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Interview with Grashina Gabelmann – Flaneur

Flaneur Taipei Q&A

Interview with Grashina Gabelmann – Flaneur

Part I

After winning the Lead Awards for Best Indie Publisher, a D&AD Award for Best Magazine Design, a couple of Stack Awards which all end with the phrase ‘of the year’ – just to name a few – the trio behind Flaneur is getting regularly invited to join various workshops and panel discussions all around the world. So one might ask: ‘What’s next? What else do you want to achieve, dear Flaneur-Team?!’ Which is, frankly, not the most unreasonable question to have in mind but also becomes self-evident considering the up-coming Flaneur Festival at the HKW in Berlin. We met Grashina Gabelmann, one of Flaneur’s editors in chief and got carried away by her sparkling imagination when it comes to stretch the idea of publishing a magazine to its very limits.


Flaneur seems to be alluring in so many ways and on so many different levels. So what is it – the hidden indulging force implemented within the magazine – which makes it so successful and widely appreciated, you reckon?!

Perhaps the hidden force driving this project onwards is our naiveté as well as our trust to follow each other’s intuitions. And, what certainly helps, is that Flaneur isn’t just work done behind a computer screen but brings us to different places of the world where friendships and collaborations are formed.

How exactly did you come up with the idea from making a magazine to end up organizing a whole Festival instead of ‘solely’ another ordinary Launch Party?!

Having made seven issues we realized that the collaborative spirit of Flaneur Magazine doesn’t get translated fully to the audience with a common launch party. In a way, the release of a publication can feel like an anti-climax, as if it marks the termination of the discourse. Thus, the idea to turn the magazine into a festival is an attempt to extend the platform of Flaneur in a participatory way for the audience. The multiple angles and discussions that characterize each issue of Flaneur, will be opened up to the public thus creating more debates, adding contradictions and new angles.

Since this will be the first Festival of a whole series, accompanying each up-coming issue, what are you hoping for as an outcome and what would be the worst nightmare to happen?!

We hope the artists flying in from Taipei will have a beautiful experience in Berlin that perhaps leads to future projects. We hope HKW will have us back and that, though we will be exhausted no doubt, we will still feel the drive to do this all over again. Nightmare? No one comes, nothing works as it’s supposed to.

While traveling and diving into different cultures there is not only a lot to learn and discover about their way of living but also about your own cultural background. What do you consider as your most german feature?!

A conversation we had in São Paulo while making issue #7 has really stuck with me. Someone was asked what the most German thing is they have ever heard and the answer was: ‘Das entscheiden wir morgen dann ganz spontan.’ (‘Let’s decide tomorrow spontaneously’).

And what is a good approach which is definitely worth to anticipate from Asian or specifically Taiwanese life style?!

The coming together of modern life and spirituality. It seems the west has difficulties bringing the two together as if they are polar opposites that can’t exist in the presence of the other.

Thank you and good luck!

Flaneur Taipei is like every other issue a feast for the eye and a journey for the mind, so why not have a glimpse at all available back-issues of Flaneur here.

keep on reading Interview Part II


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