Capturing the Vanishing DDR in Berlin

By Andrew Cottrill . April 4, 2018

Photographer Ian Cale has spent 17 years capturing signs of the disappearing East in Berlin.

We asked you to submit your artwork to Berlin Loves You and you didn’t disappoint. British photographer Ian Cale got in touch about his on-going project, Kessel: Signs of Conflict.

For the last 17 years, Ian has documented the fading signs of the DDR, questioning the contemporary role of architecture that has direct links with the conflict, Soviet occupation and the historical events of the 20th Century.

Ian Cale AltesLager15.04.061

Ian Cale Beelitz Heilstatten 05.03.05 Big

“I feel compelled to photograph the city and the surrounding area because of the dramatic pace of urban gentrification. The city expands, glass concrete and steel absorbs the evidence of conflict and occupation and in so doing obliterates the untold stories of peoples lives.”

Ian Cale Elisabeth Sanatorium Potsdam 29 Oct 2014 (93)

Ian Cale GrossDolin29102008(1)

“Since starting this project Berlin and Eastern Germany have changed beyond recognition. With every visit there are huge changes to the urban landscape, with previously investigated spaces knocked down, boarded up or gentrified.”

Ian Cale LimburgerStrLeipzig31.05.2005.2

Ian Cale MaxLiebermanStrLeipzig30.05.2005.2

“The ever expanding urban development into the city’s residential districts has forced me to travel beyond the edge of the city and find abandoned locations that in pristine quality. Such sites are often military and contain items of personal kit such as gasmasks, boots and uniforms.”

Ian Cale Weissenseer Strasse. Bernau. 2 Nov 2014 (185)

Ian Cale Weissenseer Strasse. Bernau. 2 Nov 2014 (222)

“The photographs never capture people, only the empty spaces in which they lived and worked. And in doing so, the photos become a social and political document.”

Ian Cale Weissenseer Strasse. Bernau. 2 Nov 2014 (245)

Ian Cale Weissenseer Strasse. Bernau. 2 Nov 2014 (248)

“Living in Manchester and traveling to Berlin to work allows me to be objective and emotionally detached from the locations I am documenting. The photographic archive spans 17 years and has become a testament to the changing topography of the city.”

Thanks for sharing your work with us, Ian. Find out more about Ian’s project Kessel: Signs of Conflict by visiting www.iancale.co.uk.

If you’d like your artwork displayed on Berlin Loves You, drop us an email at info@staging-berlinlovesyou.kinsta.cloud.


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