The Viñales Valley (Valle de Viñales) in the West of Cuba is one of the island’s key growing areas for tobacco, the Cuban export hit number one. Its scenery belongs to the UNESCO cultural landscapes of humanity as is shaped by the surrounding Sierra de los Órganos, a range of karst mountains. The valley’s red soil and small tobacco fields are omnipresent companions when riding towards the mountains and its dripstone caves
The area of greater Athens is inhabited by humans for about 7.500 years. Symbol of this presence and its cultures is the Acropolis Hill, the famous and conspicuous castle hill with its Parthenon temple. The rock as well its development are evidence of some of the world’s greatest civilsations, of the Greeks, Romans, Venetians and Ottomans as well as the ever boiling conflict discord about the Mediterranean Sea. Even today the temple’s imagery stands for a Europe full of contrasts
The preliminary final of my photo series “East Germany’s Soviet Heritage” is dedicated to a paradox, that is the first of Berlin’s big Soviet commemorative sites as well as the only Soviet War Memorial on the territory of West Berlin. The monument was guarded by Red Army soldiers around the clock and is located within sight of Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag. It was a Soviet and Communist thorn in the western side
When hearing of the Olympic Village for the 1936 Berlin Games, then people quickly think about Hitler, the Nazis as well as their making a cult out of Hindenburg, the former WW I hero and later President of the Reich. However also the Soviet Army lodged itself in strategically well located Elstal and its Löwen-Adler Kaserne military barracks, leaving a very interesting melange behind as in the Olympic Village not only a terrific abandoned swimming pool can be seen, but also a mix of clearly recognizable Nazi elements and typical Soviet iconography
Hip and cool Berlin and be pretty shallow as with having a highest elevation of only ~100 metres it’s generally got a very flat topography. And since German megalomania once also regulated the maximum height for residential buildings, it is very easy to overlook whole Berlin when standing on elevated places. One of those spots peeping out of the ocean of houses is Berlin-Schöneberg-based Gasometer, an industrial relict once used to store gas but that can be climbed today.
I can still feel the New Year’s party on Red Square in my bones; the very square that was said to be entirely closed by western media. Well, I had quite a great midnight, enjoyed the fireworks and ice-skating together with Russians, Georgians and Armenians. Daytime temperatures meanwhile reached thrilling -21°C, a profound coldness that’s literally made for Banya visits and wearing thick leather coats. Each morning at 6 o‘clock I left my domicile on Bolshaya-Grusinskaya street, the big Georgian, and walk through the snow towards Barrikadnaya station to enter the Moscow Metro to capture and portrait the architecture of all its lines and station.
Already last year I made it into the final of Golden Turtle photo competition, that is part of Russia’s largest eco-cultural project. This year I even got honoured while the image is now part of an exhibition at Manege (Манеж) being located directly next to Kremlin. Yet alone the divine dispensation called tailwind made me arriving Moscow on time and not facing the desaster of missing the final ceremony as Eurowings (former Germanwings) was again delayed…
In the course of the years colonial occupants as well as visitors gave the city of La Habana a couple of names. They called it “the dirty beauty” or “Paris of the Tropics” and also “The old Lady” is a common moniker for the capital of Cuba. With architectural highlights as well as lots of music, rum and cigars Vieja, the historic old town of Havana every day anew gives proof why it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Due to widespread demonization and digitally categorising everything in good and evil, some Westerners will surely misunderstand my photo series “East Germany’s Soviet Heritage” thoroughly as being propaganda or glorification. I do the project primarily because of my huge interest in history and Soviet Union as well as Communist times being definitely everything but boring. Both things are unique and, no matter if I want it or not, they are part of my life and me growing up
Nowadays Cuba has plenty of things in common with post-communist Berlin, the Berlin shortly after the wall fell down. It won’t take much time until the appearance of Havana or Trinidad will change thoroughly as big money flocks onto the island in the Caribbean implicating massive changes. One of the mirrors reflecting such a change are the countless pay phones. Yet there are there. Yet they are needed. Reason enough for a critical examination with things seen in the form of a photo series