Unna Diary, April 11–April 16, 2021
April 14, 2021
When I start my morn- ing walk at 6:30 I am accompanied from day one by a noisy motorized sweeper. The vanguard dressed in orange with a hoodie underneath is operating a leaf blower. One of his guilty pleasures is to blow a small white plastic bag aimlessly through the pedestrian zone. I can’t help being reminded of the film American Beauty—without the beauty but with a lot of noise. When I ask him about the reasoning for his activity he explains to me in his nice local accent that his job is to stir up the filth, that the sweeper can do the rest.
About the City Diaries
The city at the beginning of the twenty-first century is the major theme of Peter Bialobrzeski’s “City Diaries”. In this long-term project, which so far comprises 19 volumes, he has been investigating since 2013 whether the preconception of a city — a product of prejudices, personal observations and media communications — can be transformed into a specific image. Whether Osaka or Unna, Wuhan or Wolfsburg, Bialobrzeski is interested in the cultural differences increasingly hidden by globalization, which he makes visible by means of a seemingly objectifying aesthetic. Current political and social developments are also reflected in Bialobrzeski’s images and diary entries. Cairo, for example, cannot be understood without the Arab Spring, Athens without the euro crisis, and Wolfsburg, of course, without VW and the emissions scandal. On the occasion of the publication of “Athens Diary,” Melanie Mühl wrote in the FAZ: “Everyone should see these photographs.”
The format and page count of all titles are identical. This systematic approach allows for a comparative view of different urban settings, ranging from a megalopolis like Bangkok to a Westphalian medium-sized town like Unna. Further volumes will be published in loose order over the next few years.
Peter Bialobrzeski’s work has been exhibited worldwide. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including two World Press Photo Awards (2003, 2010). In 2012 he was granted the Dr. Erich Salomon Award by the German Photographic Society.