2016 is currently getting a hard time and guess what, I’m also very relieved it’s over soon! But while looking through photos of this year as I always do in December, I was surprised by how many happy memories there were. It’s easy to join in with everybody’s 2016-bashing but a lot in life is what you make of it (even if you don’t feel like it), so I’m very determined to use that little change of seasons for planning a few long-overdue, new beginnings.
But before we dive into my little photo album, here’s also a traditional rundown of some of the most exciting pieces I’ve written or photographed on the road or in Berlin.
In February, I went to Portugal to shoot a road trip story for Volkswagen Magazine and interviewed young people living in Istanbul about how restricted or democratic Turkey felt then. I went on holiday to Austria with my mum, sat down with Ronja von Rönne, one of the most inspiring German authors in spring, reflected on Brexit for Travelettes and thought about what it means to travel to “conflict-ridden” places if you really want to call them that.
I hosted a photography exhibition in Frankfurt with my oldest and incredibly talented friend Anna which meant so much. I portrayed heroes who go the extra mile in all areas of life for Shift Magazin and wrote several short travel stories for Brigitte Magazin. I looked at what’s going on in Egypt five years after the Arab Spring. It’s been a crazy and eventful year at Conflict Zone, the Deutsche Welle political talk show I work for, especially in terms of covering populism in Europe and the state of (press) freedom in Turkey.
I interviewed a young German who helps rescue refugees off the Mediterranean Sea with the NGO “Jugend Rettet” and looked at how Berlin welcomes refugees at the LaGeSo now, one summer on. Towards the end of the year, I shot my first documentary about a 19-year-old ballerina at the local ballet in Berlin and sipped cocktails on sandy beaches in Curacao. Doesn’t sound bad at all, eh?
2016 has been a year of continuous experimenting and doubting which became a little tiring at times. Looking back, I see twelve months of many trips and adventures, of missing home and perhaps of being stuck in a loop of figuring out what next steps could be. Part of this is surely being a freelancer, but part of this is also being a 20-something in Berlin.
I don’t know much (the weeks to come will bring more clarity), but I want to spend more time working from abroad in 2017. Watch this space – and thank you for being part of my year!