In her new book, Land in Sonne, photographer Christine Fenzl captures young people in the areas that belonged to East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Translating as 'Land in Sun', her series takes a look at the generation of 'Wendekinder', the children of German reunification, focusing on the neighbourhoods of Hellersdorf, Marzahn, Lichtenberg, and Hohenschönhausen. For their parents, the Berlin Wall was simply a part of life, but in their world, it is barely imaginable.
In her fascinating yet sensitive photos, we see people up close, undisguised, bathed in gorgeous light and familiar moments. Their surroundings are undergoing tremendous change, especially where the old Soviet-style block apartments reveal the past.
Fenzl herself experienced the extensive changes that occurred in Berlin after the fall of the Wall. She moved there in 1992 and became an assistant to Nan Goldin. At first, she lived in the western half of the city, then in the so-called Mitte, or central Berlin, which had been part of East Germany. There, renewal, upheaval, and challenges were felt daily. Particularly in the places where renovations have already occurred, it is becoming increasingly difficult to recall the Wall’s exact pathway.
"I fear that the images of this time will disappear. Driven by the ongoing change but nonetheless still a noticeable division of the city, it is important to me to give a face to the generation of the 'Wendekinder'. With my photographs, I want to capture the young women and men who were born into this special time, and who are therefore a part of the writing of this particular history," says Fenzl.
Featuring texts by the photographer Nan Goldin and the filmmaker Dani Levy, Land in Sonne is devoted to the generation of transition thirty years after reunification. Hatje Cantz has also published 20 limited-edition copies with an original print.