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
Founder/Director of Instinct Art Berlin & Co-Founder of we are village

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Eric Galassi aka Eric LeRouge (born July 22, 1964) is a French freelance curator and activist. He lives in Berlin since 2003.

Eric Le Rouge is one of the co-founders of We Are village and director of Instinct Berlin – an artistic project focused on local and international queer artists, providing artist residencies since 2015. Formerly involved with creative work in the fashion and marketing industries, Le Rouge has taken an active role in social causes related to the AIDS epidemic, queer and gay rights since the 1990s. Currently, his organisational work at the Stretch Festival, Village and his curatorial practice at Instinct is making an impact on the contemporary queer culture of Berlin.

Christoph Wollesen | he/him
Project Manager we are village | queer matters

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As the general Project Manager for we are village, Christoph oversees and coordinates all operational areas since April 2024. With a 10 year background in international Hospitality Management he is well versed in overseeing a team while paying attention to detail as well as the big picture. He studied Art and Media and Material Culture of Textiles. An active member of different queer causes, he contributes his organisational and interpersonal skills where needed.

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

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

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

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Perttu worked for more than a decade for a large international corporation in multiple departments and countries. He now utilizes his there learned skillset at Berlin-based sustainability and social projects doing project management, fund raising 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. Previously, she was for 8 years (until 2021) co-founding executive director of the organization “Give Something Back to Berlin” 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
Somatic Educator, Activist, Village.Berlin 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.

Pari Ludin | she/they
Project Staff

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Born in Germany and raised in Canada, Pari is a cultural worker, musician, and writer of Afghan descent. With a foundation in Music as well as Arts Administration & Cultural Management, Pari played an instrumental role in shaping Toronto’s dynamic arts and culture landscape over the years. She moved (back) to Deutschland and continues to focus on dismantling barriers, fostering inclusivity, and dreaming up ways to amplify the transformative power of the arts within local communities + beyond.

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

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Daniel/Didine is a performer and activist in the LGBTIQ* scene for over 30 years (International Queer Filmfestival Hamburg, Rote Flora) and is consulting enterprises and organizations. He owns a perfume company and gives lectures in philosophy. Didine is founding partner of the Feminité das Weiblichkeiten Museum auf St.Pauli

Meet the team of

Course and event leaders

Alan Lessik | he/him
Meditation

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Alan Lessik is a novelist, queer activist and Zen practitioner. He taught meditation at Queer Dharma at the San Francisco Zen Center and was a guest teacher at the SF LGBTQ Sangha.

Andrew Marshall | he/him
Meditation

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Andrew is a marital therapist and communications trainer with thirty plus years helping couples and individuals make better relationships. He has a practice in Berlin. He hosts the podcast ‘The Meaningful Life with Andrew G Marshall and has written 20 books which have been translated into 20 languages.

Axel Pedersen-Nielsen | he/him
Facilitator, Bodyworker

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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.

Ayo Gri | they/them or he/him
Bodyworker

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Ayo Gry (they/he) is a Berlin-based, born in Denmark, pleasure positive (s)explorer, and artistic collaborator, with a professional background in Performance Design, Sexological Bodywork and Mind/Body Therapy. On a daily basis Ayo works as a practitioner of embodied therapy.
They co-founded Skinship_Berlin in 2020, where they are facilitating embodied queer-centred spaces, to research and develop our relationships to our bodies and sense of belonging to self, others and the planet.
www.touchedbodywork.com

Bence Gáspár | he/him
Outdoor Events

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Open Floor embodied mindfulness teacher, biologist. Berlin-based, from Budapest, Hungary. Studied economics, critical social theory, biology. PhD in Tübingen, Germany, in evolutionary ecology. Dance, meditation, hiking, walking, yoga, nature –
I weave critical social theory, evolutionary biology, and an ecological perspective into our shared embodied mindfulness practice, which is usually fun and focused at the same time. With a similarly broad musical palette, I aim to give space for an exploration through movement as diverse as possible.

Benjamin Block | he/they
Embodied Consent

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Born and raised in Berlin, Benjamin holds a master in dance. As a trainer for body-attention and expert in holistic bodywork he is passioned about his lifelong research for embodiment, health and personal growth. He loves to empower humans to reconnect to the wisdom and potential of their bodies- individually as well as collectively. He is a co-owner of “Studio for BodyAttention & Transformation” in Berlin, where he is teaching in sessions as well in different workshop formats.
www.benjaminblock.de
Instagram @benjaminblock.bodywork

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.

Daniel Salamon | he/him
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, 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.

Harms Wulf | he/him
Outdoor Events

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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.

At the Village, he is involved with the outdoor events program.

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

Jan Henry Großer |
Psychiatrist and psychotherapist, seminars, workshops, lectures

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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.

Jan Suren | he/him
Playfight Queerfight

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Su is a kultural anthroplogist and undertaker, former boxer and rugby player.

Jasper J. Maurer | he/they
Photography

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Jasper J. Maurer is a portrait photographer. His artistic practice lies in the photographic documentation of the queer communities in which he moves. His work focuses on questions of trans_sexualities, desire, and belonging. Jasper is part of the collective Queer Analog Darkroom and lives and works in Berlin.

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.

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

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Jochen works as Bodyworker (Pantarei Approach) and graduating Traumatherapist (Somatic Expereincing) in Berlin – in one-to-one session and group workshops, mainly with queer identified people. He studied Mathematics, Contemporary Dance (BA) and Theatre (MA) and has been busy for 15 years as Performer and Choreographer in the Netherlands.
In his work, he is increasingly fascinated by the ability of the body and nervous system to regulate itself intuitively and fluidly on a permanent basis. With great empathy and joy in new things, he explores the role that mindful, non-judgmental emphatic touch can play in this.

Julian Martin | he/him
Soul of Skin

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Julian originally studied acting, dance, and voice before discovering his passion for massage and bodywork. He is based in Zurich, organizes and leads courses and weekend workshops for people within the queer male spectrum worldwide. His focus revolves around the topics of breath, voice, movement, touch, self-acceptance, and the discovery and expression of one’s own needs as the key to a liberated and creative (sex) life.

http://www.menbodywork.ch

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.

Lana Loeser | no pronouns or Lana
Queer experiences of isolation and loneliness

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Lana is a non-binary licensed psychotherapist and represents queer-feminist ideas and approaches. Lana provides empathetic and professional support to people with mental health challenges. With a clear focus on individual support, Lana is committed to accompanying queer, trans* and non-binary people on their path of self-discovery, creativity and healing.

Leon Taubert | he/him
Body-Centered Meditation

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Leon Taubert, graduate psychologist, training in integrative, body-oriented psychotherapy, sexual counseling (DGfS), hatha yoga (vinyasa style). Various meditation retreats in Southeast Asia and Germany, mainly in the tradition of Theravada Buddhism.

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.

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.

Marc Buscha | he/him
Touch & Massage Training

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He has been working successfully as a massage therapist in his own practice for over a decade. The focus is on deep tissue massage, rebalancing, Californian full body massage© and foot reflexology. Well-founded experience as well as trust in one’s own intuition and power create a safe space that can enable healing. His conscious, clear and grounded way picks up everyone exactly where they are in life! In his practice studio, he has also given his passion for art a permanent place, regularly changing exhibitions provide a platform for queer international artists.

Marcelo Alves | any pronoun
Village Film 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.

Markus Kaufmann | he/him, they/them
Massage Exchange

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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.

Max Wenzlaff | he/him
Cuddle Puddle

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As a gay cisgender man with a childhood next to the eastern side of the Berlin Wall, I continue to discover the meaning of connection. I am exploring the balance between communication, empathy, physicality, sexuality, and emotional needs.

I believe that tenderness, touch, and physical contact are essential resources of interaction – with others and with oneself. In my professional life I create interfaces between people and processes.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Roman Söllner | he/him
Bodyworker

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Roman started his career as a modern dancer in New York. Injuires forced him to give up the life of a dancer, and pushed him into becoming a massage therapist and bodyworker, trained in many massage techniques. Many residential trainings in Lomi Massage in Hawaii followed and opened a new world, where healing touch, dance, and spirituality became one. Over the years, Roman has been giving many trainings in Lomi Lomi. For 16 years now, the love and respect for the “Queen of Massages” have been a fundamental part of his life. Apart from offering bodywork in his private practice in Nuremberg, Roman is a writer, singer, ritual worker and gives lectures about myths and fairy tales.

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.

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.

Meet the team from

Instinct Art

Eric LeRouge | he/him

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Eric LeRouge is one of the co-founders of we are village. Eric Le Rouge is one of the co-founders of we are village. He is also 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, Eric 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.

David Le Guillermic | he/him

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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.

Nicky Miller | they

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Nicky Miller is a Berlin based genderqueer interdisciplinary artist, specialising in films, performance, and creative writing. Originally born in St Brice-sous-Foret nearby Paris, France and of vietnamese origins, Nicky has also lived and worked extensively in New York City, and Brussels. LGBTQ+ sexualities and identities are at the core of Nicky’s work. Nicky’s work is redefining society’s perception of queer identities. Award wining and screened at many international Queer film festivals Nicky’s short-films portfolio includes work such as: Twisted Distinction, Levres Roses, Fisherman, Lemon Taste. www.nickymiller.org

Pierre Emö | he/him

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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 until now: born, school, university, 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

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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.

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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