photos: Ashkan Sahihi
“Berlin is always on the radar”.
A city’s soul lies in the people, that inhabit it. The townscape consists of the street’s faces.
But when we look closer, we ask ourselves: Who is Berlin?
Photographer Ashkan Sahihi has some answers. The capital has many faces, naturally.
Sahihi portrayed over 300 of them.
The 375 photographs of Berlin women are part of the series „A Portrait of a City: Die Berlinerin“ that were shown at multiple exhibitions in Berlin. Sahihi’s entire work of portraits is also published in a book. On 848 pages the reader gets an impression of Berlin that is far from cliché and close to reality. Get a preview of this amazing piece of work after the jump.
„Every language was foreign to me but still I had something to tell.“ Born in Teheran, a New Yorker at heart, many years and currently in Berlin – Ashkan Sahihi is not only a wanderer between worlds and languages. Sahihi is a scientific photographer. Or maybe even a scientist that takes photographs. He started a unique approach to Berlin. A city so diverse, it builds a whole from its different parts.
About two years ago he started to search for the female faces of the capital. Looking for the women that carry the capital in them, the photographer found 375 identities who built the mosaic of the metropolis.
The women were grouped in 35 categories such as profession or age. Sahihi wanted to capture every female Berliner as an individual though beyond their business. How a woman defines herself was more important to the photographer. „It’s kind of a written selfie“, he says. Written in the sense that every pictured woman gets two pages in his book. On the right is the picture taken by Sahihi. On the left page is a questionnaire, featuring handwritten answers by each woman.
Following the principle of a scientific survey, Sahihi captured the women where they wanted to be photographed. At home, at their work, out in the open. His scientific approach allows us a look on the residents of the city, that is not clouded by judgment nor romanticized. It’s captivating in all its real glory.
For over two years Sahihi worked on the portraits. He’s hoping that with this work, Berlin gets some more self-confidence. A self-confidence it should have, since it is more on the map of the rest of the world than one may think: „Berlin is always on the radar.“
All year long you can buy Sahihis mesmerizing photographs for your home. His hardcover book “Ashkan Sahihi – Die Berlinerin” published by Distanz Verlag, counts 848 pages with 375 images and questionnaires, and is available in German / English for only € 49.90 (D) / £ 45.00 / $ 78.00