Beautiful Berlin Boys: A Portrait Series by Ashkan Sahihi

We’ve already mentioned Ashkan Sahihi as the author of the captivating and personal portrait series of women in Berlin. Born in 1963 in Teheran, the photographer grew up in Germany, and today he lives in Berlin, shooting pictures for publications like “Zeit Magazine”, “New Yorker”, and “Vogue”.

His most recent project, however, references to the time back in 1987 when the author, still pursuing his artistic identity, moved to New York. There, as he recalls in the foreword of the new photo book, he met other young men, like him searching for their own ways of fulfillment, forming a community that encouraged all forms of self-exploration.

That community was soon to be thinned out by the epidemic of HIV and AIDS. Many of his friends, along with hopes and dreams of finally becoming their own person, were callously destroyed by the illness.

The author never stopped reflecting on those sad events, and when he moved to Berlin in 2013, he realized the members of our young gay community remind him of those he used to know in New York. As he further describes in the very honest and succinct preface, there are actually many similarities between the late 80s New York and today’s Berlin.

Like the late 80’s New York, Berlin remains an environment that nurtures the mental development of its inhabitants, but again, it is not free of certain freedom-threatening phenomenons. As an example, the photographer mentions the increasing pressure resulting from right-wing values being asserted by violence.

The 20 male nude studies published under the title “Beautiful Berlin Boys” are hence not only an homage to the men who fell victim of AIDS in New York, they’re also a strong manifest expressing support for the Berlin gay community of today.

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<a href="" target="_self">Michalina</a>