J E N S     W I E S N E R
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

F R E I E R     J O U R N A L I S T   &  



Brennpunkt Taipei




Al Jazeera

AZ Namibia

Café Babel

Colors Magazine

Das Magazin

Die Zeit

El Pais


New York Times





































































































































































































Hello, world out there! On these pages you'll find my "blog" - obviously still living a web 0.5-life and - sadly but true - being updated once in a blue moon. Next version is promising full web 2.0-features but still work-in-progress... Nevertheless - always happy about your comments, propositions and criticism!


Blogging the Church

My new employer, the website www.katholisch.de started a "new" format for Christmas time. Yeah, people, I am talking about a blog :D Because I recently wrote my first entry about the "caganer", a particular feature of Catalan nativity scenes, why not self-referencing once in a while? And for nitpickers.. just make an educated guess which picture link got censored in the original entry...! ;)

Eine ganz besondere Krippenfigur...

Es ist schon eine gefühlte Ewigkeit her (gut, es war 2005), da begab sich meiner einer auf seine erste große Auslandstour, ein Jahr Studienaufenthalt im katalanischen Tarragona. Zugegeben, studiert habe ich dort jetzt nicht so intensiv, aber eine ganze Menge gelernt fürs Leben, z.B. dass Katalonien auf GAR KEINEN Fall einfach so mit Spanien gleichzusetzen sei, dass man zwischen Univorlesungen gern mal Dart und Kicker spielt und dabei dionysischen Freuden frönt… und dass katalanische Weihnachtstraditionen einfach anders sind.

Die katalanische Krippe zum Beispiel. Dort, wo das Jesukind friedlich in der Krippe schlummert, von Ochs und Eselein eingerahmt und noch nichts von seiner bedeutungsschwangeren Rolle für die kommende Weltgeschichte ahnend, ja dort hat sich eine ganz besondere Krippenfigur eingeschlichen, die … nun, es gibt keinen Weg, es hübsch auszudrücken… die schamlos mit heruntergelassenen Hosen in Hockstellung dasitzt, einen kleinen braunen Kringel unter dem nackten Popöchen.

Igittigitt, sagen Sie jetzt? Pfui Deibel, wie pietätlos? Für den Durchschnittsdeutschen vielleicht, aber in Katalonien gehört das Figürchen längst zum unverzichtbaren Krippenaccessoir. Einen “Caganer”, so heißt das kleine Scheißerchen nämlich, auf der Krippe zu haben, ist  “stinknormal” (wenn Sie mir diesen kleinen Wortwitz erlauben wollen). Traditionell trägt der Bursche klassische katalanische Bauerntracht. Doch längst haben sich findige Verkäufer gefunden, die den Caganer in allen möglichen Varianten anbieten. Am beliebtesten sind jedoch Figuren, die berühmten Persönlichkeiten nachgebildet wurden. Und dabei ist den Katalanen wirklich kein Name zu heilig: Die spanische Königsfamilie, Fußballhelden, Barack Obama, ja – selbst der Papst: Sie alle können sich über ihr ganz persönliches Caganer-Pendent “freuen”.

Angeblich, so lautet eine der zahlreichen Erklärungen für die Existenz des fäkalfreudigen Burschen, sei einem Hirten, die Aufregung um die Geburt des Heilands ein wenig auf den Darm geschlagen. Andere haben den kleinen Scheißer sogar zu symbolischen Ehren erhoben: Als Sinnbild für eine nährstoffreich gedüngte Erde solle er Glück für eine reiche Ernte bringen. Eines ist klar: Katalanischen Kindern bereitet es jedes Mal aufs Neue große Freude, den irgendwo in der der Krippenlandschaft versteckten Kerl zu suchen. Aber wenn sie den Caganer dann hinter einem Busch oder einem Baum ertappt (und ein wenig gekichert) haben,  lassen sie ihn doch sein Geschäft in Ruhe verrichten – denn soviel Anstand muss sein.

Wem dieser Text jetzt noch nicht auf den Magen geschlagen ist, der darf sich schon über einen meiner nächsten Einträge freuen. Dann berichte ich nämlich über den katalanischen Geschenkebringer zu Weihnachten. Und mit einem klassischen Sankt Nikolaus, dem Christkind oder gar dem Weihnachtsmann hat “Tio de Nadal” wahrlich nicht mehr viel gemein.

PS: Hier die neuesten Caganer-Modelle für 2009 als YouTube-Video

 FRIDAY, MARCH 20 2009

Paparazzi Style

Last week, for the first time ever, I got a glimpse at how it must feel like living a paparazzi life. I spent the morning in Osnabrueck, a town near to Muenster, interviewing a woman for the "Kirchenbote", a weekly magazine I work for regularly.

On my way back to the train station, I spent some time innocently trying out my new Nikon D-80 on some buildings alongside the road. You need to know: As in most German towns, the area around the main station is quite known for its more erotic offers. Although I was not interested in those offers per se, the different fronts of the buildings took my (photo-)graphic interest. While I was completely absorbed in finding the right f-number and shutter speed, I didn't notice a large BMW parking in front of one erotic shop. Until suddenly the door opened and a large, approx. 50-year old man got out, waving his hands, shouting in an aggressive voice "DELETE THE PICTURES!!! NOW!!!" - at the same time running across the road towards me, obviously not with the best intentions at heart. I froze, feeling like the protagonist of a really cheap movie. Did he really consider me one of these shabby private investigators who get hired by suspicous wifes??? In my mind I saw the man beating myself to pieces and smashing my beloved new Nikon on the floor. I considered running , but ditched the plan instantly. I just felt too proud running away from a 50 year old guy with more fat than muscles on his bones... So I just shouted back, that he's not even visible on the photo, so no harm done. (Which was true, by the way). If he really believed me or just noticed that he was in a quite dangerous position himself standing in the middle of a quite busy road, I don't know. Fact is he returned, and I continued my way to the train station unharmed. But I didn't try to make any more pictures...


Radio silence finally over

Now that my old desktop is equipped with a Wireless-LAN-Stick (no plain LAN available in my new home, damn technical progress) my forced blogging-free days are finally over.

As some of you already know, I moved house last week and will spend the coming four months in a shared flat on the other side of Muenster. It's a fair trade: 10m², but central in exchange for 16m² and some 10 bike minutes further away. Big advantage: I really don't expect to find a puddle of vomit in front of my entrance door. But to cut a long story short and to spare you too much reading, some pictures of my new jewel.

Blick aus meinem Fenster

Mein Blick aus dem Schlafzimmerfenster. Zur blauen Stunde sehen die Betonklötze der Studentenwohnheime echt ansehnlich aus.


Meine neue Küche (und gleichzeitig Flur). Nicht viel größer als die alte, aber deutlich mehr Ablagefläche zum Kochen. Juhu! Aber jetzt habe ich keine Ausrede mehr, nur Tiefkühlkost zu kaufen...


Eine aus der Not entstandene Eigenkreation, die ich "Hagrids Sofa" nenne. Halbwesen aus ausgeklapptem Sofa und meiner alten 1,40m Bettmatratze.

Minnie Advincula, minnie_adv@yahoo.com, am 17. April 2009 12:27
hey jens, your new place looks nice. very homey. Or did you just manipulate the lighting to make it look soothing. i hope you get as much fun here as you did anywhere else you've been to the past 26 years or so.

Jens Wiesner, jenswiesner@web.de , am 17. April 2009 16:14
well, the outside actually looks either nice or really depressing, depending on the weather... ;)


The Analog Factor in Life

I have to admit, I am a true child of the digital age. Back in the 90s when there were no CD writers I really hated these low quality audio tapes who always got tape jammed in my cassette deck. And let's face it: Dubbing your favourite songs from some radio station wasn't as romantic and fun as it seems now in retrospect. You could just count on these semi-funny radio hosts talking right into your favourite song and ruining everything.

And when I finally had completed my VHS collection of my favourite tv-series after five years of manual labor (of course manually cutting the ads out to get five instead of only four episodes on a 240 minute-tape) and sat down to watch the first episode again, the image and sound quality had already decreased so much that watching it was a real pain.

You can imagine, when mp3, divX and DVD finally hit the market and it became possible to watch my favourite tv-series days after they aired in original version in the internet instead of waiting years (if ever) for the German broadcast, Jens was a very happy man.

And the digitalization moved forward. The quality of digital cameras improved to a point where the fotos could actually compete with their analog counterparts. In 2001 I stopped storing my memories on foto-paper but used jpg instead. It was a good trade. Before digital revolution developing each film, each picture cost me dear money. Now the number of pictures wasn't limited to the content of my money purse anymore. Sometimes I took over 200 or 300 photos on just one night.

Also working as a photo journalist became so much easier. No more extra expenses for film development or delievering the actual film to the editorial. Just send the pictures via email. Done.

But some months ago, back in Taipei, I bought a small camera, the Lomo Fisheye No. 2, which turned my view on photography and digitalization in general upside down. (will be continued tomorrow...)


The Last Push

The idea, that you should possibly change your life may arrive on your doorsteps in varying forms and degrees. But nothing sells the idea of urgently needed change better than a puddle of vomit in front of your entrance door.

Said puddle is now five days old, thankfully has finally lost its nasty vinegar stench and of course its birthmother/father hasn't returned to clean up the mess. (Well, our neighbours next door - actually the puddle is more on their side of the floor - became proactive: They attached a sign to it reading: "THANK YOU very much, whoever you are! Clean the mess up - NOW!" Surprisingly it didn't help.

For me, it was the last push to say goodbye to a flat I've come to call home for the last six years. But this former place of great memories, parties and coffee-talks recently just felt like a burden around my neck. So from March 1st I'll finally cut the rope and move out into the great wide open. Still don't know exactly whereto, but I suppose everywhere will be better than a place with a puddle of vomit in front of your door...

Keep you posted!

PS: Initially, I wanted to post a picture to prove my point but it'll spare you the view...

Miguel, psalms1474@gmail.com, am 13. Februar 2009 13:54
I got lost at some German terms in your blog... Hahaha! Sorry... just commenting on your new blog! Good luck! :D Now a don\'t know what to press... Abschicken or Loschen? Haha.