What better way to take in the daily life of Berlin than through 6×6 analog photographs and simple, but poetic commentary? Pieces of Berlin, a photo blog, captures the everyday, seemingly mundane (but not at all), aspects of Berlin – from old automobiles lining the street to your local Spätkauf owner and that street art that you’ve passed everyday for the past few years. We interviewed the artist and mastermind behind Pieces of Berlin, Florian Reischauer, to learn more about the themes of Berlin that preoccupy him and drive the evolution of his photo blog. We discussed how he has witnessed Berlin change in the past years and, on a lighter note, where you can find his favorite spätkauf!
BAPS: Are you originally from Berlin? If not, where did you grow up?
FR: No, I grew up in a very small village in Austria – you won’t know it (smiles). After studying in Vienna I moved to Berlin in 2007.
BAPS: What motivated you to create your photo blog, Pieces of Berlin?
FR: Berlin immediately became my home – I love many things here, for example that every kiez (neighborhood) is kind of different, has an different charm, athmosphere, demography.? It feels like Berlin is a conglomerate of many many little villages which form a metropole.? Berlin is very spacious and green, you can find a lot of parks in the city and still plenty of urban wastelands exist, which I love,? although they are critically endangered. And of course, the people, the whole world is gathered in Berlin.
BAPS: You document every element of life in Berlin. How have you seen Berlin change since you’ve been here?
FR: In 5 years of living in Berlin I have seen the city change quite a lot, unfortunately in a bad way I think. Gentrification is a big topic these days. Rents are rising like hell, living is getting more and more expensive.? Berlin is in danger of becoming a normal, boring city. It’s a place where everybody can find his or her place and there’s a lot of alternative lifestyle like Wagenburgen or squats.These things are disappearing more and more.? The city tries to sell off every free space and make money out of it. That makes me sad. Besides showing Berliners, and their ideas, opinions about their city, it’s important for me to document those changes as well in “Pieces of Berlin.”?
BAPS: How do you select which specific places or people to post about?
FR: I don’t select at all. I just try to cover the whole city and that female and male Berliners are balanced.
BAPS: What other art projects are you involved with at the moment?
FR: I am fully concentrated in Pieces of Berlin and my portfolio (smiles).
BAPS: What would you say is the best, or your favorite, street art in Berlin currently?
FR: Right now I enjoy crossing Oberbaumbrücke and reading “bitte lebn” on a house in schlesischer straße. I guess it is made by “bimer.”
BAPS: We loved your post about Späti International – which is your
favorite Berlin spätkauf?
FR: ahmet’s aka44, saalestraße
PROST! See you there and thanks for the interview Florian. Want to follow Pieces of Berlin more closely? You can do so here.