The capital of Germany and home to 3.5 million people, Berlin has a rich, colourful and fascinating history. It rapidly developed into a major urban centre at the end of the nineteenth century, and today is a site where the scars of history sit alongside ultra-modern urban developments. Berlin has always been a place where people have had a close relationship with the fabric of the city, and as such it is the perfect lens with which to examine this relationship, and how that process has shaped the modern city. Berlin Bodies is the first cultural history of the human body in Berlin, spanning the twentieth century and the contemporary scene today.
Stephen Barber explores previously neglected material from the city’s audio and visual archives to examine how people interacted with the streets, buildings, squares and spaces of Berlin. He takes a deeper look into riots, ruins, nightclubs, crowds, architectural experiments, citywide spectacles, film, art and performances, which have all affected the structure of the city and the people who inhabit it.
Berlin Bodies is an innovative approach to examining the modern city space, and how people interact with it. Based on a quarter-century of close observations of Berlin, this book will be compelling reading for those interested in cities, space, visual and digital media, as well as those who see Berlin as a rich source of insights into modern urban cultures.
Stephen Barber is a Professor at Kingston University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture and the author of six previous books for Reaktion, including Performance Projections (2014), Jean Genet (2004) and Projected Cities (2002).