Do Birds Know They’re in Berlin?

Berlin is one of the iconic capitals of Europe. With that title come a few characteristics: These cities are big, full of tourists, and full of history. And it’s the latter, the way this history expresses itself, that makes the character of a place like Berlin come to the surface for us to observe.

Here’s a term I really like: Historical weight. I couldn’t find an official definition so I don’t think it’s an academic term (yet!), but I like to explain it like this: Historical weight is the feeling that creeps up on you at places where the past gets right up against the present. It can manifest itself mentally, a feeling of awe, but also physically, your throat tightens, something heavy keeps you locked in place for a second (hence ‘weight’). Usually, this feeling of historicity is evoked by the presence of old things (architecture or historical art). The Colosseum or the Louvre may be two of the more obvious places that make you feel connected to the people and places of the past, and there are many like it. But in Berlin, there’s more to it than just “old things”.

 

Berlijn 154 | 30-07-2016

When walking through Berlin, you feel historical weight, but it’s not always the architectural landmarks that do it.

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In Berlin, it’s the absence of those old things that speaks the loudest.

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Like any other large European city, Berlin has its historical architecture.

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But instead of feeling at ease within the city they were built in, these buildings seem lost.

Berlijn 29 | 28-07-2016

The city around them has changed so much over the years and so many times that it has actually moved past its own history.

Berlijn 100 | 28-07-2016

And then it’s not the old architecture, but the space around it that gives away the character of a city.

Berlijn 69 | 28-07-2016

Berlijn 152 | 30-07-2016

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Berlijn 76 | 28-07-2016

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3 thoughts on “Do Birds Know They’re in Berlin?

  1. Daniel says:

    ‘ in Berlin (…) it was very nice (…) on ice. (…) hear (…) play (…) paradise ‘ ( L. Reed, Berlin, 1972 )
    Prachtige ‘ heavy’ foto’s

    Like

  2. Pingback: Frames for Blue Paintings | speedofdepth

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