Launching Technovation Challenge Germany!

Technovation Challenge is the world's largest tech challenge for girls and it's coming to Germany and is being launched in Düsseldorf!

Already in 60 countries, Technovation encourages girls and young women aged 10-18 to become involved, in a most hands-on way, in entrepreneurship, engineering and coding. 
Over 12 weeks they are asked to identify a problem in their community, create a business plan and build an app with MIT's App Inventor.

The 10 best worldwide are then invited to San Francisco to present their ideas and have a chance of winning $10,000 for the development of their apps!
I am thrilled to have been asked to take on the role of regional ambassador for Germany and will begin recruiting teams of girls from September 2015 to take part in the challenge into 2016.
The actual challenge can begin anytime from September 2015 to February 2016, the challenge must be complete by the end of April 2016.
Presentations in Germany will happen in early May, the World Pitch will be in the summer of 2016 in San Francisco.

Technovation is a free programme for all students who take part, supported by Google, INTEL and Adobe.
Distribution partners are UNESCO and UN Women.

Technovation Germany is supported by Verizon

For the past few weeks I have been running around town, reaching out to all I think might be able to support this marvellous, and much needed, project.
The response has been overwhelming! Thank you to everyone I have spoken to for giving your time and networks so freely.
My personal, very special thanks to Pedro Custódio,  Cindy Voss, Beatrice Caston of the International School Düsseldorf, Hilde Moore, Danielle Schulte am Hülse, Dr. Karin Wilcke of Mein Berufsziel, Ann-Kartin Bogenstam, Yu-Ting LiuFelicitas Hackmann, Markus Eckartz of The Rocket Scientists, Timo Beck of Yelp Düsseldorf and Mr. DüsseldorfKenn Shinabery of Behance NRWSilke Roggermann of Gewäschhaus, Christiane Amini of Talent Schlüssel, Ton Zijlstra of Independent ThoughtsUwe Kerkmann of Düsseldorf's Office of Economic Developmentand just everyone who listened, and shared, and who will keep doing so.

But my biggest thanks - actually really don't know what to say - goes to Rune Køhler. Thank you for your kind, kind words. I will do my utmost best to make sure you are happy that you wrote that email :)

In the next few months I will be looking for coaches who would like to give their time to become involved in the challenge and pitch events. And of course I will be searching for girls aged 10-18 to recruit for the teams.
So please get in touch, whether you are a teacher, a student, a parent, a neighbour of a girl who could take part, a networker, members of the press, a company who could host a field trip - the Rheinbahn have been the first to offer to host, or simply a member of society who truly wants to make a difference.

Lots more to say ... so many people I am talking to right now ... it will all be coming up soon. Please 'like' the new Technovation Challenge Germany page I have just started and help spread the word.
I can't believe where RhineBuzz has taken me - but it is certainly all down to YOU! What a fine, brilliant community of very special people you are. It's a real privilege to be surrounded by so many great minds. Danke.

I have many reasons for taking on this project, one that will take most of my time the next year, but I leave you with these words that so very spoke to me the first days I began looking into Technovation from written by VC Ben Horowitz: 'The Future of Humankind is Dependent on Technovation Girls' for Forbes in 2012. 

Marco Mega Photography Workshop - 26 July 2015

©Marco Mega

Commercial Photographer Marco Mega is offering the RhineBuzz community a special deal on this upcoming workshop!

One day workshop designed for those who wish to improve their knowledge and skills in Product and Still Life photography.
During the workshop we will look at the principles of Product and Still Life Photography. It is a great opportunity to enhance your photography and lighting skills, under the guidance of the experienced commercial photographer Marco Mega. In this fun, engaging and informative workshop we will also be sharing some tips and tricks about the trade. The lighting techniques you will learn will enable you to capture high quality product images for commercial and editorial use. 
Specific images of products will be reproduced during the the day in a professional studio and all relative problems will be discussed and solved. 
The product photography WORKSHOP will cover:
·       best lighting effects and set-ups for products photography,
·       how to style a product shoot and compose your photos effectively,
·       creating a workspace, how to use a softbox,
·       how to control and balance the light,
·       reflectors and diffusers,
·       camera control and settings for product photography,
·       use of different camera lenses to achieve best results,
·       angles, viewpoint, exposure and colour correction,
·       how to photograph objects on reflective surfaces,
·       basic photo retouching.

When26th July, 2015 | 10am-6pm (9.30 welcome - 1 hour lunch break) 
Where: Marco Mega Photo Studio (2nd floor, Worringer Str. 78 - 40211 Düsseldorf)
Level: improvers and enthusiasts      
Price: 149 euro (VAT included) 
          RhineBuzz followers receive 10% off! | 017668944556           
Places are limited to 8 to guarantee individual tuition and help (minimum 5). 
The workshop will be held in English.
  • Paypal: pay 149 euro to
  • Bank transfer: transfer 149 euro to the following bank account: Marco Mega | Deutsche Bank | IBAN: DE27 3707 0024 0215 9093 00 | BIC: DEUTDEDBKOE
Marco Mega
Studio Worringer Strasse 78
40211 Düsseldorf

China 8 at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf

May 15 - September 13 2015
8 Cities
8 Museums
120 Artists

Throughout the Ruhr region in 9 locations, China 8 brings you several exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art unlike anything that has been seen in world, to this extent, so far with130 artists showing with some 500 works.

Whilst a visit to just one participating museum is certainly a good experience, I can only urge you all to take the time to visit more than one house. Not only will your eyes be opened to the how young Chinese artists see the world, but you also then begin to understand the rich and diverse cultural landscape we have here in North Rhine-Westfalia. So far I have seen 4 of the 8 exhibitions, the Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl being my favourite. The focus here is on videos, and what I saw there was just spellbinding. I could have stayed all day!

the video of Yang Fudong at Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl

Yu Minjun Trivialism 4 at the Kunthalle Recklinghausen

For €18 one can purchase a pass which allows one entry to each house for an unlimited time. At weekends one can also use the free bright red shuttle buses to take you through the Rhine and Ruhr region to the various museums. Just show your pass to the driver. Timetable for the tours is here. Tickets can be purchased online or at each participating house.

The NRW-Forum Düsseldorf gives an overview of the other 8 exhibitions. 

RhineBuzz invites you to a free English tour of China 8 at the NRW-Forum on the last Friday of the month, you simply pay €6 to enter the exhibition. These tours will be given by Ann-Katrin who has spent an extended time in the Orient and has a strong interest in Asian culture. 

Free RhineBuzz Tours in English at 8pm

May 29
June 26
July 31
August 28

RhineBuzz host a 'Stammtisch', a meeting place for the international community on each night of the tours. We ware in the bar from 7-10pm. You do not have to visit the exhibit to join us.
Come along and meet new people and find out what is happening for you in the city and at the upcoming Duesseldorf Welcome Day.

RhineBuzz is supported by the City of Düsseldorf

Ehrenhof 2
40479 Düssseldorf

©Wang Quingsong 
 at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf

Duesseldorf Welcome Day 2015

The Duesseldorf Welcome Day 2015 on September 26, hosted by the city of Düsseldorf at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, will take on a completely new format this year.

This year RhineBuzz, together with Unique, two organisations known for lively national and international events are organisng the day with a BIG fun element!

The day will be full of the services you need for a great start in Düsseldorf, people to give advice on finding a job, recognition of qualifications, and finding somewhere to live; you can speak to the people from the international schools, the kindergartens and languages schools, universities; relocation agents will be on hand as will cultural coaches - so what will be different?

For the first time we have found you English speakers at really useful city advisory points such as the Consumer Council - Verbraucherzentrale, the bike station - Radstation and the Family Advice Centre - i-Punkt Familie to be on hand to speak to you.

A central lounge will be the heart of the event, a place for you to meet other expats, meet Düsseldorfers, have a chat. A place where hopefully you will come away from knowing you have met someone who can help whichever situation you may need support in.
Throughout the day there will be different question and answer sessions on the basics: 'finding a place to live, finding work, taxes'; 'schools, city administration, insurances' and 'leisure time'. These will be lively exchanges, and hopefully the beginning of a valuable network.

We are currently working on the programme - but following points are fixed:

- Mayor Thomas Geisel will be saying hello at 1pm and  will be in conversation with you, the international people who have chosen to make Düsseldorf their home

- international people, those who were once new to the city too, will be on hand to welcome you and find out what you need and hopefully introduce you to who you need to know

- free tours in English, of Ego Update - the exhibition at the NRW-Forum scheduled for September will be offered

- a treasure hunt for the little ones in the Hofgarten opposite the NRW-Forum is being organised

- experience "Düsseldorf in a Day" - characters and experiences will be around showing us what makes this city so lively, so special

- a presentation by Düsseldorf Marketing and Tourism showing things to do in Düsseldorf, including secret spots in and around the city, sports locations and things to do with children

- lots of cool givaways!

Mr Düsseldorf himself, a charming English speaker, will be around to give you great tips on where to eat out, go party, shop!

- at the end of the day we will focus on your free time. People who offer leisure-times activities will be around to let you know where you can go to have fun!

 - and much more besides

Join us on Facebook - Duesseldorf Welcome Day - website coming up!

This is your day - make the most of it!

Suggestions and enquiries from both potential exhibitors and visitors most welcome to
Caroline West or Henry Storch at

RhineBuzz Masterclasses - Gonzalo Eyzaguirre Percussion

So many extremely talented people contact me - they either wish to take part in our events or request support with beginning a 
project of their own.

For this very reason I have wanted to offer RhineBuzz Masterclasses for some time now so May 17, our first one will take place!
This will be the first of a series of offering artists in the area the chance to meet an internationally renowned artist. The Masterclasses will all differ from one another in both theme and format.

Our first will be given by the young Chilean percussionist 
Gonzalo Eyzaguirre

Gonzalo Eyzaguirre, percussionist from Chile, currently a scholarship student for contemporary performance at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Valencia Campus, will be in Düsseldorf for just two days to meet like-minded musicians and share his vast knowledge and love of music.
For the first in a series of RhineBuzz Masterclasses, Gonzalo will be offering a four hour workshop for ANYONE who would like to learn about percussion - haven't you always wanted to bang on a drum?!
Now is your chance - and what a teacher we have found you!

The workshop will include Cumbia music - congas, guiro, guacharaca and cowbell and Afro Cuban music - how to develop drums and hand percussion.

His musical experience at the tender age of 28 is inspiring - Gonzalo has played with some of Chile's most successful bands for a number of years; he is professor of percussion at Uniacc University; has worked in film music, tv, musical production ... as a great communicator of his craft, no wonder Berklee were keen to have him in Valencia!

One of his most recent projects include his work as ambassador for Percuation, an organisation founded by much-respected Coloumbian percussionist Tupac Mantilla, spreading the word about the benefits of using the body as a percussion instrument for both education and performance

The philosophy of Percuaction - Global Percussion Network will be included in the workshop.

€59.00 per person 
May 17 from 2 - 6pm
Reisholzer Werftstrasse 39
40589 Düsseldorf

with thanks for the support from Unique

Setting up a Business in Düsseldorf - seminar dates 2015

Next date coming up September 1 - register now!

One in ten entrepreneurs in Germany is not of German origin, the prosperous city of Düsseldorf especially is a very attractive location for new businesses. If you are thinking of turning your own idea into a business, the city's Office of Economic Development offer a whole package of services to help you on your way.

Begin by attending one of these one day workshops in English. I've heard good things about the seminars, here are the dates for 2015:

17 March 2015
23 June 2015
01 September 2015
25 November 2015

Please register here

You can download the flyer and programme here as a pdf.

Contact and registration
City of Düsseldorf 
Office of Economic Development 
Bettina Löhr 
phone: +49 (0)211 89 9 55 06 
fax: +49 (0)211 89 3 55 06 

Seminar Location
 Gewäschshaus Düsseldorf
Coworking Space
Mindener Strasse 30
40227 Düsseldorf

Tanz in den Mai - Unique Monsters of Funk & Soul at the NRW-Forum

The traditional 'Tanz in den Mai' - Dance into May -
April 30 at 10pm

 Unique Monsters of Funk & Soul for the first time at 
the NRW-Forum!

On the decks - Acid Jazz founder Eddie Piller and Düsseldorfer Unique Records founder Henry Storch pave the way for a groovin' night of the very best sounds along with 
DJ friends Michael Fink and Mister Gogo

RhineBuzz have two tickets to give away at the final Human Nature/NeoRealismo tour on 
April 10 at the NRW-Forum  

Otherwise tickets can be purchased in advance €8, €10 on the door,from the 
NRW-Forum Ehrenhof Düsseldorf

Update Duesseldorf Photo Weekend 2015

Duesseldorf Photo Weekend 2015
NeoRealismo - The New Image of Italy 1932 - 1960
at the NRW-Forum

January 30 - April 19 2015

 Mario De Biasi, Gli italiani si voltano,
Milano 1954, ©Archivo De Biasi

Duesseldorf Photo Weekend 2015
'Human Nature' Art Collection Deutsche Börse
at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf

January 30 - April 19 2015

Spring Time, Washingon
© Evelyn Hofer

Free RhineBuzz tours in English every second and fourth Friday of the month at 8pm
You simply pay €6 to enter the exhibitions

Friday January 30
Friday February 13
Friday February 27
Friday March 13
Friday March 27
Friday April 10

There is a brochure available on the exhibition "Human Nature' Art Collection Deutsche Börse.

A newspaper has been published with information about all the exhibitions and many of the events over the weekend and beyond, and interviews with some of our guests.

It can be found at all participating locations and in many cafés and bookstores in town, or you can download it here.

Many of the exhibitions at the galleries and certainly in the museums will continue well after the Photo Weekend itself. Please check the website for details at each venue.

The Haus der Universität in the centre of Düsseldorf is also hosting exhibitions, talks and screenings including the much publicised and Oscar nominated "Finding Vivian Maier"

Personally, I am especially looking forward to the talk by Martin Barnes, Senior Curator of Photography at the Victorian and Albert Museum, London at 2:30pm on Sunday February 1. Martin will be speaking about his work with one of the oldest and most significant photographic collections in the world. For the Duesseldorf Photo Weekend, it is a real privilege that Martin will be speaking for us.

Haus der Universität, Shadowplatz 14, Düsseldorf

After Martin's presentation, at 4pm I will be pleased to introduce Gen Sadakane Co-founder & Creative Director of award-winning EyeEm, will share his thoughts on a new generation photography, creating a photo app that has attracted a community of more than twelve million photographers worldwide and what it takes to turn a wish - "we want to have a photo exhibit in New York" - into reality.
Forbes cited EyeEm as one of the "Hottest Global Startups in 2013"
Opening Friday January 30, EyeEm will also be showing their exhibition: Shoot.Share.Discover at the Haus der Universität

@erinhoffstetter at EyeEm's Shoot.Share.Discover
The filmwerkstatt düsseldorf will show screenings of two films by Robert Frank. It was Robert Frank who inspired Joel Meyerowitz to quit his job and become a photographer.

Further details of the programme, tours and events here.
We also greatly look forward to welcoming the international curators who will be touring 

North Rhine-Westphalia because of the Photo Weekend. 
We asked what the significance the city of Düsseldorf and photography had for them and received some charming answers including this from 
Paul Roth, Director, Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto:

''The city has an important association for me with photography.  

I was quite moved by the visit to Dusseldorf in Wim Wenders' ALICE IN THE CITIES.  Rudiger Vogler’s character accompanies the little girl Alice on a search there for her grandmother.  Using nothing more than a photograph, they seek the house in Alice’s memory.  The film is one of my labourites, and for me one of the most significant evocations of photography in the history of motion pictures.  The city has had a kind of mythic importance in my mind ever since then."

The power of the photograph can be so many different things to each and every one of us - come and discover what the photograph means to you over the next few days in Düsseldorf!

There will be so very many, many images to discover, ponder, take home with you in your mind and who knows maybe hang on your wall one day ...

Have fun at the Duesseldorf Photo Weekend!

Duesseldorf Photo Weekend 2015

Over 40 galleries, museums and alternative exhibition and event spaces

Over 150 artists
from more than 18 countries
Curators from Thailand, UK, Canada, 
International Press from all over Europe and the US

And YOU!

The Duesseldorf Photo Weekend 2015 opens at the NRW-Forum on January 29 at 7pm with two exhibitions "Human Nature" Art Collection Deutsche Börse and NeoRealism - "The New Image in Italy 1932 - 1960".
All are welcome to the opening, please do come and join us!

These two exhibitions will be showing until April 19. RhineBuzz tours in English will happen from January 30 until April 10 every second Friday of the month at 8pm.

"Figur in Gelb", London, 2014, Camera Obscura, ©Martin Streit
at the Cora Hölzl & Daniela Hölzl Gallery

"Dahinter steckt immer ein kluger Kopf 1995-2001"
©Alfred Seiland N.Auermann, Berlin 1997 at the Villa Grisebach, Düsseldorf

The following day, most of the other exhibitions in the programme will open at the participating galleries. Please check the programme for exact dates and times as they all vary.
Martin Barnes was awarded the Royal Photographic Society J Dudley Johnston Award in 2013 in recognition of his extensive work in the criticism and history of photography.

The exhibitions at the various locations include work from students; graduates of the Düsseldorf Art Academy; fashion photography; art photography and vintage prints from collections from around the globe.

Student Evgenia Sychinskaya at Ateleir am Eck

Personally I am very pleased to have brought the work of Italian photographer, Gabriele Croppi, to the Photo Weekend. His extraordinary images of New York and other well known cities will be shown at the Clara Maria Sels Gallery from January 30 to April 4.

Gabriele Croppi, NEW YORK, Metaphysics of the Urban Landscape from Gabriele Croppi on Vimeo.

Information on the varied programme is posted almost daily on the Facebook page.

Unique's Christmas Bash at Stone im Ratinger Hof

Staying here for Christmas?

Go party on Christmas Eve at Unique Records's traditional Christmas Bash 
this year once again at Stone on Ratinger Strasse
€12 on the door for a night of fine tunes and cool folks

‘Lichten’ – Thomas Ruff in the Kunsthalle with 5 Series and 35 years of Photography

THOMAS RUFF Interieur 5E, 1983
From the series: Interieurs – Interieurs – Intérieurs – Interiors
C-print © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014

September 20 – January 11

‘Instead of photographing our daily reality, Ruff focuses on portraying the realities of photography.’ 

This is how the Kunsthalle describes the method behind the works of Thomas Ruff in their recent exhibition running till January 11. Pretty high-toned, right? To be honest, I didn’t get it when I first read it. And I didn’t get it when I read it for the second time. Neither in English nor in German did the the actual meaning of that sentence enlighten my mind. But if you go and see the exhibition ‘Lichten’ in the Kunsthalle am Grabbeplatz 4, try and make a mental note of it – read on, and you’ll find out why...

View on the first floor of the Kunsthalle
Four photos of the photogram series

As a student of Bernd and Hilla Becher, Thomas Ruff, born in 1958, was educated as part of the 'Düsseldorf School of Photography', which stood for a neutral, objectifying documentary-like style – like you might expect from journalistic photographers. Ruff’s own interest in astronomy — which he originally would have liked to study — furthermore explains the combination of scientific and artistic methodology behind his works. His most recent series ‘phg’ for example, resulted from a cooperation with the ’Jülich Centre of Research’ that enabled him to render his high resolution photograms with one of their supercomputers – those computers are extremely powerful and used for the most modern calculation processes in research. What has come out of this cooperation of arts and science are beautifully distractive layered 3D-like mashups of geometrical forms – difficult to explain – so do go and look for yourself.

THOMAS RUFF r.phg.s.05, 2014
From the series: Fotogramme – Fotogrammen – Photogrammes – Photograms
C-print © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014

When you wander through the exhibit rooms, try and follow the path of the changing light in Ruff’s photographs. From natural daylight in his old-fashioned, antiquated interiors, over the long-distance, long-dead lights from the sky in his ‘Sterne’-photos, playing with the effects of the inversion of light in his strangely close portrait-series, to the artificial lightning in the impressive digitally processed series ‘phg’. The exhibition thereby also depicts the fast development of photography technology. From analogue technique to working methods based entirely on digital practice, from micro to macro to an almost ‘virtual’ cosmos, Ruff’s works depict a cross-section of photography history. 

If you don’t want to do the exhibition on your own but prefer a bit of guidance or company – we’re planning to do a guided tour through the exhibit. We’ll announce the dates on the blog and on facebook – follow us, stay tuned!

If you’re familiar with Ruff though, you might be looking for the series of portraits that made him famous. Spoiler: you won’t find it, since this little retrospective, supported by the Kunststiftung NRW, technically is not a retrospective, but a thematic overview. An overview of five series from 35 years of the artist working with and exploring photography’s most vital ingredient: light. 

THOMAS RUFF neg◊india_01, 2014
From the series: Negatives – Négatifs - Negatives
Chromogenic print © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014

The exhibition’s name ‘Lichten’ is a clever play of words. Being the plural of ‘light’ in Dutch, it evokes connotations of the German ‘belichten’, which means ‘enlighten’. And with that, we probably are pretty close to what might be the author’s intention behind ’the realities of photography’. A photograph’s impression, its expression and ‘reality’ depends to a major extent on the right lightning. Ruff’s photographs are like an expedition through the possibilities of light and its use in and for the art of photography. 

Grabbeplatz 4
40213 Düsseldorf

Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 11am - 6pm
Entry: €6  Concessions €3  Young people under 18 for free
Special offer: Free entry between 6pm and 8pm every last Thursday of the month

Alina Valient