Expats Give Something Back to Berlin
So as to protect and hopefully strengthen expat’s reputation amongst local Berliners, Swedish expat Anna Maria Olsson has enticed eighty expats to offer an array of voluntarily services by enrolling each of them in her ‘Give Something Back to Berlin’ campaign.
Some locals believe that the escalating number of arty expats who are moving into Berlin has had a detrimental effect on their inner-city neighbourhoods and that the expat influx is what’s to blame for rising property prices that are unaffordable for locals.
By offering free educational classes and tuition throughout a variety of courses and by forming specific interest groups for local residents to join interact with members of the expat community, Olsson hopes to preserve the good reputation that expats surely deserve.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Olsson is worrying over nothing, but as fierce talks take place amongst mounting numbers of sizeable, anti-arty expat groups (AKA HipsterAlarm groups), it’s clear that Berliners have had enough of lazy expats who do little more than increase property prices.
But HipsterAlarm group attendee Susana Gruenewald defended expats: “Foreigners love Berlin just like locals do … They don’t want it to change, that’s why they’re here. It seems to be the enemy, but it’s not the enemy.”
Emotions are raw and the gravity of the situation becomes all too clear when self-defeating measures such as vandalising affluent, more attractive sectors of the city with spray-painted ‘Foreigners Out’ slogans are suggested by locals.
Thankfully, ‘Give Something Back to Berlin’ is garnering the support of other Berliners, who say that the expat influx has helped develop and improve both impoverished and popular parts of their beloved city and that they’re grateful for the vibrant transformation they’ve brought about.
So, if you’re an expat who’s willing to get involved in a community project that’ll help improve the image of Berlin-based expats whilst hopefully bringing a ray of sunshine to disgruntled local neighbours, get online and join the ‘Give Something Back to Berlin’ now!
By Anthony Standring
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