About Finding Your Identity in Berlin

photos: Dario-Jacopo Laganà.

Despite Berlin’s ever changing face throughout history, the city has always been a destination for people searching for a place where they can truly be themselves and find their own identity. In times when the way we create and perceive our own image is so affected by everyone’s perfectly polished presence on digital platforms, anyone situating him or herself outside the norm might experience this search even more as a burden. This is why open, liberal places like Berlin help us all the more to find out who we really are and how we want the world to see us.

The Berlin-based Italian photographer Dario-Jacopo Laganà took this contrast of personal image and public persona as a starting point for his new work ‘Chunks of Soul’. He portrays creative Berliners exploring their personalities. Taken through broken glass, his pictures are imperfect but beautiful just like the portrayed people who share their stories of finding themselves and what role Berlin plays in their journeys.

Joseph Turian

I am a scientist, a performer, a dandy

“My portrait shows me. People think that if you wear makeup or hide your face, that you are being less truthful. That’s not always the case: by wearing a mask, you can sometimes express your identity in a more honest way. It is important to rediscover and reinterpret yourself and I choose extreme ways to express my personal style. I choose to live in highly open-minded cities like Berlin, where I feel safe.”



I’m an observant, empathetic, enduring,
mindful queer activist

“I wanted to give out a nice energy, but my portrait shows the pain inside, which I hide maybe, or think I hide. I arrived in Berlin in a very vulnerable state and learned a lot about myself. I’m now a stronger and happier person for it. And really, Berlin is the only place I can be as extreme as I want to be. I don’t want to fit in any boxes. And I can be like that in Berlin. Here, I find my bubbles, communities where I can be exactly as I wish.”



I am lost, crazy, fun, sad and naive

“With this portrait I wanted to share a piece of my soul and Berlin is helping me grow into my identity, slowly but surely. I think Berlin is the perfect place to live my truth. People here are more open-minded and willing to accept a different ‘lifestyle’ and in this portrait I see a human being with many dimensions to herself.”


Matteo the Skinny Puppy

I am the beast, I came for your parents ’cause I finished your children’s meat

“The importance of your persona is directly proportional to the importance you give to it. Stay yourself kids, stay true, it’s definitely easier. In what way did Berlin play a part in the discovery of my own identity? Berlin is raping me since I’ve arrived. The worst part is that I actually like it.”


Virginia Clemm

I am pure

“Berlin played a big role in defining my identity because here I had the chance to think of my life and my future with inner peace. I don’t care about creating a public persona. I feel save to live by my own personal image here in Berlin.”


Lise Terik

I’m a wild girl with balls

“In my portrait I wanted to see something deeper than a normal photo shooting. We often play in front of a camera, not here. I see the full me. Body and soul, with all my different facets. Meeting Berlin’s people from all around the world definitely helped me with myself. Berlin is FREEDOM! Sure, people here judge you like everywhere else but they also respect you and have admiration when you are yourself.”


Ceven Knowles

I am curious, restless, motivated, loyal and inquisitive

“Berlin completely reinvented me, or perhaps was a catalyst in my journey towards self-actualization. And I always feel safe living by my own personal image in Berlin.”

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<a href="https://www.iheartberlin.de/author/andy/" target="_self">Andy</a>