Another year in the books. We made it through 2023, y’all!
But in all seriousness, it has been a wonderful experience to serve as news editor for LeipGlo this year. Leipzig in 2023 saw a return to normalcy following the COVID-19 pandemic, or as close to normalcy since 2020. Visitors traveled to our city once again for the Leipzig Book Fair, Wave-Gotik-Treffen and other cultural events. The world around us saw a continued war in Ukraine and a new, though long-simmering, conflict in Gaza. In the LeipGlo realm, we were excited to once again offer a job fair to connect employers with amazing international talent.
Below are the stories that we were proud to bring you this year that we think are worth a first (or second) read as we reflect on the end of 2023 and turn toward 2024.
Composers once traveled to Leipzig to debut original compositions, but in the 21st century, the underfunding of contemporary music has created a challenging environment. In 2023, public funding for contemporary music projects received less than 20 percent of the support provided for classical music, leading to concerns about the sustainability of the genre in the city. Local musicians think a drastic cut in funding poses a threat to contemporary music in Leipzig, and believe there will be a talent drain as artists seek more supportive environments. The lack of support is evident not only in financial terms but also in the limited opportunities for showcasing new music and connecting with audiences.
Life is hard. Jessica Fayer is here to help.
Adjusting to life in a new country can be a daunting experience, often accompanied by feelings of loneliness, language barriers and cultural differences. As temperatures drop, we can find ourselves isolated and excluded from social activities, struggling to make friends. Jessica Fayer, a psychologist, writer and relationship expert, emphasizes the importance of self-compassion during the ongoing adaptation process, as well as engaging in activities aligned with personal interests, gradually building connections, seeking professional help if needed and remembering the motivations for the move.
Living in a world inundated with constant news updates and traumatic events can significantly impact mental health, fostering anxiety, catastrophic thinking and a sense of hopelessness. Fayer addresses the overwhelming effect of consuming news, especially during times of conflict and crisis, and how you can take care of yourself during world events that you cannot control.
Competition in relationships involves partners striving to prove their superiority in various aspects, from income and intelligence to household chores and parenting. This behavior, according to Fayer, is linked to underlying insecurities and a fear of exposing vulnerabilities. The detrimental impact of competition on relationships can be addressed through couples therapy, and prioritizing relationship quality over the need to be right, emphasizing the importance of harmony in resolving conflicts.
Kiroku, a Japanese-inspired paper shop in Leutzsch, celebrates its fourth year, offering a diverse range of items such as Traveler’s Notebooks, stickers, pens and pottery. Owned by Suna Choo, the shop, named after the Japanese word for “to document,” initially opened in the city center, transitioned to an online-only model during the pandemic, and reopened for in-person sales just before Christmas in 2022. Choo, a longtime journaler, emphasizes the shop’s role in fostering creativity and self-expression through its unique and carefully curated offerings. Kiroku has quickly become a cherished part of Georg-Schwarz-Straße, drawing visitors from beyond Leipzig and actively engaging with the community through meetups.
When it comes to sandwiches, Paps just gets it. The eatery, opened in early 2021 at Bornaische Straße 13, stands out with a menu blending fine dining and street food, featuring globally inspired classics like the bánh mì and Cuban sandwiches. Co-founded by Phu Qui Huynh and Johannes Knorrn, Paps elevates its offerings with in-house baked bread, a key ingredient for crafting perfect sandwiches. It’s not hard to see why the eatery has a 5.0 rating on Google Reviews.
Moritzbastei, a historic bastion located in Leipzig’s city center, might not be the first place that comes to mind for lunch, but LeipGlo contributors and friends have frequented its medieval vaults and rustic courtyards for affordable and flavorful dishes, most priced below €10. The venue, adjacent to Leipzig University, serves as a cultural hub, hosting various events while retaining its historical significance as a former military stronghold dating back to the early 1550s. Surviving World War II destruction, Moritzbastei’s underground vaults, courtyards and towers offer a glimpse into Leipzig’s rich past.
Transformed over the centuries for diverse purposes, including barracks, a prison and a bomb shelter, Moritzbastei also played a role in the 1989 Peaceful Revolution. Today, the venue serves as both a cultural center and eatery, offering traditional German cuisine and international favorites. The student connection remains strong, with ownership transferred to university students in 1974. Notably, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel participated in the venue’s transformation during her time at Leipzig University. Visitors are recommended to arrive between 11 am and 3 pm for lunch specials, and the venue is cherished for its efficient service, affordable prices and historic charm.
Gemrieli opened its doors at the end of 2022, replacing the beloved Patio del Sol Spanish restaurant in Plagwitz. Situated at Weissenfelder Strasse 15, Gemrieli maintains the historic monument protection of its 1888 building, evident in its traditional decor and impressive sandstone arch. Despite the change in ownership, the venue continues its legacy as a bar and restaurant, now with a taste of Georgian hospitality. Inside Gemrieli, the ambiance is lively, with a well-stocked bar and an eclectic playlist of German hit songs. The restaurant caters to a diverse clientele and the menu features Georgian specialties like khinkali (large dumplings) and khachapuri (flatbread with cheese) with meat and vegetarian options. The main courses include trout with pomegranate sauce and salmon in a cream sauce adorned with pomegranate seeds. The signature dessert, Napoleon Kuche, pays homage to the Battle of Leipzig and is complemented by Georgian wines and whisky.
While the bill may be a consideration for a full feast, Gemrieli provides a convivial atmosphere with charming and chatty waiting staff, and might be saved for an extra-special occasion.
The Leipzig Marathon began in 1977 with the motto “Marathon for everyone,” and has evolved into a celebrated event with a rich history. Co-founded by Frank Gottert and his brothers, alongside Ullrich Heilfort and Heinrich Hagenloch, the marathon emphasized inclusivity from the start. Despite humble beginnings and limited media coverage, it grew steadily, attracting both amateur and elite runners and today continues to embody the founding principles of accessibility and fitness for everyone.
Michael Rashke was a member of the The New Forum (Neues Forum), a radical group of reformers who aimed to revolutionise the GDR by incorporating new freedoms and economic stability within the framework of the socialist state. In this interview with LeipGlo’s Jane Whyatt, Raschke presents an alternate view of the historic moment when the Berlin Wall fell, as not everyone in former East Germany wanted to join the West.
The Posa Calling festival at Kloster Posa in Zeitz unfolds against the rich historical backdrop of a thousand-year-old Benedictine monastery as artists and musicians rejuvenate this hilltop site into a vibrant festival. Posa Calling becomes a living testament to the coexistence of Sachsen’s vibrant contemporary culture and the echoes of the past embodied in the remnants of Kloster Posa. The festival at the former monastery now hosts diverse musical acts, punk bands, open-air cinema and cultural events, attracting crowds with its unique blend of history, music and art. Amidst the new life, archaeologists race to document and preserve their findings, shedding light on ancient settlements and religious practices dating back to Roman times.
2023 Theatre and Concerts
On an icy November evening, Icelandic singer Björk’s explored themes of capitalism, environmental activism and the dream of a sustainable future in her “Cornucopia” concert. Emphasizing the immersive and transformative nature of the concert, Björk incorporated digital and analog elements, symbolizing the coexistence of humans, nature and technology.
LeipGlo writer Miruna Mocanu describes the sound of Hermanos Gutiérrez as a breath of fresh air in the current musical landscape. The venue, UT Connewitz, is praised for its historical charm and served as a fitting backdrop for the enchanting music. The review highlights the brother’s ability to transport the audience on a musical journey through Mexico, blending Western and Latin influences seamlessly.
English Theatre Leipzig hosted the AnthropScene, a 48-hour science and theatre challenge, aiming to creatively connect theatre and science by exploring biodiversity and sustainability. Led by Letizia Rivera and Josiane Segar, the interdisciplinary workshop attracted 15 participants with diverse backgrounds, fostering the exchange of ideas through performances and theatre games, with plans for more events in the future.
The opening of Linda Marwan’s lizard castle-themed exhibition at Galerie Gänge unveiled an intriguing intersection of art and nature. As an artist exploring human-nature relationships, Marwan transformed the concept of a lizard castle, traditionally a clearance cairn in Germany, into a conceptual piece of art. Reflecting on the co-evolution of lizard habitats due to agricultural practices, Marwan created an artificial lizard castle in the Kleingarten, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between humans and animals.
The article highlights Niemeyer’s Sphere, curious architectural marvel atop TECHNE KIROW GmbH in Plagwitz. This is one of the final projects of the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer who died in 2012 at age 102. The article traces the inspiration behind the sphere and how it became a space for fine dining and celebrations. Stay tuned for the open days in 2024.
Local writer, author and goth Jen Hoffert-Karas recaps Wave-Gotik-Treffen 2023 day-by-day.
In today’s interconnected world, the digital landscape has transformed not only how we communicate but also how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. LeipGlo’s founder Ana Riberio reflects on today’s complexities around self-expression in this post and poem.