Monotonous, compacted, gray. This is how one imagines the East Berlin district where the first large concrete housing estate of the GDR was built. But in the meantime, much more is mixed up in Lichtenberg: wide streets, protected landscaped areas, neighborhoods of old buildings, social housing, Stasi administration complexes, homes and sprawling industrial areas characterize the district. It is home to older residents who can still tell stories of former
It is also home to large Russian and Vietnamese communities, as well as newcomers who want to raise their children here and cannot find affordable rental space elsewhere. Decades of urban planning, social and political developments converge in a peculiar way in this place. Lichtenberg embodies the juxtaposition of today’s urban society. How do the buildings influence the way people live together in the city? What makes a good place to live? Moved by questions like these, Swiss- born photographer Kevin Fuchs embarks on a photographic search for clues in the Berlin district of Lichtenberg, where he moved with his family in 2017.
His new home is densely populated, becoming more crowded, more diverse, yet remains opaque to him. Nearly 300,000 people live in an area that is growing fast and constantly changing, but where life takes place primarily in private. With his camera, Fuchs takes a different look at each street corner, each person. Taking pictures creates the calmness missing in everyday life, while Fuchs tries to decipher the oppressive city views. He documents his immediate surroundings, thus uncovering his personal Lichtenberg and juxtaposing landscapes and portraits, which portray the character of local coexistence.
Kevin Fuchs (*1983 in Zug, CH) lives and works in Berlin. He studied journalism and communication in Zurich and photography at the Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie in Berlin until 2014. His works have been published by DUMMY, Fluter, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Spex, DIE ZEIT and exhibited in the Passerelle centre d’art contemporain, Brest and Brandenburgisches Landesmuseum für moderne Kunst (selection).
© text and pictures by Kevin Fuchs