A typical trip to Berlin might include a visit to the Brandenburg Gate, the TV tower (Fernsehturm Berlin), as well as taking in the eclectic mix of architecture in the city. Many visitors will also head to the remains of the infamous Berlin Wall, however there are more interesting ways to experience and capture Berlin’s conflict-fuelled history.
Andrea Figari, now in her mid-forties, has been living in Berlin since 2003. Argentinian-Italian of origin, she leads a group of volunteers at Berlin Fotomarathon – a not-for-profit organisation that organises photography events and exhibitions for hundreds of participants every year. Her favourite view of Berlin is in Kreuzberg, home to world class street art and one of Berlin’s most vibrant neighbourhoods.
“Kreuzberg combines the bohemian spirit brought by students and artists, as well as the many Turkish immigrants who have called it home for several generations. This hidden view in Kreuzberg captures the graffiti art called ‘Memorial’ by the artist ‘Blu’. Two giant graffiti figures are unmasking each other and their fingers forming the letters “E” and “W” symbolising former East and West. This piece of art is located close to the River Spree, which used to divide the city until 1989. It’s a fantastic fusion of modern art and Berlin’s recent history.”
Kreuzberg is part of the combined Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg borough, located south of Mitte, in Berlin.
Andrea’s tips for capturing the graffiti in Kreuzberg:
- In winter, use a fixed length objective – ideally a 50mm lens, 1.4 or 1.8. It can work wonders to counter the low lighting conditions on cold and cloudy days.
- Look up. Wildly decorated balconies, old gas lamps and original architectural patterns in the area will surprise you and help you capture the essence of Berlin.
- Focus on details. Forget panoramic views of well-known monuments. Instead, focus on the ephemeral street art, traumatic traces of war and the vintage clothing stores that await you.
Visit our blog next week for the ‘Hidden View of Rome’ by photographer Lucio Governa!