Portraits by Jorn Tomter

The Devil’s Mountain
The Teufelsberg in Berlin has got a very interesting story behind it. Once the site for a Nazi college designed by Speer, then a dumping site for rubble from bombed-out buildings post WW2, which made it the highest point in Berlin and therefore it became a listening station site for the Allies during the cold war. Today it remains empty. I went there today to see if I could sneak in. After walking around the barbed fence I had achieved nothing but wet trainers. Then Anja (originally from Poland but now a Berliner) came up to me and asked for help. I thought she need help to climb the fence, but it turned out that her ex husband owns the site and she knew a secret way in. All she needed was a bit of manpower. She comes there every day to feed some foxes that became orphans as baby foxes. Tinned cat food did the trick. It was a bit like District 9. She took me up to the highest point at the old listening station where I politely asked to photograph her. A while ago she bumped in to Roman Polanski who was trying to get in. She guided him around too.
First blogged 11th December 2009

The Devil’s Mountain

The Teufelsberg in Berlin has got a very interesting story behind it. Once the site for a Nazi college designed by Speer, then a dumping site for rubble from bombed-out buildings post WW2, which made it the highest point in Berlin and therefore it became a listening station site for the Allies during the cold war. Today it remains empty. I went there today to see if I could sneak in. After walking around the barbed fence I had achieved nothing but wet trainers. Then Anja (originally from Poland but now a Berliner) came up to me and asked for help. I thought she need help to climb the fence, but it turned out that her ex husband owns the site and she knew a secret way in. All she needed was a bit of manpower. She comes there every day to feed some foxes that became orphans as baby foxes. Tinned cat food did the trick. It was a bit like District 9. She took me up to the highest point at the old listening station where I politely asked to photograph her. A while ago she bumped in to Roman Polanski who was trying to get in. She guided him around too.

First blogged 11th December 2009

The Bus driver
Michael from Berlin has been driving bus for 32 years. Did you know that the word bus comes from the latin word omnibus? It means “for everyone”.
Originally blogged 9th December 2009

The Bus driver

Michael from Berlin has been driving bus for 32 years. Did you know that the word bus comes from the latin word omnibus? It means “for everyone”.

Originally blogged 9th December 2009

Achtung! Es ist scharf!
Food in Germany can often be bland, even in restaurant with dishes from exotic places. If it says ‘scharf’ (hot) on the menu it usually isn’t that hot, if it says extra scharf it might tickle your tongue a little bit, but it wont make you sweat. Whenever I order a dish which is slightly hot according to the menu the waiter warns me that the food is hot. It seems like most Germans prefer to use cream and cheese when they cook anyway, even most of Indian dishes contain cheese in Germany. Maybe this is normal in some Indian regions, but it is all news to me. Yogi is an Indian restaurant in Müllenhoffstrasse, Berlin, and Satpal Singh (chef) and Gurd Eep (waitress) instantly wanted to pose by the Christmas tree when I asked to take their photo. Great food!!! And cheap!

Achtung! Es ist scharf!

Food in Germany can often be bland, even in restaurant with dishes from exotic places. If it says ‘scharf’ (hot) on the menu it usually isn’t that hot, if it says extra scharf it might tickle your tongue a little bit, but it wont make you sweat. Whenever I order a dish which is slightly hot according to the menu the waiter warns me that the food is hot. It seems like most Germans prefer to use cream and cheese when they cook anyway, even most of Indian dishes contain cheese in Germany. Maybe this is normal in some Indian regions, but it is all news to me. Yogi is an Indian restaurant in Müllenhoffstrasse, Berlin, and Satpal Singh (chef) and Gurd Eep (waitress) instantly wanted to pose by the Christmas tree when I asked to take their photo. Great food!!! And cheap!

The Piano Man
I was out exploring my neighbourhood the other day - as I often do. I looked through some windows and came across this workshop by Südstern, Berlin; it was full of pianos taken apart. I really like workshops and instantly felt that I wanted to photograph the place. I approached them and made an appointment to pop around today. Michael Bissinger owns the place and tunes pianos by ear. Just him, the piano and a couple of tools. Amazing! I asked him if he had a lighter shirt, but apparently his jumper costs €400 so it had to do.
Originally blogged on the 3rd December 2009

The Piano Man

I was out exploring my neighbourhood the other day - as I often do. I looked through some windows and came across this workshop by Südstern, Berlin; it was full of pianos taken apart. I really like workshops and instantly felt that I wanted to photograph the place. I approached them and made an appointment to pop around today. Michael Bissinger owns the place and tunes pianos by ear. Just him, the piano and a couple of tools. Amazing! I asked him if he had a lighter shirt, but apparently his jumper costs €400 so it had to do.

Originally blogged on the 3rd December 2009

Lutz Wichmann in his kiosk by Südstern in Berlin.
Originally posted 2nd Decemer 2009

Lutz Wichmann in his kiosk by Südstern in Berlin.

Originally posted 2nd Decemer 2009

I love L(ung)S
The smoking ban seems to be well accepted in most of Europe by now. Even in countries like Spain and France hardcore smokers seems to think that smoke-free places are to preferred. In Berlin on the other hand the ban is a tricky one to introduce. This city is smokers paradise! You can basically smoke everywhere. The police are seen as silhouettes among smoke inside their patrol cars like you haven’t seen it since the heyday of filmnoir, the bars are filled with smoke and air circulation seems to be for pussies, you go to a private view and by the second glass of wine the first smoker is spotted with a cigarette in his/her mouth (and then many other follow like domino bricks), I went swimming the other day and the reception hall smelt like old tobacco and the guy who washes our stairs always seems to be in need of a cigarette every time he works outside our entrance door. Berliners think it is a right to smoke! No one should tell them what to do. Erdinc Celik photographed here is trying his best to survive by not smoking, and instead sell them to others.
 
Originally posted 1st December 2009

I love L(ung)S

The smoking ban seems to be well accepted in most of Europe by now. Even in countries like Spain and France hardcore smokers seems to think that smoke-free places are to preferred. In Berlin on the other hand the ban is a tricky one to introduce. This city is smokers paradise! You can basically smoke everywhere. The police are seen as silhouettes among smoke inside their patrol cars like you haven’t seen it since the heyday of filmnoir, the bars are filled with smoke and air circulation seems to be for pussies, you go to a private view and by the second glass of wine the first smoker is spotted with a cigarette in his/her mouth (and then many other follow like domino bricks), I went swimming the other day and the reception hall smelt like old tobacco and the guy who washes our stairs always seems to be in need of a cigarette every time he works outside our entrance door. Berliners think it is a right to smoke! No one should tell them what to do. Erdinc Celik photographed here is trying his best to survive by not smoking, and instead sell them to others.

 

Originally posted 1st December 2009

In England you would never see a builder chilling out with a cup of coffee in an organic shop. They like their grease spoon cafés and builder’s tea while they flick through News of the World or The Sun. I spotted bricklayer Peter Dixon in my local (organic) shop/café sipping a latté on his break in his nice traditional workman’s outfit. The black outfit dates back 200 years and is part of long German crafts tradition. The journey to become a bricklayer in Germany is long and dedicated. They also join some kind of union with a secret ceremonial. It is not allowed to describe the ceremonial, but people say that its content and language are of great beauty.
Originally published 30th November 2009

In England you would never see a builder chilling out with a cup of coffee in an organic shop. They like their grease spoon cafés and builder’s tea while they flick through News of the World or The Sun. I spotted bricklayer Peter Dixon in my local (organic) shop/café sipping a latté on his break in his nice traditional workman’s outfit. The black outfit dates back 200 years and is part of long German crafts tradition. The journey to become a bricklayer in Germany is long and dedicated. They also join some kind of union with a secret ceremonial. It is not allowed to describe the ceremonial, but people say that its content and language are of great beauty.

Originally published 30th November 2009

It has been pretty hard today to photograph a stranger. Everyone said no or did the dollar sign with their fingers; wanting money in return for me to take their picture. I’m not sure if it is the subject matters I tried today or the fact that my German is very poor, that I didn’t get anyone to pose. I had to force myself out again a second time in the evening, and eventually Süleyman Gül was happy to pose for a couple of frames. His shop on Grafestrasse, Berlin, is called Delta.com, which I find very strange considering it is the url for a big airline company.
Originally published 29th November 2009

It has been pretty hard today to photograph a stranger. Everyone said no or did the dollar sign with their fingers; wanting money in return for me to take their picture. I’m not sure if it is the subject matters I tried today or the fact that my German is very poor, that I didn’t get anyone to pose. I had to force myself out again a second time in the evening, and eventually Süleyman Gül was happy to pose for a couple of frames. His shop on Grafestrasse, Berlin, is called Delta.com, which I find very strange considering it is the url for a big airline company.

Originally published 29th November 2009

Die Weinerei in Berlin is a great place! You drink as much wine as you like and when you leave you pay as much as you want to. Marie Pauline Velmann is relaxing with wine and a good book. 
Originally published 28th November 2009

Die Weinerei in Berlin is a great place! You drink as much wine as you like and when you leave you pay as much as you want to. Marie Pauline Velmann is relaxing with wine and a good book. 

Originally published 28th November 2009

Hans-Gerd Drieselmann sells potatoes out of a truck on Columbiadamm in Neukölln, Berlin. Every day he sits there selling potatoes for €5 a bag - that’s less than 50 cent a kilo. He must be very clever by now because he reads all the time.
 
Originally posted 27th Nov 2009

Hans-Gerd Drieselmann sells potatoes out of a truck on Columbiadamm in Neukölln, Berlin. Every day he sits there selling potatoes for €5 a bag - that’s less than 50 cent a kilo. He must be very clever by now because he reads all the time.

 

Originally posted 27th Nov 2009