Jonny Whitlam is an English photographer fresh into Berlin from some time spent in Denmark and Norway. Drawn to the German capital by its reputation as the current cultural and creative heart of Europe, Jonny also has a deep interest in the city's fascinating and convoluted history. With his most recent work he has been trying to capture this sense of time gone by; empires, wars, dictatorships, divisions and occupations; an incredibly heavy historical burden that is at times jarring with how liberal and relaxed the city is today. The only line running through all these things is that Berlin is a place that never stands still. All move, all change, like shifting sands. For Jonny, this made Krampnitz a perfect location. Situated between Potsdam and Spandau, Krampnitz is a former Nazi military complex that was occupied by Soviet forces during the Cold War before being abandoned in 1992. In a part of the world that moves so fast it is compelling to find a place that for 20 years has stood still.
Soviet newspapers from the late 1980's still adorn the walls as a form of insulation, maps with indecipherable Cyrillic are to be found everywhere and a mosaic of an Eagle forever clutching a swastika haunts an empty stairwell. There is an eerie silence to be found at Krampnitz that Jonny feels carries a heavier weight than some of the other abandoned sites he has visited. The gravity of two terrible dictatorships is felt throughout, undoubtedly a feeling that drew Hollywood there in 2001 and 2009 to shoot Enemy at the Gates and Inglourious Basterds respectively.
Jonny's photographs capture this strange emptiness and loss. Offering not only an eye into the past but a window to a world that could have been.
Presented here are a selections of snap shots from Jonny's visit to Krampnitz, please visit his website for more.