The Berlin Experiment – Exploring History Through Photography

photoMichael Beaton / CC 

Berlin’s image keeps on inspiring photographers. Apart from showcasing many awesome Instagram accounts presenting the capital in all of its current diversity, we love finding projects that visually combine the city’s past and present, just like the fantastic series, initially inspired by the movie ”Wings of Desire”. Today, we want to present a collection that includes fewer photographs but is nevertheless a meticulous visual homage to the city we love. Read on to see more works from Michael Beaton’s ”The Berlin Experiment”!

The photographs of the series truly have a particular charm. This notion is even more powerful when we read about the creation process, and find out that their author must have a genuine love for Berlin. The creator Michael Beaton explains that he has felt Berlin is a synthesis of different time periods ever since his first trip to Schöneberg back in 1985.


photo: Michael Beaton / CC 

photo: Michael Beaton / CC 


He goes on to recount a situation that seems to have become the ultimate motivation that set his project in motion: ‘I struck up a conversation with an elderly couple from Prenzlauer Berg over coffee one afternoon and found that they had experienced the same phenomenon in Berlin, continuously over the last seven decades beginning with their earliest memories as children. They called it – the attempt at a proper translation and as near as I could make of it – is “the spilling over of the years on each other”.’


photo: Michael Beaton / CC 

photo: Michael Beaton / CC 


Beaton admits he faced some difficulties while carrying out the project because some of the angles the original photographs were taken from were impossible to recreate because the surrounding terrain had changed too much, but we’re pretty sure the final result was definitely worth it. We especially appreciate the fact that the author tried to feature some other vintage photographs rather than only choosing grim images of war destruction.


photo: Michael Beaton / CC 

photo: Michael Beaton / CC 


It’s always moving to be reminded of Berlin’s history in a visual way. Let’s hope the unique magic of past decades will continue to permeate present and feature, inspiring even more creative projects and friendly chats with strangers.

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