less abandoned than you’d think

As always, if you have questions, objections, worries or praise, and especially if you found your picture and want it removed, feel free to contact me. I will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also read my full disclaimer, if you are interested.

 

These pictures were taken in Chemnitz at the end of November. In some places it’s definitely harder to shoot street than in others. Chemnitz has streets that are almost completely abandoned now and there you’re lucky if you even meet some people on the street. Or sometimes not, depending on the people and the time of day. Other places like the central tram and bus stop where all public transport lines meet are always crowded. Makes for boring repetitive backgrounds.

All pictures taken with: Olympus Pen E-PL3 and Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 ASPH.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Dogs learn their facial expressions from their owners.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

I still can’t figure out whether it’s a hair dresser or a music school.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

The Brühl is one of the abandoned zones. Apart from a handful of occupied flats the entire street is empty. It is actually a place best avoided after nightfall. My mum was even robbed there a few years ago. One school is still open in the street as well. It must be so creepy for the kids! Normally the Brühl is completely empty, apart from a few isolated people hurriedly passing through. When school is out the street is full of children for a few minutes. I actually managed to hit the right time here.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Do you remember recorders? My parents made me learn that instrument when I was little and once I had managed to convince them to allow me to give it up I suddenly had to learn it in school as well. Terrible torture! And what this boy was doing to the recorder came also terribly close to torture for everyone involved.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Have you ever noticed that kids clothes almost never fit? Since kids grow, parents buy stuff for them to grow into. No wonder nobody ever likes their kids pictures with all the horrific clothes we were forced to wear.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

It says “Touch here please”.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Pointing naked fingers at dressed people.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Buying sausages and having a chat. Very German.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

I only noticed the “Extrem” on his backpack strap during post-processing. Extreme childcare? Well, probably in a moment since this is surely going to end in tears …!

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Wondering what that is? It is my reflection wearing a hood while taking a picture of a barking dog in a car. Creepy stuff eh? Even creepier are people who leave their dog in the car at -2°C.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Somehow crows seemed to be following me around town. You will see more in the coming posts.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Parallels. And all of them were eating as well!

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

“Off” it says.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Cousin Itt in the background. One.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Cousin Itt (funny how she didn’t change position while I was walking over there) and a Dope head. In the background a couple of boys waiting for the bus. Two.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Somehow everyone had these cheeky smiles. Probably the cold temperatures freezing them into place. Three.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Bye bye.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

There is more space for badges there somewhere.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

She looked much older than she was. Her school bag gives her away though. Reminds me that I was never IDed when buying alcohol until a few days before my 18th birthday.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

You wonder why mobile phones are bad news? On the right you see a proper hunchback in the making.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Saying hello to some classmates. They weren’t very eager to speak to him though.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Sometimes you just have to wait in one spot and pictures magically happen. One.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Happy man and a mouthful of smoke on the left. Two.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

A broken arm and some flowers. Three.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

The shop at the corner is a bakery and this has been a meeting spot for years. When I was 16 I used to hang out there as well with my punk friends. Although I might add that I didn’t waste my time like that at -2°C. Those are some very dedicated drunkards!

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

With only a few secondary schools still open, commuting is very common for kids. Every morning I had to get up at 6 am to be at school at 7.30 and spend almost an hour on the tram. I was equally bored.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

Nearest bus stop, now moved because the street has been closed due to a house having become a safety hazard.

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

© Lilly Schwartz 2013

 

As you can see from the commentary on my pictures, my hometown is a bit of a difficult place. Although I think that I’ve made my peace with it now for many years I plainly avoided it, because it affected me negatively. By now I can detach from it, see it through my lens and document it rather than letting myself feel a part of it. Photography works for me similarly with flying. Although I was flying a lot over the years that I lived in England I never managed to lose my fear of flying until I started to take pictures. Just as sometimes it is good that photography makes you emotionally disconnect from your surroundings, this also can be bad. Occasionally one has to leave the camera at home and re-connect, unless of course it makes you feel better to be disconnected. In Chemnitz my camera is definitely like a shield for me and I never leave the house without it. It’s just another coping mechanism. Chemnitz is less abandoned than you’d think, but enough to make one feel thoroughly uncomfortable.

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