A personal tour through Berlin’s hedonistic heartland

A personal tour through Berlin’s hedonistic heartland

Stories from the city — In Vagabondage Diary, artist Ed Broner offers an intimate depiction of sex, drugs, art and music, taking his camera deep into the city’s underground as part of a pledge to immortalise absolutely everything.

In 2010, following the death of his best friend, Ed Broner made a pledge: he was going to take more photos.

Primarily a painter and graffiti artist by trade, Broner – who was born in Paris, but moved to Berlin in 2002 – was burdened by the fact that only a small handful of images existed from the time he and his inner circle had spent together. So, he resolved from that moment on he’d make a change. He was going to photograph everything.

Now, no matter the situation or scenario, Broner sought to immortalise it. As a self-christened “bohemian and vagabond” who’d worked the door at some of the city’s most unrestrained spots, his camera followed him into the heart of Berlin’s underground – a space that few knew better.

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“There was an energy, there were a lot of artists going there, there were a lot of underground cultures. It had this underground touch that we didn’t have anymore in Paris. It was amazing to see.”

While the project started as a commitment to memorialising the time spent with loved ones, it soon transformed into a chaotic ode to his adopted city. Titled Vagabondage Diary, the resulting series is a collection of intimate, black and white shots that depict the French artist’s various hedonistic exploits.

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As the second instalment in Hatje Cantz’s Berlin Stories series, Broner’s work offers a messy, monochromatic tour of the German capital, directed by his voyeuristic lens. From clubs, to afterparties, to disruption on the streets and then back again, Vagabondage Diary follows the French artist as he makes his way around a city. Nothing is off limits.

“A vagabond is someone who can be in many different kinds of places – like a chameleon,” he adds. “I wanted to photograph everything.”

“In this diary, it’s underground because my life was underground. It’s a combination of places I love to be and things I like and the people I know – people who really love their own world.”

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Vagabondage Diary is available now via Hatje Cantz

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