Aids Gala 2010

Saturday Night at the Düsseldorf Opera House certainly was Some Enchanting Evening

I was fortunate enough to be part of the audience of the first Aids Gala at the Rhine Opera, under the patronage of Düsseldorf Mayor Dirk Elbers and hosted and curated by Albert Eickhoff, founder of Eickhoff on the Königsallee, the store with the most beautiful windows!

We were treated to an evening of incredible music performed by some big names of the opera world singing a program that crossed Verdi with Dvorak, Tschaikowsky and Rodgers. Beautifully accompanied by The Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra and The Chorus of the Rhine Opera who quite obviously really enjoyed being part of this charity gala.
As glitzily German celebrities and politicians took their seats in the house, Herr Eickoff conveyed a very serious message to us all:
Aids is not going away.
Aids remains a tragic topic, but one that has simply been pushed on the back burner as economic crisis and climate change dominate the media.
Of course we can all argue whether it really makes sense to juxtapose dying children with such a glamourous event. I completely share this view - and yet - it does raise awareness once again. These events do raise a lot of money. People are helped. Without these events Aids would sadly be just another story.

Every week in Düsseldorf someone is diagnosed HIV.
Every 77 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed HIV positive.
It is not just a problem of the third world or minority groups.

The facts in Africa are staggering: a child dies every two minutes in as a result of Aids.

We were shown a film from Mozambique where a program supported by the German Aids Foundation can help bring a healthy child to the world whose mother is HIV positive. For €650 the mother and child can be treated with medication that in most cases, ensures that the child is born HIV free.
I urge you today to give to an Aids support program. You can donate online here, this is all in German, or search for your own country's Aids programs and foundations and please donate online now. For instance to the UK's Terrence Higgins Trust.
The money raised at last night's gala, over €130,000, is going to help Aids patients in Düsseldorf and Dream (drug resource enhancement against aids and malnutrition) of the Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung.
On this Sunday, but not only today, please embrace "Tue Gutes und habe Freude daran" - the motto of last night's gala.
Thank you.


Robert Mapplethorpe died of Aids in 1989.
30 cents of every entry fee to the Robert Mapplethorpe Retrospective at the NRW-Forum will go the the Hope Foundation.

The NRW-Forum Re-Opens it's Doors

The NRW-Forum opened it’s doors in an impromptu action on 
Friday 15th January 2010.
The new city, fashion and arts magazine Modesch had planned it’s launch at a smaller venue in Flingern but was overwhelmed by the number of guests who planned to attend. Hearing this Werner Lippert offered the larger space at the NRW-Forum so with just 4 days to go, the launch, fashion show and party were just moved to the NRW-Forum!
There were 100s of guests, many of which had never visited the museum creating a really buzzy atmosphere. We met some great people there, including hopefully, the people who will be making the new RhineBuzz movie.

It was easy to understand why the city magazine Prinz listed the NRW-Forum number 1 in their recent 100 Reasons Why We Love Düsseldorf article!

The day before I was at the museum for the unveiling of the new installation of Olafur Eliasson’s Eye See You on loan from the Boros Collection.
Now when you walk into the house you are you are struck by a brilliant orange light, it really is like having the sun in the building!

How many times have I heard in the past few days that the expats in Düsseldorf are really looking forward to The NRW-Forum re-opening soon and the regular RhineBuzz Friday Nights at the NRW-Forum.

Already hailed by Spiegel Online as one of the most important arts exhibitions of the year the Robert Mapplethorpe Retrospective will give us much for the eye, the mind and the heart.
Friday Nights at the NRW-Forum is open to everyone. It’s an especially good place to come if you are new in town. We will soon introduce you to people and tell you the best bits about our great city. The bar is open to everyone, whether you’d like to see the show or not.
We really look forward to seeing you there!

Press conference Eye See You Olafur Eliasson

RhineBuzz After Work Arts at mkp

Come and see what you can do with a paintbrush! Or a whole host of other tools and materials at the Studio in the museum kunst palast.

On the last Thursday of the month RhineBuzz will be hosting an after work evening where you can come and see how creative you can be!
Absolutely no experience necessary, just a willingness to have a go.
Evenings are themed, often have a connection to the current show in the museum and include a few minutes looking at an exhibit to complement what you are doing that evening.
This is not an 'art class', no formal training is happening here - you are simply encouraged to have fun and see what you can come up with; but instruction can and will be given as requested.

All materials are included in the €18 fee per session.
First session February 25th at 7 - 9pm

Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Message me or send an email to to register. Places are limited, so don't wait until the last minute to book.

Mapplethorpe Cocks and Flowers

Preview before the press conference
When I told some of the regulars of the Stammtisch last autumn that the next exhibition would contain a section entitled 'Cocks and Flowers' they thought I was joking. Here it is.

In the section Robert & Patti,
the Patti Smith portraits exude the protectiveness Mapplethorpe felt towards his friend, his lover, his muse.

The other subjects he photographed however were just that. Subjects.
"When Robert took pictures, it was like he owned the subject. He dominated them completely. He didn't see you as a person, but as an art object." David Cronland about Robert Mapplethorpe.

The exhibition is clear, simple and very strong.
Mapplethorpe's work has an air of honesty about it even if, some of his works are alien to your world, they are scenes which happen every day and have happened every day for all time. They are more real than the air-brushed super models that grace our media every day.
And yet Mapplethorpe remains controversial even today.
Only in 2008 was Mapplethorpe's work actually allowed to go on sale in Japan.

The sections Black Men & White Women and Bodies & Faces, plus two movies about this most enigmatic artist complete this exhibition. There's an incredible amount to discover about Mapplethorpe. We look forward to seeing you there.

New Partner RhineOnline!

Gaby from RhineOnline contacted me ages ago.
I don't know where the time goes, but it's taken up until now for us actually have a conversation and a very constructive and enjoyable one it was too!
So do take a look around RhineOnline, your guide to Cologne, Bonn and Düsseldorf. It's full of all kinds of news and tips from this area, especially from Cologne which is always worth a trip to and it's only just over half an hour away on the train.

Our new site will feature a page on Cologne which will bring you news from RhineOnline on the Dome City.

The New Year 2010

For the New Year we are delighted to welcome Tina Adomako to RhineBuzz.

I met Tina at the opening of the Children's Film Festival in November. Of Ghanian/British origin, she has been working in numerous aspects of the media - film, journalism, publishing - for 20 years here in Germany.
Tina brings with her a keen interest in families, the environment, arts and culture plus an immeasurable wealth of media experience. All this and an English native speaker! My lucky star was quite obviously hovering over me when she came over and said hello.
We look forward to her content for the RhineBuzz Families section of the new site and the added exotic touch she will be adding to many other aspects of RhineBuzz.

Great to have you onboard Tina!