Manuel Armenis carries us to the fantastic red light district of Hamburg

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Manuel Armenis is a street and fine art photographer with a background in filmmaking currently based in Hamburg, Germany.

After working as a photographer´s assistant and fine art printer he studied at the Icart, Ecole de Photographie in Paris, France and at the University of the Arts in London, England before continuing his career as an independent filmmaker and photographer.

The emphasis of his practice is the realization of long-term projects with a focus on exploring the human condition within everyday and commonplace urban environments.Manuel´s work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and was published in contemporary photography magazines both in print and online.

Manuel lives and works as a freelance photographer in Hamburg, Germany.

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About ‘St. Pauli‘:

The city of Hamburg, Germany, is known for its red light district, also because the Beatles started their career more than 50 years ago in this area and has always been a fusion platform for people from different social backgrounds and lifestyles.

The particular spirit of this district has always attracted numerous figures like sailors, drinkers, prostitutes, artists, gamblers and dreamers. These can be themselves without being labeled, judged. Here they haven’t been stigmatized from being different or maladjusted. Of course, there has always been a rough edge for St. Pauli, but the intrinsic character of the area is always based on a spirit of grace, respect, honesty and care among those who live here.

In recent years, the restructuring and commercial exploitation of the district has been rigorously advanced, leading to the destruction of many socio-cultural structures that have grown organically for decades. It seems that the territory and the margin of maneuver to allow for alterity, uniqueness, individuality and non-conformism are becoming scarcer every day.

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The photographic series (2010-2017) is an attempt to capture the muted world of an outdated, transient and disintegrating St. Pauli. A vanishing cosmos that lies well hidden behind the superficial touristy veneer.

I was interested in the faces and the stories of the long-time residents, their everyday world, their small struggles and simple pleasures. Those characters who sometimes appear to have fallen out of time or seem to be stuck in-between different eras; with traces of their 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?

Time to read
3 min
Words by
Alice De Santis
Published on
20 October 2017
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