THE BEAUTY OF GREYNESS
University: Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
What: A photograpy series
With this series of photographs I would like to give a dif- ferent view on the city of Vilnus. Most of the time city’s are known by there old historical buildings. That makes sense, of course, an old town brings coziness and romance. People are sensetive for that and appreciate it. Thats clear. But it is nice to give some attention to the less easy buildings and discover the beauty of greyness
A DESTROYED CITY CENTRE
Seven years ago I started my studies in the second city of The Netherlands, Rotterdam. During the German invasion of the Netherlands in World War II on 14 May 1940 Rotterdam is ruthlessly bombed. Some 90 aeroplanes, of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) are flying over the city and dropping bombs without a specific target. It is difficult to say why this is happening. After a battle of five days, Rotterdam has ended up in a desperate situation. It is said that negotiations to surrender are already taking place. This is why bombing the city to force a breakthrough does not seem very logical. Perhaps it is the ego of Hermann Göring, the commander-in-chief that is hurt? Does he want to save face? Does he even know about the negotiations? Or is there another reason? Soon after the bombing of Rotterdam, the Netherlands surrenders. This bombardment destroyed almost the entire historic city centre of Rotterdam
Rotterdam started building up their city centre from scretch. This results in a city full of modern architecture. Rotterdam looks back on 75 years of post-war reconstruction with a lot of high, symmetric buildings of steel, glass and concrete. Meanwhile, a city build of apparently unpopular buildings has become a popular, must-see destination for visitors from all around the globe.
THE BEAUTY OF GREYNESS
The first years of my studies in Rotterdam I walked every day from the central station to my university. I looked around and I decided that I didn’t like the greyness of this city. It was to chilly and grey.
A few years later I moved to Rotterdam, which is now my favorite city on earth. In the intervening years, Rotterdam evolved culturally and in architecture. The most ‘ugly’ places become the most creative and inspiring places. I started to see the beauty of greyness.
Who reads about Lithuania’s capital Vilnius reads about the beautyfull old town in baroque style and dozens of churches. Vilnius Old Town was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in recognition of its universal value and originality. Awesome of course but there is more to see.
A USSR LEGACY
Lithuania reestablished its independence nearly 25 years ago, but the legacy of the USSR in the country lives on through leftover Soviet architecture. These buildings in a suburb of the city are as fascinating as they are monotonous. It is only with the appearance of the trappings of a modern society – like satellite dishes.
Photography is al about looking. Seeing things other people do not see. In Rotterdam I have learned to see the beauty of the greyness, with this series I want to give you the oppertunity to take a closer look to that which you may never paid attention to.