Project Detail: St. Pauli


LuganoPhotoDays 2016




Manuel Armenis


Project Info

St. Pauli

A portrait of the district of St. Pauli in Hamburg, Germany.

This workingman´s area has always been a melting pot for people from all walks of life and backgrounds. The liberal spirit of the Quarter attracted many colorful figures from the fringes of society like sailors, drinkers, prostitutes, crooks, gamblers and dreamers. Here they could be themselves without being labeled, judged or looked down upon. Things could get rough but the character of the area was always based on a spirit of tolerance.

In recent years the restructuring and commercial exploitation of the neighborhood have been advanced rigorously, entailing the destruction of many socio-cultural structures that had grown organically over decades. It seems that the territory and the leeway to allow for otherness, uniqueness, individuality and nonconformism are getting scarcer by the day.

The photographic series (2010 - 2016) is an attempt to capture the muted world of an outdated, transient and disintegrating St. Pauli. It is a restrained world, a vanishing cosmos.

I was interested in the faces and the stories of the long-time residents, their everyday world. Those characters who sometimes appear to have fallen out of time; with traces of the wilder days on one side of their lives and the apprehension of an uncertain future on the other. For how much longer will they be able to call St. Pauli home?