A friend of mine invited me to a photo exhibit and I went, without knowing what it was about. We walked into Leipzig’s Stadtbibliothek when the opening presentation on the photos had already started, and I was prepared to be bored out of my mind by older German men in suits talking for an hour. Instead, I was blown away. Not by the older German men in suits; I didn’t even pay attention to what they were saying (I would’ve had to concentrate hard to really understand anything, since my German still sucks). I was blown away by the photo slideshow they were standing beside. My eyes were glued to it. The angles of Leipzig sliding before my eyes glowed with such beauty and artistic sensitivity that they could only have been the offspring of a serious romance between the photographers and the city.
Luckily, the exhibit with the actual photos was just downstairs at Stadtbibliothek and will be for a while. In fact, until December 31, 2015. If you don’t live in Leipzig or just don’t make it to the library, you can still see the photos at http://www.leipzig.travel/fotowettbewerb – just scroll down the page. Trust me, it’s worth it. According to the Web site, the photos are the product of a contest in which people were asked to capture “the city of Leipzig as they see it, what fascinates them and what they associate with the metropolis.” The top 100 were picked by popular vote, and the exhibit at the library features the top photos. I got to meet the third-place winner, a professional photographer and cool guy named Kay Fochtmann, because he’s the one who invited my friend to the exhibit. His photo is the one with people lounging on a rooftop (at Südplatz – one of the hotspots of Leipzig hipness and hipsterness). See if you can spot it.
Feel like giving it a crack yourself? They will announce another photo contest this month on the same Web site, for Leipzig’s 1000th anniversary. So stay tuned. Also, more on Leipzig becoming millennial, and what’s going on to celebrate it, in future posts.