Tsellot Melesse on How to Dive Into Berlin’s Independent Scene
We’ve partnered with Squarespace to highlight the businesses that are changing the cultural fabric of four key cities: from London to New York via Paris and Berlin. Here, we have Tsellot Melesse on her favourite cultural spaces in Berlin.
Tsellot Melesse is a Berlin-born film and casting director, host, presenter and the founder of the outdoors club Black Canary. Born and raised in the German capital, she’s been a part of its creative scene since she was 14, and is a self-described “Berlin brat”. Having grown up in the city, she rejected the outdoors at a young age but one particular hiking trip she embarked on with her then-boyfriend led to the realisation that nature simply felt inaccessible to her. In a bid to change the narrative of the outdoors being predominantly white spaces – and to also surround herself with a Black circle – she launched Black Canary, an exploratory outdoors club for Black FLINTA (an acronym for female, lesbian, inter, non-binary, trans and agender people). Aside from her work on making the outdoors feel more accessible, she flexes her skills across music and fashion.
Her passion for the outdoors, however, bleeds into her travel tips too, and she recommends seeing Berlin by bike. As someone who’s tapped into the German capital, Melesse knows its hidden gems well. The mythology of Berlin leans into its liberal and fiercely independent ethos. “Independent and locally-run businesses are vital for Berlin's culture,” Melesse says, “because they reflect the city's creative spirit and individuality. These businesses also create a sense of community and pride among us locals.”
She adds, “Generally I’d say people in Berlin are not so much into the big, flashy and glossy, but cherish more local, unique and independent offers.” In her travel guide, she highlights the Squarespace businesses that are contributing to Berlin’s wave of innovation. Her cultural highlight is one particular nail salon.
“Effy mirrors Berlin's creative and artistic side,” she explains, “by providing a space for self-expression through nail art and trendy designs, reflecting the city's avant-garde and innovative nature. The uniqueness of Effy's lies in her caring nature. It really is one-on-one time and pure relaxation – she does not only take care of your nails but also of your mind. You’ll leave relaxed!”
Check out her full guide here