Eisenhüttenstadt, 28 September 2009
So I took a Sunday train, filled with hikers and bikers on their way to the calm lakes east of Berlin, and arrived in a placidly sunlit Eisenhüttenstadt around noon. The trees already wore the seasonal style of leaves, starting to undress and drop leaf after leaf into this mild wind to blow them somewhere, e.g. at those serene folks which walk to the polls. And – as we heard later that night – they deselected the mayor who was in duty since 1993. Indeed there is some paradigm shifting. And while the country turned conservative, this very eastern region turned heavily to the left. No surprise here: in the former “first socialist town of Germany” the socialist play the conservatives’ role.
This series presents postcards from places that used to belong to East German territory, and which 20 years ago shifted from the socialist East block to the Western market economy. The author, Ben Kaden, currently lives in two cities: Berlin (East) and Mannheim (West). He is originally from Eisenhüttenstadt, a city once designed to be the jewel of GDR’s socialist planning – but today rather worn out and partly in decline. Using the postcard as a medium, this series crosses the gap between the pre-1989 and the post-1989 conditions, and joggles a physical medium of the past with today’s digitality.