The Return of Berlin



Extensive testing, discipline with social distancing, transparency of government’s decision making.…A street-style photo essay is no place to discuss medical or political strategies, but the fact is that Germany has managed to flatten its infection curve and the federal government has decided to ease most of the restrictions and to reopen the country after two months of lockdown. Berliners are back in the streets and we are able to get a first glimpse of what post-COVID-19 street life looks like.
The situation is still far from normal and a visual reporter can easily be tempted to show one of its extremes. It is possible to photograph empty post-apocalyptic-looking vistas of usually crowded places like Alexanderplatz or Museum Island with a solemn mask-clad figure passing somewhere on the horizon. On the other hand, it is equally easy to take a picture of a park full of happy, picnicking families and to suggest that everything is back to normal, or — depending on the interpretation — people are acting careless. None of these approaches would be true. The truth — as usual — lies somewhere in between. The social dynamics of city life has changed dramatically in the times of lockdown. People live

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