Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin


Oranienstrasse (photo by Michael Hughes) - taken on May 1st, 1987 and re-taken 26 years on May 1st, 2013 as presented in the interview below

Oranienstrasse (photo by Michael Hughes) – taken on May 1st, 1987 and re-taken 26 years on May 1st, 2013 as presented in the interview below

Many have that dream: to be at the centre of events, inside the group and within the walls. Well, Michael Hughes, British photographer who by coincidence found himself living in Berlin-Kreuzberg in the 1980s is one of the lucky ones.

Fascinated by Kreuzberg´s New-Model-World atmosphere and the people striving to realise their dream of living a different life than their parents and the so called “good citizens” did, Hughes stayed to observe and record the events unfolding around him.

Setting off with a camera from his flat in Oranienstrasse he was bound to find enough topics to keep him locked up in the dark-room with thousands of contact prints to choose from for days. If his arrival in Kreuzberg was anything to go by – which it very much was – then Hughes was up for a ride.

Here´s what the photographer says about getting to know Kreuzberg in June 1982:

»We had one telephone number of a Wohngemeinschaft in the Oranienstrasse in Kreuzberg SO36 – the middle of the squatting action. During the week that followed, I fell in love, was witness to burning police vans, was hit by flying stones, soaked by water cannons, chased by police charges and ingested much tear gas.«

Some of the photos recording that explosive and pretty unforgettable time can be admired now in Michael Hughes´ photo-album published by Berlin Story Verlag: INSIDE KREUZBERG: An Homage to Berlin-Kreuzberg in the 80ies.

Here is an interview with Mr Hughes introducing the book and talking about its background. On the downside, the interview is available in German only. But no wonder: Michael Hughes´ German is simply impeccable. The 80ies might have been tough in Kreuzberg but they obviously worked wonders for your pronunciation:)


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