Chris John Dewitt: his work is an astounding collection of photographs taken from the early 80ies of Berlin, before the wall came down. Although we’ve probably all seen a great deal of photography of that time, his work serves to be a memoir of a specific Berlin aesthetic.
Of course, his perspective is mostly taken from the West of Berlin. The photographer made sure to categorize the pictures and where they were taken for instant recognition and a wave of nostalgia. Especially the visibility of the soldiers in the city mark such a stark difference to todays Berlin. I love how he gets personal with his imagery here and there, complaining about the films he used (oh, the analog aesthetic!) and how they were supposed to turn out instead.
His little anecdotes about his trip to divided Berlin are just as delightful and entertaining as his pictures.
“When I got there I began taking pictures, but was very quickly stopped by two young policemen. It took some while to work out what it was I shouldn’t have been photographing. It wasn’t the site of the Reich Chancellery, they replied to my questions, or even the wall. It was because in the distance, poking up from the other side of the wall, the Reichstag building could be seen. One mustn’t photograph buildings on the other side of the wall they said. The fact that I could go there on the Western side and take as many pictures of it as I liked made no difference. That was the rule which I must obey whilst on DDR soil.”
Interestingly enough, Dewitt has also included photography from his European travels in his blog, including Munich. But his Berlin photographs prove to be the most captivating, obviously since Berlin was the center of change for the past years. Maybe some of you remember seeing these places with their own eyes.
All pictures taken by Chris John Dewitt.