Konrad

Hannover — Berlin

Time in Berlin? “Uhren kränken, Uhren tun immer, als gäbe es eine einzige Zeit, eine sozusagen allgemeine Zeit”. I’m just here and breathing, satisfied.

I’ve lived and existed most of my life in Berlin and Hannover but also felt like home in Bogota, Buenos Aires, Córdoba and San Francisco. I visited Berlin first time at the tender age of fourteen with my friends to discover the joys of the music and the masses at Love Parade. Later Berlin became my frequent destination for punk concerts and street photography.

It could have been Hamburg but perhaps Berlin felt more open, wide, rough and wild — like a big playground. Growing up in small places I always felt closed and dissatisfied. Berlin was very different from where I came from, alive and filled with people who were doing whatever they wanted. It convinced me to stay.

These days Berlin is my standard. I started up in this city with high expectations for my art but these days I don’t identify myself as an artist, rather a social worker. The city is closing in and getting more expensive but I’ve found my friends here — they are more important than a mere location.

In a big city you are surrounded by diversely different people and it’s important to adapt, understand, share and learn from others. The more people you meet, the more friends you will make but along the way more assholes you have to encounter. When my parents visit me once a year, they are always shocked by the noise, crowds and the pace of Berlin. When you are used to it all, you don’t recognise the side effects of the city. Your exhaustion slowly becomes unconscious part of you. I found my escape from the mountains. Every time I return I feel calm and grounded, more like myself. Returning to the city makes me question why do people accessorise unnecessarily to appear like individuals, stare at their smartphones in obsessive wait, fill their heads with music of others and act so rough and unfriendly. Life itself is very simple but in cities we surround ourselves with many artificial ideas and distracting circumstances.

For years I was working on the field of advertising. Those days the main concern of my work was to ensure that the tits of the girl in the poster were big enough. On the day US attacked Iraq and a war started all the discussions at our agency were still revolving around those same old tits. It was a key moment in my life. I quit the industry and chose to find work I believed in. Now my work allows me to support others in a way that satisfies me. Social work is certainly not easy but I enjoy creating real change and true transformation in the world by working for the most important cause in the world — the others. See them, talk with them and help them — and they will help you.

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