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The Ghosts of the Memorial
A Visual Exploration of the Holocaust Memorial Berlin
32-pages of a highly professional format, with short commentary texts.
Many years ago, when visiting the memorial for the first time, I had no detailed knowledge of the architect Peter Eisenmann and the intention behind his idea: to build a place in which to confront and come to terms with contemporary German history – right in the heart of our capital.
At first, I came without a camera, as an observer of the situation, capturing the mood and reflecting on my own perception. How does it change when experienced at different times of the day or the year? How do people behave in this place in the middle of Berlin and how do I perceive them in that particular moment?
I quickly realized that I deemed these people inseparable of time and space. Weren’t they, in fact, mirrors of those whose fate is shown here in such a palpable way? As protagonists on a historic stage that serves us as a memorial!
The translation of this sentiment and the concept for the visual interpretation of the project came to me pretty quickly.
I realized I wanted to depict the people in this setting as blurred entities, as Ghosts of the Memorial, apparitional, their movements out of focus. Walking past me without noticing me or looking directly at me without really seeing me.
With time the images gained focus, thus reproducing my perception. Direct looks full of questions, doubt and expectations – or averted and introverted, distant from the im- mediate moment, yet always present.
With great respect for the past, the victims, the survivors and the bereaved, it is my wish to interpret the memorial through my lens.
Roland Groebe is a German street photographer, living and working in Berlin.
Born in 1964, Roland came to photography later than most. He started photographing the streets of Berlin in 2005. He specialized in street photography, primarily focussing on the relationship between people, the city, disposed goods, and street signs. His shots are meant to connect the dots: What is the underlying code of interaction, how do we communicate with the world that surrounds us, both openly and subconsciously?
His work was published at The Eye Photo Magazine, Stern Magazine, art-Das Kunstmagazin, National Geographic and We Street 2015 – Street Photography Book, WSP World Street Photography Book 2018.
Tokyo International Foto Award - 2017 Honorable Mention Winner
MonoVisions Photography Award - 2018 Honorable Mention Winner
Finalist of The Independent Photographer’s “Street Photography” Competition 2019 He won the reader’s choice award of art-Das Kunstmagazin.
“Berlin 1020 Collective”, Alghero Street Photography Awards, Alghero, Italy 2018 Different Exhibitions at Blank Wall Gallery, Athens, Greek 2018
Roland Groebe is a founding member of the Berlin Street Collective “Berlin1020”