Everything Different?

„StadtWandel – alles anders? zeigt Bilder des Jahres 2020, ein Jahr, das in die Geschichte eingehen wird.

Die Fotograf:innen dokumentierten, als Reaktion auf die Ereignisse im Jahr 2020, die Entwicklungen und Geschichten zur Corona Pandemie. Die Fotografien erzählen die aktuellen Veränderungen aus verschiedenen und persönlichen Perspektiven. Der neue Alltag, die leeren Plätze, das Tragen der Masken und die neue Art, soziale Kontakte zu pflegen – mit Abstand. Sie schildern, wie sichtbar oder unsichtbar das Virus in der Stadt und auf dem Land ist. Das Jahr 2020 wird fraglos unvergesslich bleiben und die Fotografien der Ausstellung dokumentieren dies.

Zur Ausstellung erscheint ein Katalog auf Deutsch und Englisch.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown in spring 2020 froze life in cities around the world. Even the capital of Germany, which otherwise was filled with people and life at any time, day or night, suddenly offered a terribly beautiful spectacle of absolute emptiness, leaving behind scenes of non-existence. For many decades, hardly anything has changed Berlin as much as the appearance of the unknown virus. The city seemed like a backdrop without performers, like a museum without visitors. The time of pause created unique contemplative moments and opened up the possibility to think about. How do we want to live? What and in which way do we want to work? How do we want to deal with each other and with our environment?

The summer came; it felt as if the worst was over, the mask duty and in autumn again the (partial) shutdowns, which caused a feeling of great exhaustion, hopelessness and anger for many people.

Originally, we wanted to show reports about a capital city that is undergoing rapid architectural and social change due to rising rents, displacement and housing shortages. However, Covid-19 suddenly made our working title „City in Change“ programmatic and affected the whole world. The social effects became increasingly existential through short-time work, the threat of unemployment and cramped housing conditions.

We could not continue our planned reportages, in which we wanted to accompany people in their personal living spaces. Therefore, we documented what surrounded us all: the pandemic and its sometimes-drastic effects on private, public and professional life.

The result is a documentation that, in its formal requirements, is itself part of the pandemic: at a distance or in private, behind bars, with masks and mostly in the open air.

Our works show stories about Berlin cinemas and how existentially the cultural landscape was affected by the Covid-19 measures. Pictures of how Berlin itself has changed in its architecture by means of marker lines, signs and deserted places. Portraits of people with masks, which so suddenly became part of our everyday life and thus inevitably changed the perception of our faces. Reportages that illustrate insecurity, loneliness and the forced retreat into the private space. Images that impressively reflect the painful loss that the lack of social contacts leaves behind. Stories about the visibility and invisibility of the virus and the ambivalence of rules of distance and hygiene, for example in the countryside. Moreover, of so-called risk groups, which address the possibility of social exclusion or solidarity-based consideration. A reportage about a family that has found its new home in Berlin and is grateful to live here in times of pandemic and not in Damascus, Syria. Finally, images of people who shift their lives to open windows and balconies in order to create a social „we“, at least in this way, in the middle of a lockdown and strict contact restrictions.

We, the reportage photo class 2020 by the photojournalist Ann-Christine Jansson at the Photocentrum in Berlin- Kreuzberg, started with over 20 participants, but in the course of the pandemic, it became clear that not all of them could not keep up until the end. For many people it was not easy to write a report about something that affects and burdens themselves. The sensual, the haptic and mainly the personal contact was missing. Because since the first lockdown, all our meetings, the selection of images, the production of catalogues and the preparation of exhibitions took place only virtually.