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Culture

February 2013: DW's culture calendar

From international film to crazy costumes, February is bound to blast the winter blues away. DW's presents what's in store this month on Germany's culture calendar.

In 2010, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi was sentenced to house arrest and given a 20-year ban on making movies. Nevertheless, his film "Parde" ("Closed Curtain") is in the running for a Golden Bear at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, which takes place from February 7-17.

With Panahi's film, the festival aims to make a statement against the persecution of artists in Iran. In addition to "Parde," the latest film by cult director Steven Soderbergh is also in the running. "Side Effects" has a high-profile cast, including Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Rooney Mara.

Iranian film director Jafar Panahi holds his Jury Grand Priz Silver Bear Award for 'Offside' at the Berlin International Film Festival 2006

Jafar Panahi took home a Silver Bear in 2006

Each year, the Berlin International Film Festival presents some 400 films from all over the world, ranging from blockbusters to independent and arthouse pictures. The 10-day festival culminates in the presentation of the Bear awards on February 16.

Antidote for the winter blues

Colorful costumes, light-hearted songs and liter upon liter of beer are a sure-fire way of saying adieu to the winter doldrums. Yes, carnival is coming to town once again. Highlights include the Carnival Monday parades in Cologne, Bonn, Dusseldorf and Mainz on February 11. There, you're sure to find elaborately decorated floats that unambiguously comment on the current state of affairs in German politics. But watch out! Those on the floats tend to throw piles of candy into the crowds.

This year, Cologne is honoring its new city partnership with Rio de Janeiro and samba rhythms, Brazilian drummers and Latin American flair can all be expected at the parade.

People dressed as giraffes celebrate Carnival in Cologne

Do you have a costume yet?

Very good, Martin Kippenberger!

Painter, actor, musician, enfant terrible - German artist Martin Kippenberger can't be put into just one box. He died at the relatively early age of 44, but would have turned 60 on February 25, 2013. In honor of the anniversary, the Hamburg Bahnhof museum for contemporary art is hosting a comprehensive exhibition of his work from February 23 through August 18.

The exhibition "Martin Kippenberger: sehr gut. very good" doesn't aim to be a retrospective, but to portray the person behind the public persona. Some 300 objects, including private photographs, books, album covers and films, will be on show. The famous "white paintings" - 11 white canvases that can hardly be distinguished from the wall they hang on - are among the exhibits. You have to look very closely to see the transparent children's handwriting on the paintings - which Kippenberger had given a grade of "very good," hence the title of the exhibition.

Martin Kippenberger, pictured in 1986

Though he died young, Kippenberger was extremely prolific

Education summit in Cologne

"There is no end to learning," composer Robert Schumann once said. And in our globalized world, that's truer than ever before. Cologne's annual education fair, didacta, is a meeting place for anyone interested in learning. From February 19-23, 800 exhibitors from 15 countries will be displaying their offerings from the areas of daycare, school, college, adult education, consulting and technology. The didacta also puts on a number of workshops, forums and seminars, with a special focus on e-learning this year.

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