In My Hood by Lars Kemnitz
It was last spring when I realized that I had been living in my neighborhood for ten years. Time had passed without me taking notice. When I moved to my neighborhood in the suburban northwest of Hamburg, Germany, in 2008, I was a student. The primary reasons why I moved there were that the apartment was available and in good condition and that the rent was affordable as well. Ten years later, I finally came to realize that my neighborhood itself was actually a very nice place to live. Because it is green and close to nature, and because it is quiet and peaceful. Sometimes it feels a little bit remote – but actually the city is only a short train ride away.
So I took the opportunity and tried to capture the hidden beauty of my neighborhood through the lens of my analog camera. I walked for hours in the evenings discovering places I had not known before. And revisiting those places I loved. The golden rays of sun shined on and through the lush green. Many places appeared magical and enchanted somehow. It was not my intention to be nostalgic, but the pictures do convey a strong sense of nostalgia nonetheless. I would not say they romanticize reality, but they definitely show reality in its finest attire.
This documentary project offered me a welcome change from my usual photography work, which focuses more on storytelling and creative image-making. I enjoyed getting to know my neighborhood even better and I came to appreciate it even more. With these pictures I wanted to create a visual ode to my neighborhood. Hopefully I will be able to call it home for some time to come.
Lars Kemnitz (b 1988) is a visual artist and creative director based in Hamburg, Germany. Since he discovered his passion for photography at university in the late 2000s, he has continually been shaping and developing his own visual language and vision. Today he also experiments with the medium of film which seems natural as his fascination for cinema has always served as a major source of inspiration; it reflects in his work when he blends cinematic story-telling with fashion, documentary and art influences to explore topics mostly dealing with the imaginative, the mystical, the cryptic, the suggestive and the subconscious.