How do you do?
It's nice to meet you.
I’m Verena and I like to talk and write about the things that bother me. Inequalities, hate and fear bother me a lot. Just like my life in Berlin, this website is in English and auf Deutsch, depending on the context. I always like to hear what other people have to say and think about the world and I’d love to hear from you!
These days I spend most of my time running Transnational Queer Underground. It’s a lot of communication, editing, decision making, project developement and also some accounting. Sometimes it’s hard, because there’s so many heartbreaking stories out there and people are far from being safe. Most of the time I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
I’m also a professional webdesigner and would like to support more projects and groups that need help setting up their own websites. I have my own company that is called Waterbear Mediendesign. I named it that way, because waterbears are resilient as f*** and we can all use a bit more of that.
What I’ve been doing so far:
Verena Spilker lived in Hamburg, Germany until graduating from high school in 2000. In 1997 she attended high school in California, USA for one semester. She studied Cultural Anthropology, Politics, Spanish and Russian at the Universities of Göttingen and Leipzig and finished her M.A. with honours in 2010. She completed two years of volunteer service in Ukraine in 2000/2001 and 2008/2009.
During her time at University she also taught herself HTML, CSS and Java Script and has been working as a freelance web designer since 2004, finally founding her own company, Waterbear Mediendesign, in 2015. She works for individual clients as well as bigger foundations where she provides project based websites. She also donates her time and web design skills to support interesting projects that lack the means to hire a web designer.
With an early interest in visual arts she won her first local drawing competition at the age of 12 and has published different artworks and participated in international art projects all her life. Today her main creative forms of expression are photography and design. She has also published articles in different magazines as well as in academic publications.
Verena has been volunteering and taking responsibility as a youth group and children’s group leader since she was 14 years old. She has worked with different human rights NGOs in Germany and Ukraine, organizing and leading seminars, youth exchanges, voluntary service programs, successfully applying for grants as well as conducting and following through with these programs.
Recognizing a lack of queer and female visibility in the places she’s lived in, and determined to change that, she’s initiated and organized one-off events, festivals, and event series in Göttingen, Leipzig and Berlin. Since moving to Berlin in 2009 she has collaboratively published Make Out Magazine, an independent queer-feminist magazine that existed until 2015, and established Transnational Queer Underground as an online platform for information on queer artistic life around the world. She had her own weekly radio show balm&creak for almost 16 years at Stadtradio Göttingen.
Verena speaks German and English fluently, and has a working knowledge of Russian, Hungarian, Spanish and Ukrainian.