I was extremely honoured to spend a couple of days in March 2021 walking and talking the entire length of the Berlin Ringbahn as part of George Kafka’s fantastical idea for a radio show, which he then edited into something very special.
Portrait of the Ringbahn” by George Kafka is a sonic, historic and personal exploration of the ringbahn, an orbital railway that runs around the centre of Berlin. In this programme, the sound of a real time journey on the train is interspersed with conversations between writers George Kafka and Fiona Shipwright as they attempt to walk the train’s 37-kilometre route. These are joined by the voices of Berliners old and new who offer recollections and speculations on the ringbahn’s place in their own lives and in the life of the city. This assemblage of sounds and voices produces a fragmented image of an endless train line that is “more than just a line”. The ringbahn is hard infrastructure and imaginary boundary; a rolling viewpoint and a city-scale clock; a social place of introspection, heartbreak, parties, commuting and more.
Produced and edited by George Kafka
Written and hosted by George Kafka and Fiona Shipwright
Featuring the voices of Fernande Bodo, Chloé Borreguero, Larissa Fassler, Florian Heilmeyer, Anna Hentschel, Paul Meyer, Meg Miller, Julian Nindl, Noshe, Gunter Ruckes, Kai Schnier, Ian Warner and Felix Wierschbitski.
Original music by Edison
Graphic design by Diana Portela