Thursday, May 23, 2013

A new article about this blog (translation)


The cities transmit our attention in an unexpected way, you can go around them without the need to examine in depth, then suddenly from the idea for a new photographic project everything becomes clear and arises the need to document.

I’ve started the blog Elephant in Berlin (http://www.elephantinberlin.com/) for fun, starting from what I already knew - the Second Great War and the Cold War - to move then to architecture, factories, small oddities, the nature and sometimes I’m a photoreporter at the events that I feel importants. Since a little while I’ve also decided to travel in Brandenburg, made of a lot fo small towns where you can still find traces of the medieval age as well as of the relationship between germans and russians till ‘94.

The blog rotates around photography, which is my job (http://www.norte.it), and it’s a way to incentivize to explore Berlin where the History is everywhere, near and touchable, not made by old memories, but by events that have influenced contemporary Europe and our personal lives (the images of the Berlin Wall falling are my first clear television memory). A city where the separation between east-west is carved in the buildings and it is still possible to find the marks, if you’re inclined to explore.

Berlin is alredy reborn more then once in the last century and its buildings follow perfectly this layering. The example that I love to do is the Soho House in Torstrasse - we pass through it every day but nobody knows its history. In the beginning it was the Kaufhaus Jonaß froma jewish family befor the nazi time, then it has been confiscated and paneled with swastikas to be used for the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth), after the wall standed out a huge Stalin’s portrait, it became SPD headquarter, then Institute for Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Then it was left in decay and now is a luxury hotel. This is Berlin.

But it is also a city with a lot of parks, markets, of modern buildings and hard choices and the fight for surviving of housing models built from below, the fight for gentrification and the break-up of the city to transform it in a ordinary european city, which is happening really fast.

Unfortunately we can not save everything, not everything will remain as is because Berlin is not a museum-city, but clearly for us watching back at the past every demolished building is a blow to the heart (one of the most painful image is the video of the Anhalter Bahnhof demolition which you can watch in Berlin Babylon documentary film), as well as are the random devastations which have pulverized wonderful places in the years, places where we go to save with photography which is crumbling and which is risking to desappear from the collective memory.

From here borns the need to support the instant of my cohabitation with this city. I provide documentary evidence today of which is still possible to watch from the past and the half-view of the tomorrow. I share this passion with my two friends Zuleika Munizza (http://berlino-explorer.com/) and Stefano Corso (http://www.stefanocorso.com/) as well as other photographers like Roberto Conte (http://www.robertoconte.net/) and sometimes someone writes me an email to suggest something to save, something that tomorrow will maybe disappear.

I’m now setting up some more news that will start soon and if you want to receive updates, feel free to visit my website or Like the Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/elephantinberlin).