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Athens Photo Festival 2012: Eleni Mouzakiti

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In my leisure time series I am interested in recording the open public spaces that host or suggest leisure time. Within the frame of this series I visited Ruegen, an island in the Balitic sea. Ruegen was a favorite place of German Romantic painters like C. D. Friedrich and P. O. Runge. The reason I visited Ruegen was not the romantic characteristics of a paradise on earth that still are to be found there. Neither the fact that today it is one of the most touristic destinations in Germany, where I could possibly find subjects for my series. The main reason was the “Colossus of Prora”, the 4,5 km long modernistic building that lies along the Prora bay near the glamorous Binz resort. It was designed by the Nazis for mass vacation by the sea and planned to accommodate 20000 vacationers. The war prevented the Nazis from completing the project and the partly finished project was used for military purposes and for leisure activities of DDR military officers. Today the various parts of the building host a Documentation Center, a privately owned cheap fantasmagoric museum, a café-restaurant and recently the biggest youth hostel in Germany. The building’s future uses are unclear because of its sensitive history.

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