This is an homage to Berlin’s lost places. It’s not about fashion, ruins or urban decay but about the sense of poetry in this state of transience. It’s a story about Berlin, a city in constant flux – always changing before moving to the next chapter. Enter forgotten Berlin.
Berlin has always been a city in flux. Almost entirely destroyed during World War II, the city was rebuilt in record time by a population ready to return to a normal life and leave all the horrors behind. Two things happened in the process: First, certain spaces across the city were left in their ruined, undeveloped state while rebuilding efforts focused on necessities. And second, Berlin became a permanent work in progress – the fall of the Berlin Wall added even more industrial ruins in the East – that attracted millions from around the world looking to play their part and fill these empty spaces with their vision.
Music: Mathis Ruffing – Art Of Mois
Fast-forward to 2019 and things have changed. Empty, abandoned and mysterious places that tell tales from the past are increasingly difficult to find. The influx of large-scale developments across Berlin leaves very little in terms of a blank canvas for the imagination. One needs to look very closely.
Nevertheless, they still exist, these intriguing places with an appeal that is hard to convey in words. A sense of poetry between the glass-littered floors, rusted steel beams and crumbling walls covered in graffiti. And that is precisely the essence of Forgotten Berlin, a photographic essay by HHV, the Berlin retailer known for its selection of streetwear and sneakers as well as its curated records and DJ equipment.
Forgotten Berlin is not about photography or fashion. It much rather reflects the fascination with the places that in the nearfuture may no longer exist. For young people from around the world, Berlin is still a beloved destination for selfrealization. A place where they can experiment and immerse themselves in an ongoing contrast between history and rapid change. The city still remains in constant flux, its built environment renegotiated almost daily. Industrial ruins are demolished, condominiums built, and free spaces surrounded by fences, putting an end to that special sense of poetry they still possessed even in their decrepit state.
Music: Ecke Prenz – Lada Niva
Forgotten Berlin is a quest for traces in the debris of bygone eras. These are locations far away from the bustling epicentres of city life and well-known tourist attractions. Places that are as unsettling as they are fascinating. Devoid of life, but full of spectres from the past. Forgotten Berlin is a tribute to the beauty of decay, as well as an attempt to capture a moment in time for posterity. Join us on a journey of discovery that places pieces of the past in a modern context – before it’s all gone and the city moves on to the next chapter.
Forgotten Berlin – A Photographic Essay by HHV
Producer: Timo Keller
Photographer: Oliver Kristen
Videographer: Bruce Thompson, Oliver Ajkovic
Video Chapter Six: Bruno Papić
This story also appears in our March 2019 issue of Sneakers Magazine with additional Augmented Reality features!