There is something about Shoreditch that fills my heart with a deep sense of melancholy. It feels like I have a dejavou when I walk it’s grungy streets. Something that reminds me of what happened to the East Berlin that once made me fall in love with my German home town.
An East Berlin of the 1990s with a we-don’t-give-a-fuck look full of randomness and weird things to discover everywhere. Blocks after blocks of houses with century old scars and wrinkles often hidden underneath layers of street art, stickers or tons of outdated club posters. It was before the government, the money and the corporate hippsters had arrived in the capital and still no food or coffee chains anywhere to be smelled.
A face that naturally grew old – every corner telling a story – breathing in and out the spirits of the past.
Something I find every city needs as a birth place and home for many artist generations to come.
But East Berlin especially the Central district called Mitte had undergone a for me very painful face transplant undertaken with a bland scalpel and now looks like someone used the healing brush in Photoshop too much.
And my observations and experience tell me that the same will happen to East London and Shoreditch – if it is not happening already.
As we speak you can see the big financial towers raising like weed at the edges of it. And the new almost finished Overground trainline will soon pump a new wave of affluent super-polished poshness into the district like a dirty needle viruses into your blood stream.
The 2012 Olympics will hammer the last nail into the Shoreditch coffin, as the planned closure of the free art gallery-pub The Foundry already indicates. The popular oasis of undiscovered artistic talent near the Old Street roundabout will soon after Christmas be replaced by a hotel. Ironically enough by a German chain called Art Hotel!
So everything I see and photograph NOW – is a testiment of the past .