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Das Booth

It’s been a decade since two Berliners reintroduced the old Photoautomat photo booths – and they’re still drawing a steady stream of colourful characters

Text by Toby Skinner / Photos⁄Photoautomat Weserstraße & Mitja Schneehage



The poet laureate of Google

Londoner Martin Jackson, who’s lived in Berlin for a year (“London had got too comfortable”) is an award-winning poet, fiction writer and founding member of east London mentor project the Ministry of Stories. His main current project is as the unofficial poet-in-residence of Google Street View. He embeds poems on Google Maps, including a fascinating series on “Alan”, a worker at Gatwick Airport. “He was obviously the guy chaperoning the Google photographer, but there are all these shots on Street View of him. I know that he’s married, and likes crosswords and bananas – the rest is poetic license.” residentinmaps.com

The smart kids

Jelka Freivogel (14) – who’s on holiday from Switzerland with her parents and two sisters, Zoe (10) and Saskia (8) – has some pretty solid travel advice. “Don’t just go to the tourist-y places,” she advises. “For us, the best thing has been cycling round the city and just seeing how people live.” She does, though, recommend Mauerpark on a Sunday for the “buzzing atmosphere”, and says that their hostel, Amstel House, is a good bet for kids. “There’s a playroom with fussball, pool and table tennis, and you can rent bikes. It’s really good.” 

The illustrator

You have to live up to a name like Lavender Wolf, and this papercut illustrator does just that, turning up at the Photoautomat with his teddy bear. His colourful work “fuses mythology, pop culture and ethnicity – my family are a mix of African and Native American.” Wolf moved here from Los Angeles to study photography seven years ago, and never left. “Berlin gives you the time and space to experiment,” he says. “I might never have discovered illustration had I stayed in LA. His top tip? “Rag and Bone Man – a vintage shop where they have pop-up kitchens, art and performances.”  lavenderwolf.tumblr.com


Meet more Weserstraße people on the next page...


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