Review Of Culture
In Berlin Quarterly’s signature longform reportage, Allyn Gaestel writes from Kinshasa, profiling an independent collective of sex workers in the Congolese capital. Gaestel traces the history of sex work in the region from colonial times to the present, and grounds the reportage in close portraits of the women involved.
This fiction-rich issue includes four short stories: Clemens Meyer’s whirlwind account of sex work in East Germany, Esther Kinsky’s meditation on the Rhine river, Eloghosa Osunde’s encounter with ghouls, and Darryl Pinckney’s fraught romances in Berlin.
Two Nigerian poets are featured: Niran Okewole and Precious Arinze. Their work is expansive, ranging both in form and content, from contemporary scenes of women kissing in churches to naming major perpetrators of the slave trade. In addition, renowned German poet Jan Wagner appears in both German and English, as well as in conversation with poetry editor Ezequiel Zaidenwerg.
Jann Höfer’s photo portfolio illustrates a German village in Chile, founded after WWII, in its awkward rebranding as a tourist destination after the incarceration of its leader. The uncanny portraits capture both the aging population and the cinematic landscapes that surround the former cult.