“In Berlin I learned to eat with chopsticks, didn’t learn German”

Me and my partner Mikko Piispa wrote a column about the life and things we learned in Berlin (unfortunately it’s now only in Finnish). The column “In Berlin I learned to eat with chopsticks, didn’t learn German” is published on Finnish Youth Research Society’s web column series: http://kommentti.fi/kolumnit/berliiniss%C3%A4-opin-sy%C3%B6m%C3%A4%C3%A4n-puikoilla-saksaa-en-oppinut

Mikko is a sociologist and a writer and with him I have started to write more too. Altogether we lived 8,5 months in Berlin and moved away one month ago. In this column we write about the different micro worlds that the life there consists of: food culture, multicultural atmosphere, neighborhoods, club life, learning German and living in general. The column is sort of a dialog, I write from a personal point of view and Mikko comments on it with a more sociological approach. I find this way of working and making observations really interesting, when the artistic and scientific approaches meet. Your ponderings and personal ideas get a wider base and perspective when working with someone from another field. This is why I enjoy multidisciplinary work, when the working expands and gets various aspects.

In general Mikko has made me see that my way of observing the world is close to a sociologist’s way. Mikko introduced me to a term ‘sociological imagination’ by American sociologist C. Wright Mills which describes the sociological way of observing the world and daily life, seeing the relations between things. Lately I have been pondering upon the relationship of art and everyday life, how the “actual” living affects on art and vice versa. How did living abroad affect on me and through that on my work etc. These realizations take time and I feel that I’m quite in the beginning – but I’m not in a hurry.