Vanishing Berlin: When Change Marries Nostalgia

Alfred Bajon-Spandau-2010

photos: Alexander Steffen

Should you ever talk to people who have lived in Berlin for decades, there is no chance that they won’t underscore how much the city has changed through time. Unfortunately, they are not pleased with what Berlin has turned into and while each of them might have a different account of what exactly the core of the problem is and who is to blame, they would all agree that gentrification has exacerbate the situation. Without intending to initiate another debate on how to tackle this alarming phenomenon, I would like to raise awareness for a beautiful photo project by Alexander Steffen. Having grown up in West Berlin, he started the project Vanishing Berlin in 2009 by taking pictures of transient landmarks all over the city. Wastelands, storefronts and brick walls are central elements of his work. While some of the photographs seem to have been captured decades ago, they were all taken in the last seven years. Alexander’s focus doesn’t lie on the past, but on the process of change instead. His next goal through the crowdfunding campaign of Vanishing Berlin is to publish this wonderful series as a photo book.

Nikos by Nikos
on August 19th, 2016
in Photos, Products

#CamerasandDancers in Berlin with loewe7

Camerasanddancers in Berlin by Thai Huang 20

photos: Thai Hoang

Over the weekend I stumbled across an awesome photo series by Thai Hoang that I want to share with you today. Some of you might also know the young photographer from his Instagram account loewe7 that was also part of our #berlin exhibition last year. As part of the monthly Instameet #CamerasAndDancers organized by Jacob Jonas The Company Thai had the opportunity to follow a group of five dancers through Berlin and capture them in stunning formations in various iconic Berlin backgrounds. I love the idea of this Instameet, I love the guys from the group and I love the results of this photo shoot!

Frank by Frank
on August 15th, 2016
in Photos

The Doors of Berlin

Doors of Berlin by Stas 16

photos: Stas / CC

Being superficial isn’t normally something to be proud of. Walking the streets of Berlin, it can make sense though, since the architectural surfaces of the urban space can be fascinating. Even the most banal things can be inspiring and beautiful, if seen from the right perspective. Someone, who has an eye for beautiful details is photographer Stas. Under this nickname, he shares his pictures of Berlin. We are especially fond of his series of doors of Berlin, because you never know, what awaits you behind them. Those ugly and pretty doors also tell a lot about the history of the city, about long gone trends in architecture, design and art. Have a look!

Valerie by Valerie
on August 10th, 2016
in Photos

Berlin is… Kissing

Berlin Kissing by Sascha Kohlmann3

photo: Sascha Kohlmann / CC

Berlin is full of kisses these days. A kiss on the cheek to the friends you are meeting. A kiss on the head to your kid when you bring it to school. A kiss on the lips of your partner that just made you so happy on this sunny day. Many kisses over the hot body of your new lover that you just met at the clubs on the weekend. There are so many reasons to kiss, so many people to be kissed and so much happy hormones flowing through our bodies while doing so.

To spread a bit of happiness today I collected a couple of “kiss moments” that street photographer Sascha Kohlmann captured here in Berlin. Enjoy and try to give a kiss to someone today :)

Frank by Frank
on July 11th, 2016
in Photos, Stories

Street Portraits: The Style of Berliners

Glamcanyon Berlin 6 q

photos: Katja Hentschel

There was a time when street style was totally a thing. Every major city had a street style blog (or many) and of course also Berlin. But the trend had faded over the years a bit and many blogs stopped posting or changed their editorial concepts. Thanks to Instagram and success projects such as Humans of New York (and other cities that followed) street portraits totally had a comeback!

Glamcanyon used to be one of the major street style blogs (and to me personally the most beautiful one) in the early days of fashion blogs in Germany, but the flow of new styles dried up a bit a few years ago. Back then the blogger behind it, photographer Katja Hentschel, shifted her focus to other projects such as her follow-up blogs Travelettes and Glowbus. But a few months ago her passion for street portraits came back to life and she decided to revitalize Glamcanyon. Now you can again regularly find her beautiful photos of beautiful people from Berlin and other cities that she comes to. But with the new photos you can see how the eye of the photographer has developed over the years. Now it’s not anymore purely about the looks, it’s also about the personality of the portrayed person and the moment they had with the photographer. Absolutely charming! We selected some of our favorites from Berlin for you today.

Frank by Frank
on June 30th, 2016
in Fashion, People, Photos

Finding Your Way Back To Berlin

Berlin Streets by Linus Ma 9

photos: Linus Ma

Seven months in the US tore me away from the beloved city at the Spree, and showed me my very own version of the “American Dream”, although I still don’t really know what that truly means. I got dropped into the shiny swirl of the City of Angels and just thrown out again, unprepared and unarmed. Suddenly, I am back in Berlin, and what was once familiar, now seems weirdly odd. So I have to find out all over again: What makes this city desirable? Here is a story about waking up from pink dreams and falling in love with Berlin again.

by Guest Author
on June 17th, 2016
in Photos, Stories

What We Learned From Berlin

Nadia

photos: Ilsa Hellman

Berlin is not only your home, your playground, your friend, your lover, your nightmare. It can also your teacher, if you let it. We all came here at one point, with different backgrounds, different experiences. And unless we were born and grew up here and have never lived in another city we all made the discovery that Berlin is different, it tells you a different story, it shapes your life in a different way. We can learn so much from it, if we are smart enough to pay attention, because some lessons can only be read between the lines.

Finnish photographer Ilsa Hellman submitted her portrait project Neu in Berlin to us a while ago and beside the beautiful photos that she takes of New Berliners what fascinated me about the project were the stories that the portrayed people where sharing. Regardless if they had just arrived or lived here for many years, almost everyone seemed to have received some sort of lesson or wisdom from the city and we would like to share some of those with you along with Ilsa’s photos.

Frank by Frank
on June 1st, 2016
in People, Stories

Another View of the Karneval der Kulturen

aufmacher

photos: all.x

On Saturday, on a taxi ride in Buenos Aires with a few strangers, I had a conversation about my recent trip to Rio, which quickly led to the topic of the Brazilian carnival, and then over to the one in Venice and Cologne. The conversation had almost switched to another topic when it struck me: We have a carnival in Berlin too! How could I forget! And it usually takes place in… oh, it’s this weekend! In contrast to the ones in Brazil, Cologne and Venice, our Berlin carnival is not specifically about one nation, but about all of them – or at least quite a big bunch. As the title “carnival of the cultures” suggests, different countries come together here with their traditions, dance and food. It became this huge thing here over the years with a big parade and food market. People either love it or hate it, but regardless, it’s a big spectacle with a lot of fanfare and the poor streets of the city that have hardly recovered from the mayhem of May Day are again littered with the cultural confetti of the next big street fair.

Photographer Alexander Niklass captured the event through his dark, urban lens; the results present the carnival in quite different light than what we are all used to. Enjoy the amazing photo series after the jump and for more photos by Alex follow him on Instagram.

Frank by Frank
on May 17th, 2016
in Photos

When in Need of a Rescue in Berlin

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photo: Anže Kokalj

We all need a little saving sometimes. Someone to grab us by our shoulders, reassuring it’s gonna be okay. In a city like Berlin, accidents happen. With so many people living next to and with each other, bruises are inevitable. In cars, on bicycles or walking on the street, with hearts falling on the floor, shattering to pieces: Every day, someone is out there, needing a pick-me-up.

Luckily, there is almost always help just around the corner to mend that heart and come to the rescue. Just like the other day, when an ADAC (automobile club) chopper landed in the middle of the street of Kottbusser Damm. Who knows, who needed saving that day – it’s good someone was there.

Photographer Anže Kokalj captured this unusual moment of a helicopter landing in the middle of Kreuzberg. You can find more pictures on his Instagram.

Yasmin by Yasmin
on May 5th, 2016
in Kreuzberg, Photos, Stories

Here’s to the Beauty of Men

Jean-Baptiste Huong

photo: Jean-Baptiste Huong

For the longest time showing the beauty of the human body was a bit of a taboo in art and artistic photography. What was completely natural for the old masters is now deemed to be too commercial to count as art. Art should not be appealing, let alone be beautiful. This is something for advertising, or in the case of the human physique: erotica.

It’s a shame really, because the human body is as good of an object for art as any, and not just as something abstract or for the sake documentary. I’m glad that the art world seems to slowly but steadily overcome this prejudice. More artists experiment with nudity, sex, even pornography. Even galleries are picking up on this. Now more than ever artists who dedicate themselves to the beauty of the human body are no longer just considered photographers, but actual artists. I think this development is very positive and we should embrace this positivity.

This weekend in particular seems to celebrate the beauty of the male body as there are not one but THREE different exhibitions with over 10 participating artists opening in Berlin. We took a closer look at a selection of the artists and how each of them celebrated the beauty of men.

Frank by Frank
on March 23rd, 2016
in Art, Books