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community project in leipzig, germany

in early 2020 i lived in leipzig for some months to live closer to some friends which i had not seen for a while. quite immidately i was struck by the district to which i had come to live: it was unlike any neighbourhood i had seen before.

inside the vehicle
close to the city center it was disreputed as being the most dangerous street of the city. here lived a manifold of different people, some who had been there for eighty years, others just arrived, of various backgrounds and cultures. at the same time none of the groups were of a majority in the district, in fact we all were minorities there. this made it necessary for all to communicate with one another at one point or the other, yet often people did not know much more than some basics about their neighbours.

in june i set out with a garrish green and white vehicle on which i carried a number of empty audio tapes. thirty five evenings in a row i walked a similar route around the area, stopping where people approached me. on the wagon they could listen to the audio cassettes, filled with short stories from the district, but also leave something of their own. everyone who would speak one tape could then take one back home, as to keep them in circulation all the time.

and i would cover all the walls with beautiful things and build it with hammers, and i was like, i don’t know, eight years old and on the grass in my parents yard. i really enjoyed this and we made it for few years, but then my mom decide, that she don’t want to build it anymore, because she doesn’t like religion very much.

the more days passed the more people got interested in listening, yet also telling of their own: of things that they had seen here, both good and bad, of their worries, or just greetings to the next listener.

all photographs by viktoria conzelmann