Team

Meet the team of

Organization

Kai Ehrhardt | he/him
Founder, managing director, course & seminar leader, curator

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Founded Village.Berlin in 2016 and the Somatic Academy Berlin in 2012, where he is administratively active in the management, develops events and training courses and curates and runs the STRETCH and BODY IQ festivals. As a somatic educator, he teaches the Experiential Breath and Continuum and is licensed as a non-medical practitioner in psychotherapy. In 2002 he founded Authentic Eros – an offer for gay, bi and trans group processes around intimacy and touch, communication and personal development.

Eric LeRouge | he/him
Co-Founder of we are village, Founder & Director of Instinct Art

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Eric LeRouge is one of the co-founders of we are village. He also is the director of Instinct Berlin, an artistic project focused on local and international queer artists, as well as providing an artist residency since 2015. Formerly being involved with creative works in the fashion and marketing industry, Le Rouge has taken an active role in social causes related to the AIDS epidemic and queer and gay rights as well as the feminist movement since the 1990s. Currently, his organisational work at the Stretch Festival and we are village and his curatorial practice at Instinct is making an impact on the contemporary queer culture of Berlin.

Kaey | she/her
Event Coordination & Communication with Members and Partners

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Kaey originally studied fashion design in Berlin and then worked as an editor for Siegessäule Magazin for 10 years. She is a performer and regularly graces the stages of this city. She has been a trans* activist for over a decade, organizing everything from festivals to demonstrations. She joined we are village in March 2023 and support the project with her talents as an office and event coordinator.

Perttu Ratilainen | he/they/no pronouns
Fundraising, Strategy

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Perttu was working for a large international corporation in multiple departments and countries for over a decade. Perttu now pours the skillset he has acquired from this time into various Berlin-based sustainability and social projects doing project management, fundraising and communications.

Lucy Alice Thomas | she/her
Community Consultant, Lecturer

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Lucy is an organizational and funding consultant for non-profits and NGOs. She previously worked as the co-founding executive director of “Give Something Back to Berlin” for 8 years (until 2021), an organization which, among other things, is committed to building a more open and inclusive society. As a musician and socio-political activist (anti-discrimination, refugee, LGBTQIA+, children & youth rights) Lucy also supports social music projects, various working groups and is on the board of Loom e.V. which deals with issues of anti-discrimination, anti-racism and intersectionality, and designs offers. In addition, she gives workshops and advice on a variety of related topics.

Florian Filtzinger | he/him
Rental Coordination

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Florian studied anthropology and communication science and has been working on various projects in queer Berlin since 2013. Throughout his experience, he saw how most of the time our bodies needed to be of use or needed repair when they were sick or not functioning well enough. In 2017 he engaged in the study of somatics at the Somatic Academy Berlin and now offers courses to uplift the body as a true resource for wisdom, joy and depth in our lives.

Saskia Siebeneicher | she/her
Communication

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Long before completing her French-German Master of Arts, Saskia preferred collecting stamps in her passport rather than on her wrist. After 10 years working as an online editor and marketer for various corporate companies, she joined we are village as a core member in November 2023. She is responsible for overseeing the communication of the Berlin Senate-funded project on “Loneliness in the queer community.” In both her professional and private life, Saskia is passionate about the sustainable growth of communities. Inclusion and thinking intersectional are as much a priority to her as critically questioning power structures and (personal) privileges.

Martin Lorenz | he/him
Anti-Racism Committee

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Martin is a German Indie and R&B singer-songwriter with jazz influences and an a cappella background. As an artist and activist, he is committed to de-colonial and anti-racist initiatives and the empowerment of BIPoC. He got in contact with Village.Berlin and Stretch in 2016 and has played an active role in the community ever since, helping with customer care and communication.

Daniel Plettenberg (Didine) | he/she
Think-Tank & Project Development

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Daniel/Didine ist seit über 30 Jahren als Performer und Aktivist in der LGBTIQ*-Szene tätig (International Queer Filmfestival Hamburg, Rote Flora) und berät Unternehmen und Organisationen. Er ist Inhaber einer Parfümfirma und hält Vorträge in Philosophie. Didine ist Mitgründer*in von Feminité das Weiblichkeiten Museum auf St.Pauli

Meet the team of

Course and event facilitators

Axel Pedersen-Nielsen | he/him
Facilitator, body worker

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Axel lives in Berlin and does bodywork using the Pantarei approach and Embodied Counseling. He has roots in the left/trans/queer activist scene in Copenhagen and is interested in the connection between social justice and embodiment. His work focuses on supporting groups and people on their journey to a life of strength, compassion and resilience.

Coral Short | they
Facilitator, Activist, Anti-Racism as a Daily Practice

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Coral Short is a white settler living in the undisputed place of settlement of the Kanien’kehá:ka, Anishinabe, and Haudenosaunee – the island of Tiohtià:ke in Turtle Island, known colonially as Montréal, Québec, Canada. Coral has Irish heritage, but also Welsh, Romance, German and Scottish roots. They actively unlearn their racism by attending workshops, organizing anti-racist book groups, and engaging in anti-racist activism, learning, and teaching. They currently work as an artist and professional gardener. You are in training to become a True North Insight and Somatic Experiencing teacher.

esmat ahmadian |she/her, no pronouns
Embodied Consent

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yohoo! my background is performance, trauma work, sexological bodywork, exploration of queer community. I am white, currently not disabled. I’m super excited to see what we can do together, with our voices and bodies – how we can set up our processes in such a way that they overlap with the liberation from all oppressive social systems at the same time. one intention i have as a facilitator is to give confrontation and disorder space and a hearing. I’m pleased..!

Harvey Rabbit | he/him
Embodied Consent

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Harvey Rabbit is a queer trans filmmaker, artist and bdsm practitioner who primarily believes in the healing power of creativity and laughter. Berlin has been his home for almost a decade. During this time he has developed an extensive practice around the topic of “mutual consent” (Consent), which consists of group discussions and body-oriented games. You can learn more about his artwork at his website www.harveyrabbitphoto.com and read about his latest film here: captainfaggotron.com

Jens Dube | he/him
Acroyoga

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Jens Dube is a physiotherapist, Thai massage & Acroyoga teacher and therapeutic flying practitioner. As an acroyoga teacher for more than 10 years, he finds acroyoga to be a great opportunity for people to connect and experience something potentially wonderful while playfully exploring fears and boundaries.

Jochen Kleres | any pronoun
Facilitator, Queer Contact Improv Laboratory

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Jochen is a sociologist, is training to be a dance therapist and is an alternative practitioner for psychotherapy. He is passionate about improvisational dance (Contact Improvisation, Instant Composition, Gaga) and plays the bassoon. In the Village he is one of the facilitators of the Queer Contact Improvisation Lab & jam/distance.

Jo Koppe
Facilitator, Somatic Educator, Dancer

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Jo Koppe is on a continuous journey to connect and share a multitude of different experiences, practices and perspectives. He studied dance as well as sociology and gender studies, and has worked as a performer and dramaturge, anti-bias trainer, tantra masseur, personal assistant for people with so-called disabilities and as a terminal companion. He was initiated into the “natural religion of being trans,” which (according to Anohni) “almost automatically turns you into a witch.”

Jochen Stechmann | they/them
Esalen Massage, New’s Year Retreat

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Jochen arbeitet als Bodyworker (Pantarei Approach) und angehender Traumatherapeut (Somatic Experiencing) in Berlin – in Einzel- und Gruppenarbeit hauptsächlich mit queeren Menschen. Er hat Mathematik, Zeitgenössischen Tanz (BA) und Theater (MA) studiert und ist 15 Jahre in den Niederlanden als Tänzer und Choreograph tätig gewesen.
Bei seiner Arbeit fasziniert ihn immer mehr die Fähigkeit des Körpers und des Nervensystems, sich intuitiv und fließend dauerhaft selbst zu regulieren. Mit grosser Empathie und Freude am Neuen erforscht er die Rolle, die achtsame, wertfreie emphatische Berührung dabei spielen kann.

Maevon Canter
Bodyflow Massage, Soul of Skin Training

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Maevon has been researching spirituality and movement for over 30 years. In 2009 he began studying somatic practices at Authentic Eros and was certified as a Sacred Intimate in the Body Electric Tradition. He currently teaches BodyFlow massage as part of the Village’s Soul of Skin program and contributes to the Stretch Festival.

Marcelo Alves | any pronoun
Curator of Village Movie Night, Village Anti-Racism Committee

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After living in New York for 20 years, I moved to Berlin to study production design in Babelsberg and now work in this field. Since I see life as a queer, third-cultural POC, I am involved in community organizations such as GMHC, Friends in Deed, Berlin AIDS Help and the Berlin Chem-Sex Network. I’ve been involved with Village.Berlin since the first Stretch Festival. Today I am part of an anti-racism and inclusion initiative and can share my passion by organizing the monthly film night.

Marco Astolfi | he/him
Village Heart Circle, Book Club, Writers Group

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Marco Astolfi is a literary translator, writer and fairy from Italy. He lives in Berlin, is a co-organizer of the Village Heart Circle for GBTQ men and runs the Book Club evening every two months. He is a regular at Creative Writing and can occasionally be found modeling for Life Drawing classes. He attended the One Year Training in 2018 and led the Cock O’Clock workshops at Easter Stretch Festival 2019 and Private Talk at Stretch Imagina 2020.

Michael Rolnick | he/him
Facilitator, One Year Training, Life Drawing, New Years Retreat

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Michael trained at the Royal Ballet School in London before embarking on a diverse career in dance, theater and opera. His somatic training includes dance, Gyrotonic®/Gyrokinesis® and Pilates as well as therapeutic bodywork (biodynamic craniosacral therapy and Thai yoga massage). Michael currently offers 1:1 bodywork sessions and is active in both the performative and visual arts.

Peter Pleyer | he/him
Queer Contact Improv Laboratory

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Peter ist ein Choreograph und Lehrer für zeitgenössische Tanz und Körper-Techniken in Berlin. Seit dem ersten Stretch Festival vermittelt Peter regelmässig einen spielerischen tänzerischen Umgang mit dem eigenen und fremden Körpern. Contact Improvisation, Trio-Hands-On-Bodywork, Trio-Fake-Healing, Male Breast-Feeding und Slow-Raving sind Beispiele von Gruppen-Scores, die er für Stretch-Village in den letzten Jahren unterrichtet hat.

Leon Taubert | he/him
Body-Centered Meditation

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Leon Taubert, graduate psychologist, training in integrative, body-oriented psychotherapy (according to the Alternative Practitioners Act), further training in “stress management according to Kaluza”, autogenic training, hatha yoga (certified by statutory health insurance companies according to §20 SGB V). Various meditation retreats in Southeast Asia and Germany, mainly in the tradition of Theravada Buddhism. Since 2005, initially scientific project manager, now head of the consulting department at the German Aidshilfe.

Tchivett | they/them
Queer Contact Improv Laboratory, Village Inclusion & Diversity Committee

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Tchivett is a Berlin-based dancer, improviser and performer. He comes from France and is trained in contemporary dance, butoh, performance art, somatic practices and martial arts. Since 2011 he has been creating his own solo pieces and workshops and has toured throughout Europe in alternative scenes and festivals. He also participates in various constellations of creative dance group processes and research collectives that aim to develop artistic and political practices around dance, improvisation, self-organization, queer culture and feminism.

Thilo Keller | he/him
Monday Yoga, Yoga for LGTBQA+, Breathe!

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I am interested in developing physically, mentally and spiritually and supporting people in this. The goal is that you become an ever better version of yourself in your life and in your body. My yoga background is based on Hatha (Sivananda Yoga Acharya), Ashtanga and Katonah Yoga combined with elements of spiral dynamics and coaching. And of course I know a lot about nutrition and what it can do for your well-being.

Torsten Bless | he/him
Village Heart Circle

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Torsten Bless lives in Berlin and works as an editor and copywriter. He found his way into the Authentic Eros/Village community at the 2015 East Stretch Festival, completed the 2016 One-Year Training and has co-hosted the Village Heart Circle since Summer 2017.

Wanja Warscheid | he/him
Boxing, Bodywork & Balance

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I’m Wanja Warscheid and I’ve been teaching boxing for 11 years. My cornerstones are self-confidence and movement. In my years as a coach, I’ve learned that everyone has a different approach to movement. That’s why I show my students an honest way to discover and express themselves. Boxing is our medium. A combat situation brings our true selves to the surface and opens us to others and most importantly to ourselves. That’s what I do.

Andrew Marshall | he/him
Facilitator, Writer, Writer’s Group

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Andrew is a marriage therapist and communication coach with over thirty years of experience helping couples and individuals improve their relationships. He has a practice in Berlin. He is the host of The Meaningful Life with Andrew G Marshall podcast and has written 20 books that have been translated into 20 languages.

Markus Kaufmann | he/him, they/them
Massage Exchange, Festival Volunteer Coordinator

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In his work as a health coach, Markus supports chronically ill people in coping with everyday life. The work Markus offers is best described as a space where psychology meets spirituality. Markus is a trained systemic coach, alternative practitioner psychotherapy, yoga therapist and energy worker.

Jorge De Hoyos | he/him
Facilitator, Queer Contact Improv Laboratory, Outdoor Events

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Jorge De Hoyos is a Southern California contemporary dancer, performer and choreographer based in Berlin since 2012. He recently completed the master’s degree “Solo/Dance/Authorship” at the Berlin University of the Arts. He is currently re-enrolling in a permaculture certification course he completed 10 years ago in San Francisco. In late 2020, he began training in Kung Fu and Tai Chi, revolutionizing his approach to dance and grounding.

Yin Haolong | he/him
Facilitator, Queer Contact Improv Laboratory

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Yin Haolong is a Berlin-based dance artist and somatic bodyworker. He asks questions and works with bodyminds and improvisation as tools to explore the layers and depths of being in relationships and in the world. He teaches contact improvisation and yoga at universities, festivals and workshops.

Karl-Henrik Sahlén | they/them
Queer Authentic Dating

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Karl Henrik has received a Bachelors in International Psychology, is accredited in Life Purpose Coaching and also a Certified Hatha and Chakra Yoga Teacher. He is continuously focused on exploring and integrating new practices in the areas of psychology, spirituality and movement. Recently, he has also gained experience in the fields of Bioenergetics, Feldenkrais, Katonah & Jivamukti Yoga, as well as Mixed Martial arts, which he interconnects with his Coaching and Energy Healing Work. In addition to his 1-1 practice, Karl Henrik is facilitating a number of regular sessions and workshops surrounding these topics. With honesty, joy and kindness, he is committed to create room for and hold space for whatever emerges. His presence, determination, and compassionate insight into self-exploration lead him to be a very powerful guide for facilitating spaces of introspection, movement and pure being

Mischa van Dullemen | he/him
Partner Yoga

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Mischa teaches (partner) yoga, contact improvisation and Thai Yoga Massage.

He was a dancer for many years and has been teaching dance and yoga since 1990.

Partner yoga is a playful and intimate form of yoga, in which you explore the poses together in a variety of ways, like leaning into or stretching away from each other, assisting your partner, or even climbing onto each other in various ways. Together you stretch and strengthen while learning to tune into your own and the other man*’s body. You are verbally and physically communicating about needs and boundaries, as well as sweating and laughing.

Daniel Salamon | he/him
Outdoor Events, Partner Yoga

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Daniel has enjoyed Nature and the outdoors since a very early age, has had a yoga practice since the late 1990s, and a growing interest in therapeutic and sensual touch. He has been involved in various ways with the Village, and the Radical Faeries (globally) since 2013. He lives in Berlin, has a garden in furthest Brandenburg, and can be found adventuring in other places mostly in Winter.

David Le Guillermic | he/him
Village Film Night Curator, Open writing circle

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Born in Paris, David studied art history before moving to London in his early twenties where he specialised in graphic and web design. Whilst working in the photo archives of various national newspapers, he got involved in the world’s first-ever LBGT picture agency and volunteered in HIV/hate crime prevention campaigns. Based in Berlin since 2004, he has mainly worked as a translator and, as author, given numerous public readings both in French and English. His current literary projects deal with issues close to his heart: urban space, gender politics, the transmission of queer history and power in a postcolonial context. He is also a freelance writer for French broadsheet Libération

Jan Großer | he/him
Psychological counsellor at Schwulenberatung Berlin

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Jan Großer (*1963), psychiatrist and psychotherapist with experience in sex therapy and substance misuse. Five years of voluntary work in psychological counselling at Schwulenberatung Berlin. My aim is to promote physical and mental health through psychoeducation, real-life intervention techniques and conflict resolution strategies in dealing with illness, sexuality, substance use, shame and experiences of stigmatisation. I am familiar with all these issues both as a doctor and therapist and as a gay man with HIV directly affected.

Lucas Desmurs | he/him
Queer’d Up Yoga, Naked Yoga

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Lucas comes from France. He has been living in the U.K. for a few years before arriving in Berlin in 2012. He discovered yoga during a trip to India in 2007 and has since then been a yoga enthusiast, practitioner, before starting to teach vinyasa flow in 2017. He has been involved in the associative life in the LGBTQI+ community since joining the board of the French-German association BleuBlancRose e.V. and hopes to continue giving back to the community through his involvement with we.are.village.
His goal is to spread the joy of yoga in a safe space through a playful but challenging practice combining breath, movement and deep relaxation to allow participants to look inwards and unfold their true potential.

Phil Poole | he/him
Queer Meditation Group

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Philip Poole is a coach who helps people find their authentic life. He is English, lives in Berlin, and has studied meditation for over 10 years. Phil uses various techniques, including Loving Kindness, body work and movement.

Harms Wulf | he/him
Village Outdoor

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Harms already knows Berlin from the times of division. Since then, he has explored the urban and natural spaces of Berlin and its surroundings both professionally and privately.

Meet the team from

Instinct Art

Eric Lerouge | he/him
Founder/Director of Instinct Art Berlin & Co-Founder of we are village

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Eric LeRouge is one of the co-founders of we are village. He also is the director of Instinct Berlin, an artistic project focused on local and international queer artists, as well as providing an artist residency since 2015. Formerly being involved with creative works in the fashion and marketing industry, Le Rouge has taken an active role in social causes related to the AIDS epidemic and queer and gay rights as well as the feminist movement since the 1990s. Currently, his organisational work at the Stretch Festival and we are village and his curatorial practice at Instinct is making an impact on the contemporary queer culture of Berlin.

Kasra Rahmanian | it/its
Instinct Team

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Kasra Rahmanian is a Berlin-based artist and curator from Iran.

Pierre Emö | he/him
Instagram Village und Instagram Instinct, Curator Team Instinct

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Originally from France, Pierre Emö currently lives in Berlin, where he explores the possibilities of film, theatre, performance and modeling. His cinema appearances include Yann Gonzalez in KNIFE + HEART, Bruce La Bruce in IT IS NOT THE PORNOGRAPHER THAT IS PERVERSE… and most recently in Henrika Kull’s film BLISS. On stage he performed with the group Nilsson Eicke in DECAMERON and THE VALKYRIE. It was part of the exhibition WINDOW TO THE KLO: PUBLIC TOILETS & PRIVATE AFFAIRS by Marc Martin in the Gay Museum in Berlin. He is currently touring with Matthieu Hocquemiller’s performance THE ETHICS. He is also part of the Pornceptual collective and a member of the curatorial team surrounding Instinct.

Meet the team of

Volunteers

Alexey Bragin | he/him
Studio Caretaker, Volunteer Team, Green-thumb Garden fairy

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1954 to now: born, school, university, Pskov, Saint Petersburg, Berlin. Mathematics, hydrogeology, life. Child, pupil, student, street cleaner, scientist-researcher, translator, dishwasher, bar manager, bar owner, volunteer, cleaner, thinker, pensioner.

Markus Kaufmann | he/him, they/them
Massage Exchange, Festival Volunteer Coordinator

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In his work as a health coach, Markus supports chronically ill people in their everyday life. The work Markus offers is best described as a space where psychology meets spirituality. Markus is a trained systemic coach, alternative practitioner psychotherapy, yoga therapist and energy worker.

Fabian Fleckenstein | he/him
Volunteer Coordination, Village Potluck

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“Fabian is a wonderful person from Berlin who loves people
get together!”

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