19 minutes ago
I've contemplated and pondered an appropriate time to share this photograph. In part because of the implications and questions within my own psyche about what it all meant. Deep within East Germany there are old ideas that still persist. Ideas of hatred and discrimination. I had been tasked with photographing a European tour that my friend and client @huntergrigg was undertaking. While on a bus ride back to Leipzig we were told of a street art festival in Chemnitz, Germany. 150 street artist from around the world to paint in a 5 story factory building, we had to see. We knew of the upheaval the previous week but thought it had cooled down enough for us to venture in, behind the remnants of the Berlin wall. Although unscathed we were incorrect. This slipped by many here in the states as their was little to no news coverage of what we saw that day. A 13,000 person standoff with 1,500 cops from all over the east. After an all night train ride from Denmark and in true vagabond fashion we arrived in Chemnitz at 6am. Departing the train station I knew the climate was still hostile. I spotted black clad citizens preparing themselves for the days festivities. Our hotel would not be ready until 3pm. Buy the ticket, take the ride. With no where to go we readied ourselves. Riot cops gathered their batons and shields out of the caravans of police vehicles. I held my camera tight. The far right and AFD (3rd largest political party) have cemented themselves in German parliament. There is opposition and thankfully so. Antifa, in true fashion, showed up by the thousands. A relatively peaceful afternoon bleed into a violent evening. We diligently walked toward our hotel after the cafe we had been eating in was cased by obvious far right supporters. A decree had been issued on Facebook earlier in the week to "beat anyone who looks non German". As we slipped through a group of 10 skinheads I remember very calmly telling myself, protect your face and it will all be over soon. I was certain our time had come. We were fortunate that day, others were not. We slipped through a line of riot police and vehicles and made it up to the 6th floor of our hotel. I then made this photograph.