Carl Goes Leipzig
Leipzig is a city where creativity has percolated every street, building and neighbourhood. This former industrial city of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) experienced a sharp population decline after the wall fell, as residents sought more money and prosperity in the west. Nowadays, the very opposite is true. Hailed as ‘Hypezig’ and the ‘new Berlin’ by many, people are flocking to Leipzig in search of a better work/life balance and opportunities to pursue artistic or entrepreneurial ventures. Colonising old buildings with total creative freedom, Leipzigers have transformed the city’s urban fabric from practical edifices of traditional industry into spaces for expressive ingenuity.
Indeed, the creative and entrepreneurial scene in Leipzig is positively thriving. Art students from around the world are drawn to the famous Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts, where the New Leipzig School movement was born. Nowadays, a combination of these distinguished artists and up-and-coming talent are based out of Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, a former cotton mill that’s now one of Leipzig’s many artistic hubs. While big name institutions and venues are dotted around the city, the Leipzig style is often more low key and intimate. It’s not unusual to watch music performances in someone’s living room, or open-air, spontaneous renditions in the parks.
The way of life in Leipzig revolves around the outdoors as much as possible. Sitting outside for a meal or a coffee is a passionately guarded ritual. The parks attract Leipzigers for picnics and social occasions in all weathers; Clara-Zetkin Park comes top of many Leipzigers’ lists.