photos: Hanko Ye
Berlin, that’s almost 4 million people hustling through their distinct lives. 4 million mindsets, stories, and life plans. The diversity of Berlin is the most apparent when the whole city is celebrating on the streets. On these occasions Berlin is showing its most real, raw and unadorned side. Just last weekend at “Karnival der Kulturen” the photographer Hanko Ye captured this side of the capital.
The “Karnival” is one of these days when the city is smacking her realness into our faces. This celebration of cultures can also be quite a culture clash at times: Thousands of people, crammed subways, noise, sweat, and dirt. It ‘s always a lot to take. But still, what drives so many Berliners out on the streets, out into these never ending masses? Don’t we just bump into thousands of drunks? Don’t we always lose all of our friends? And doesn’t it always start raining when we forgot our jacket? Isn’t it just asking for stress, claustrophobia and panic attacks? What drives us?
Berlin is never polished, glossy, or neat and it shouldn’t be. That’s not the reason we came for or stayed here. Berlin is beautiful – beautifully trashy. Yes, it is stressful but stressfully energizing. On days like “Karnival”, Berlin doesn’t wear any make-up. It is untamed, non-conformist, wild, and not necessarily pretty. If we can take Berlin’s energy on one of these days, we can take it any time. Because Berlin’s beauty might not be superficial but it’s always there, in between the lines.