was sunset already (I dislike taking pictures in the sunset sun) and we were exhausted so we have decided to come back to Potsdam in October again when Boris´ parents would come to visit. I am sure they would love to see it and I would be eager on taking pictures of those unexplored ruins.

 N. Finsternis

13 August 2014

All Tomorrow´s Parties

Just a quick update, want to share a poster I made for the upcoming gig of The Wings Of Desire in a double concert with a local well known underground act, Ben Bloodygrave:

I´ve missed designing posters.
I have been helping Boris with recording for his upcoming EP. He hasn´t officially released anything since we came to Berlin, so he was eager to spend time in the studio. After doing everything by himself already he told me that recording on his own was very difficult for him, so I wanted to help him with this in any way I could. The worst part recording alone is never knowing if you´re doing things right or not, if you did your best and so on. So another perspective on that did good for him. I felt that I did my best recording his vocals, since I did sing in a choir for 6 years and played music professionally, so I could more or less guide him on how to use his voice "properly" (I am no teacher of course). 
I learned a lot from the process since I could study Boris´ voice better than before (in previous years I just didn´t think I should dictate him how to sing, yet recordings should be polished and well made!). I´ve also learned how important it is for some singers to record in parts and different tracks, and not do the entire song in one shot. I am excited to see the finished product, but not before it has been mixed and mastered by a professional.

Another upcoming even which I am excited about is the Some Wear Leather, Some Wear Lace book release party. I have been following The Post Punk Project a little after they began and after finding out they are going to do the release party in Berlin in September, told Boris that I want the book as an early birthday present.
I am so eager to lay my hand on the book (and stealing a possible poster that might be hanging in the venue on the day of the party) that I am planning to come super early! It would be a smart decision anyways, since they will be selling a limited number of copies, and because Boris and I will have a flight to Uzbekistan to catch the next morning! September and October are going to be crazy months on top of that.

N. Finsternis

5 August 2014

Feels Like Home

Some photos of our new apartment, or rather the parts of it that I managed to decorate a little bit. Things are still slightly empty, since Boris and I couldn´t bring all of our house decorating stuff from Israel when we moved, and because it is more fun to collect those things here in Berlin and enjoy the new.
I have been crawling into several second hand shops here and there and found some nice fabrics:

Found this beautiful silk fabric in a second hand store. It is actually more of a table cloth than a drapery, it is horizontal and the velvet black panther and leaves pattern is mirrored on the other side of the fabric which you can´t see in the photo. I didn´t want draperies that much because I love opening the windows and to let the sunlight come through, and because we don´t really have hooks for the cloth it sort of hangs not so nicely on the window and I am still trying to figure out how to make use of it, though the window is probably the best place for it anyway ;)

This is not only the half of my necklaces that hang on the wall which Boris helped me to install. I haven´t had my jewelry hung so nicely in front of my eyes and it´s very comfortable to see what do I actually own.

Another lovely cloth (scarf) that I found in a second hand store. We have a lot of bookshelves which came with the flat (it´s a university dorm) and we managed to fill only half of them! This picture is our other room, the "living and Boris´ studio room". You can see the egg cartons glued on the wall for better acoustics (it didn´t work lol). And of course posters everywhere. Need to update poster collection btw.

More than the space we now have for us both I am happy to have a nice place for my altar, which is located on the windowpane in the living room. The windows which are new and were installed shortly after we moved (entire building is being renovated, it´s a bit troubling but for the best!) are really tall and have nicely done windowpanes. I absolutely love windowpanes (we don´t have this type of windows in Israel) and I filled it with candles and magical things. I have also a new black tourmaline crystal added to my collection. It is lovely though so far I enjoy just the clear quartz crystal the most hehe.

I´ve had quite the hardcore hangover weekend which I didn´t plan at all and still sort of resting and lazying my vacation days. I am also having a black metal phase lately and can ONLY listen to Burzum or the occasional Darkthrone. I have no idea what has happened, maybe since I have been wanting to enjoy black metal for so many years but for some reason couldn´t.... so now I am feasting upon the dark atmosphere and trying to ignore the fact that Varg Virkernes is painfully beautiful but has awful racist ideology in his head.

N. Finsternis

1 August 2014

Where the hell do I come from?

I haven´t been fair with you people: confusing you geographically by mentioning 3 different cultures in the same post and discussing about Uzbekistan, Russia and Israel in the same sentence.
And since it´s been confirmed that Boris and I are going to visit my grandparents in Uzbekistan this September I have decided to finally set in place my entire geographical journey in this world.

Which mean, I will have to go all history class on you, but it´s ok, we are here to learn...

So let´s begin from where I was born:

I was born in 1991 in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan. For starters, a lot of those "stan" ending countries were part of the Soviet Union, which means Russian was an official language, and generally speaking- other Soviet Union citizens from countries such as Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan etc etc were mixed together.
Which is why my family spoke Russian as primary language, and the only 100% uzbek member with whom I have direct blood relations in my grandfather from my mother´s side (his name is Abd´ulla :D ). My grandmother from my mother´s side in Ukranian, btw.
Note: Uzbek people are not Arabs, nor do they look like them or speak Arabic. They speak the Uzbek language and have rather Asian facial features. The Uzbek languages sounds a lot like Turkish. Still till this day all of them know Russian and the language is used in schools and work places.

Because my family is sort of mixed, they are not religious (some distant relatives from my grandfather are Muslim but I hardly know them well) and have always lived very modern (as much as the Soviet Union allowed it ;) ).

All my mother´s family lives in Tashkent till this day, and from my father´s side I am sort of both ways Russian. But that is not as interesting because the following:

This is where I grew up since I was 6 years old:

So wait, I haven´t mentioned anything considering Jews or any relations to them in my family. That´s right, since my mother divorced my father when I was 3 years old and married my current father (the only father that I have ♥) who is a Russian and Jewish! Which is why my family immigrated to Israel when I was 6 years old and stays there ever since (my mother´s family was left in Tashkent, all my none-biological father´s relatives live in Israel).

Note: there is a ton of ex-Soviet Union immigrants in Israel, because ever since Soviet Union was no more it was a great chance for those people to leave for a better place to live in (in comparison to Russia, ever today, Israel tops it, but not in comparison to Europe though). Some cities are so"Russian" you can never get lost even if you don´t speak a word in Hebrew. 
Just like the city I grew up in, Haifa.

With that being said, in my parents house we never were very Jewish either: we celebrated the traditions and holidays only because of moving to Israel, we were never religious nor did we (even not my non-biological father) identified ourselves so "officially" as Jewish. Still as Russian people we kept Russian traditions like celebrating the New Year on December 31st (which is a BIG thing for Russian people).
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the diversity of the Israeli population. 

Fun Fact: before immigrating to Israel we lived in the suburbs of Moscow for one year (that was the place where my none-biological father worked, but I never "count" it as a place I´ve lived in). When my father told me we are going to move to Israel, the almost 6 years old me asked: "really dad, such a country exists?". Oh, the irony...

So all my school years, my friends and my life experiences I had in Israel, which is also where I´ve met Boris!

Fun Fact 2: you´ve probably guessed it, but Boris has the almost exact same story. He was born in Belarus and moved with his family to Israel when he was 7. Stories like that are typical for "Russian-Israelis".

Being fed up with the life I had in Israel (I PROMISE you a post about this!) and dreaming of living in Europe with Boris, we´ve moved to Berlin a year and a half ago :)
You see, explaining people from Germany till this part is complicated enough, because whenever I introduce myself people hear immediately that I have something to do with Eastern Europe because of my accent. But I didn´t grew up there at all (thank god) and learned to speak Hebrew as a child, which is basically like a second mother language to me. Then I mostly need to explain how Russian people came to Israel in the first place, just like I did now!

You probably have the same stories with Asian immigrants in the US, who kept their traditions despite growing up in a different place, and spoke their mother language at home.
That was the same with me. I never went to a Russian school, I learned to read a write in Russian thanks to my mother, and we have always kept speaking Russian at home (though with my younger brother who was born in Israel it has been different). I am intended to keep things this way for when I will have a child, which is pretty funny, since he will grow up in a foreign land just like I did :)

So in conclusion, here´s another "path map":

Note: I only have an Israeli citizenship, for that matter. So much for not having any European roots and having absolutely nothing to do with Europe to begin with. Can you sense the bureaucratic struggle that  had to face in Germany from these lines?
With all these I do not consider myself Uzbek, Russian nor Israeli. I am a little bit of everything and far from being a patriot or a national admirer of all these countries.

I hope this has been curious to you, since I LOVE telling this story to people because I am sort of "proud" to be a part of this cultural salad. I am also very happy to have been born in such a bizarre place like Uzbekistan, which I will introduce you a bit in a future post.

An insane song in Uzbek about little chicks, set your volume to maximum! Used to sing it when I was little :D

N. Finsternis