These photos were inspired by Walter Benjamin's childhood memoir, Berliner Kindheit. Benjamin wrote this collection of forty-two texts after leaving Germany in 1932. It distills the poignancy of a bourgeois childhood in turn-of-the-century Berlin from vividly remembered places, things and experiences. Shortly after coming to Berlin with my husband and young daughter in 1991, I found myself moving through the very spaces Benjamin once did. I found a city that, although vastly altered, had subtly remained the same. It held an uncanny attraction for me; my family too fled Germany in 1930s. Tracing Benjamin's path in the daily routines of raising a child - intermingled with reconstructing my own family history. My goal became to produce photos to match each entry in Benjamin's book. This series is the result of that quest. What emerges is a retrospective look into the origins of modernity through the lens of contemporary Berlin. A volume of the photos was co-published by Steidl and the D.A.A.D. in 2002.
Shown here is a selection from the 175 photos in the book.