Ein Tag Deutschland

Days like these

It is impossible, to show the day that day which only mirrors confusion in confusion.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Do not claim now that you can remember something, please! A heavy weight tome like this one, which you are holding in your hands, namely wants to provide evidence and at the same time make the most of its talent, which seems infinitely valueable in our present days.

Books remain, it is said in an old fashioned manner and more true now than ever, which in respect to this subject shows that between these bookcovers is something that vehemently pushes itself against collective oblivion, whilst once more a percieved trillion of present day information sinks down the maelstrom of the digital media world.One can dismiss an enterprise such as this as a mere anachronism. But it will be certain that with each page you turn, a key question will emerge more clearly:  Is there at all something left in the memory of that 7th of May 2010? If a relative or friend celebrated their birthday, the chances are high. And if on this day you became a father, mother or grandparent, you will never forget that day. Hopefully nothing traumatic happened to you on that Friday, which was not the 13th, because then too the day would not sink into the nirvana of the unconscious. But otherwise does our frayed memory not seem to give the 7th of May a chance for reflection. Why should it? To turn the tables, a counterquestion might be allowed: was this day at all worthy to be taken into sight by a whole horde of photojournalists? And if yes, does the result not show a different picture of this country, which we should keep in our memory?

By the way, it was not at all easy to locate this 127th day of the Gregorian calendar year. It was supposed to be any old day. Preferably inconspicuous and average and in no way a symbolic day within the fabric of the national year. So many days were automatically excluded. The 3rd of October for one, the 17th of June and the 9th/10th of November. The 27th of January naturally, the 1st of September and also not least that taboo ridden 20th of April, which, thank god, now reverberates in a more quiet and sometimes bizzare fashion. Bank holidays remained obsolete, Sundays weren’t considered, Saturdays were inconvenient. A working day, a spring day, that’s what it should be. The history books will - if at all - keep our 7th of May in the memory as ’the day before the day before’. Besides, we are not talking about the end of the war. For the ones born afterwards, who will only read these lines in the advanced 21st century, it should be noted: the following day, namely the 9th of the month, a German Regional Election in North Rhine Westfalia took place, which significantly changed the majority ratio in the upper house of parliament (Bundesrat). Who knows if this ’won’t forget in a hurry’ election will go down in the annals of history. More memorable will be that on the 7th of May 2010 the „German Medical Journal“ surprised with a spectacular piece of news: reporting that Homo Sapiens and Neanderthal man indeed conjoined, as DNA analysis unequivocally proved. For some truths our species seems to need thousands of years. That is as maybe: of all these media realities you will not find much in this book, which in photographic images, on a multi perspective level, explores ’A day in Germany’ (although an often seen elite of politicians of this country seem strangely present).

One can very well speculate, if a collective like Freelens, which so ambitiously sent out their photographers to differing areas and habitats of their homeland to sound out a freely chosen terrain of daily life in a narrow time frame, does not want to show a calculated counterview of German reality. ’Take it upon yourselves, the life in this grey, monotonous daily grind, this work, for which nobody praises you, it’s heroism that nobody notices, that arouses no interest for you in anybody’ we could appeal with the great Fjodor Michailowitsch Dostojewski and in the images of this book we will hardly find a heroic moment. ’Who bears this grey working life and remains human, is the true hero.’ This country, named Germany, consists more than ever of countless heroes and tradesmen, niches and nomads, landscapes and passions, postulated in this book. And despite the overcast rainy sky that is present everywhere in the image sequences, this country is by no account quite so grey.

We can already see them with our inner eye: Sociologists and semiologists who will ask themselves in a far away future the question of how it all had been back then, in this country, this decade, which is so badly documented in pictures like no other before or after, because everything has been destroyed by the digital age. From written sources they will at least have learned that photojournalism at that time in Germany must have been in crisis. In astonishment they will take this dusty and portly volume of the 7th of May 2010 out of the bookshelf - if bookshelves still exist - and rub their eyes when they take a precise look at these images. Very precisely. As if there was something to prove.

© Christoph Schaden, 2010

Artikelstichworte (Pagetags)

Website Stichworte (Sitetags)

Syndicate content