Many have that dream: to be at the centre of events, inside the group and within the walls. Well, Michael Hughes, British photographer who by coincidence found himself living in Berlin-Kreuzberg in the 1980s is one of the lucky ones.
Fascinated by Kreuzberg´s New-Model-World atmosphere and the people striving to realise their dream of living a different life than their parents and the so called “good citizens” did, Hughes stayed to observe and record the events unfolding around him.
Setting off with a camera from his flat in Oranienstrasse he was bound to find enough topics to keep him locked up in the dark-room with thousands of contact prints to choose from for days. If his arrival in Kreuzberg was anything to go by – which it very much was – then Hughes was up for a ride.
Here´s what the photographer says about getting to know Kreuzberg in June 1982:
»We had one telephone number of a Wohngemeinschaft in the Oranienstrasse in Kreuzberg SO36 – the middle of the squatting action. During the week that followed, I fell in love, was witness to burning police vans, was hit by flying stones, soaked by water cannons, chased by police charges and ingested much tear gas.«
Some of the photos recording that explosive and pretty unforgettable time can be admired now in Michael Hughes´ photo-album published by Berlin Story Verlag:
"Somehow it seems to have reactivated itself and made its way along the work surface where it pushed a cooking pot out of the way and basically that was the end of it," fireman Helmut Kniewasser told The Daily Mail. "I don’t know about the allegations of a robot suicide but the homeowner is insistent that the device was switched off—it’s a mystery how it came to be activated and ended up making its way to the hotplate."