»Lehe im Wandel«
Presented by pavlov’s dog
The district of Lehe in Bremerhaven has a reputation for poverty, crime, run-down houses, high unemployment and decay. Some media have stylised stylised this image and made Lehe a decoy for poverty and hopelessness – only slowly is this image about the notorious district beginning to change.
The district of Lehe is many things, but not a place for hopelessness, because it is in a state of change.
Bremerhaven has always been a city in transition – after 1945 it became an American occupation zone and one of the most important hubs of the Federal Republic of Germany. Life in Lehe raged back then, and the old days seem to have stopped in the smoky pubs.
The district is strongly influenced by its residents, for both good and bad, Lehe is their home. Dreams, hopes, memories – all this is reflected in the streets. Sometimes closed – the windows covered with cloths, the doors locked, backyards blocked, empty streets on grey rainy days. Sometimes noisy – kitschy decorated windows, construction site noise wafting through the streets, the warmth of quaint pubs, loving messages written on walls, barking dogs.
The everyday, which can be absurd, melancholic, imperceptible, humorous, sarcastic, paradoxical, theatrical, eccentric.
The shipyard crisis of the 1970s began the economic and social decline of the region that is still felt today. When in 1994 the US Army finally left Bremerhaven for good after 48 years, not only were jobs and purchasing power lost, but an entire era came to an end. Lehe gradually developed into a social hotspot. That is one side of Lehe.
On the other side, Lehe is Bremerhaven’s most populous district and the most diverse. This potential has been recognised by the residents and also by outsiders: Magnificent buildings that had deteriorated over the years into junk real estate are being renovated and refurbished, and the infrastructure is being expanded. Private investors came to Lehe, initiatives were founded, spaces for art and culture were created, more and more students moved to Lehe. Many residents view the change positively and euphorically, others feel overlooked and ignored.
The change does not follow a straightforward plan, but lives – like the district itself.
Photographer Miriam Klingl traced this change, told by the district and its residents themselves, for two years. Her photographic work “Lehe im Wandel” was initiated and financed by the Kulturkirche Bremerhaven, which has set itself the task of creating a meeting place for religious, but also social issues.
On 2 October 2021, the photo book on the project will be published, in which the portrayed people themselves will have their say. The hardcover book contains 78 photographs and 18 texts by residents and will be available through the website lehe-im-wandel.de. The exhibition will take place in Spring/Summer 2022, visit lehe-im-wandel.de for updates.
Miriam Klingl, was born in Regensburg (Bavaria) in 1994. From 2013 to 2016 she completed her she completed her training as a photographer at the Lette Verein Berlin. In her photo reportages Miriam mainly deals with social issues. Since completing since completing her training, she has been working as a freelance photographer in Berlin. In 2018, she completed a one-year course of study to become a photo editor at the Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie. From 2019 to 2021, she worked on the exhibition and book project “Lehe im Wandel” for the the Kulturkirche Bremerhaven.
»Lehe im Wandel«
Hardcover, 164 pages
18 texts by the residents
Created between October 2018
and March 2021