Manuel

My dear friend Manuel came to visit me last month – I’ve been to tired to edit them due to all the time I spend fixing in Ps at work, but here they finally are, enjoy.

A Berliner portrayed on a cliff in the archipelago of Stockholm.

It’d be fun to list all my pictures with Manuel from the last 5-6 years – since we got to know each other as exchange students in Uruguay we’ve met once back there, trice in Berlin and now finally in Stockholm. We’ve had some wierd adventures together and wild conversations, the first one starting in La Paloma back in 2007… It’s about time I go back to wonderful Berlin <3

He asked me to take theese pics for his album, here you can listen to his wonderful voice: http://soundcloud.com/manuelfinke/

Killerball live at Götgatan

Yesterday I had been megalaxing in Järna outside of Stockholm, one of my childhood friends lives there and is now pregnant so I found the time to visit her and catch up and photograph her huge bellyyyy… In the evening I returned to the city – picked up sushi at Södermalm’s most popular whole in the wall “Akkis”. Found my way to a friend’s place close by and sat at her balcony eating my late dinner while she was packing for the reggae-festival Öland Roots. I finished my dinner and decided to walk a few blocks before taking the metro home. Coming in to Götgatan I started hearing music and then I saw a big crowd around these guys….

They call themselves “Killerball” – Mördardboll på svenska. They were playing covers and some of their own songs and completely rocking the crowd that sat down around them. This is a phenomena that only can happen in summertime, vacationtime and I was happy to be part of it – people enjoying the life of the streets. It was 10 pm and the sun was going down, I stayed and listened to them for half an hour, went to the ATM for cash and bought their CD for 50sek, good money for a great live concert – although it was totally different to listen to their CD at home than seeing them live, of course! I was sad to have my dear PowerShot s95 at the clinic for damaged lenses and couldn’t film their performance…

Support these brilliant guys by going in to facebook and give them those damn 5,000 likes they need to get signed by the record company!!

The little NYC in Stockholm – Jam session at Vlångg/Tyska Brinken

This last week crazy things have happened, both good and bad ones – my work at the coffeeshop in old town, Stockholm, really teach me a lot about people, human behavior and all kind of crazy manners. Just before leaving the shop on sunday, when I wasn’t suppose to work but just to come by and help my college to buy some extra milk – and ended up shotting espresso to confused turists, there was a atmosphere of confusion that started with my college telling me that she had just been robbed, or something (a guy had tried to pay with a false 1000kr-bill and wanted to negotiate on the sandwiches for 10kr each) and when he left 500sek was missing – I didnt’t have time to let her explain me the whole story and she was also too confused to tell it correctly, so I told her to sit down in the storage and write it down while I was taking care of the shop – so that feeling transmitted to everyone around me, or people where just crazy from the first real sumemrdays because nobody was able to make a simple order and I don’t think it helped that they heard me, one moment speaking in english, the other in swedish and the third addressing someone in spanish! “Dónde está mi cortado?” Ya viene, señor! I minute later: Un cortado! …. “Señor! Su cortado viene aquí!” “Seeeeeñoor…! Nadie quiere un cortado??!” Another man, from another company, aslo speaks spanish and helps me to call on the attention of the confused Spaniard. When this helpful man comes to the cashier I hear his accent and I ask “Son de Argentina?” “Síi, sí, somos! De donde sos?” “No, soy de aquí pero he vivido en Uruguay” – “Ah, Uruguaya” says his wife “te escuché hablar y pensaba que esa chica tiene pinta de Uruguaya!” and it wnet on something like that – the confused Spaniard later standing in line for the toilet and asked me if I spoke a bit spanish – when I told him that I speak A LOT spanish he wanted to know if I had been to spain, and yes I said, but I learned spanish in Uruguay – he barely knew where is was and then after a while “aaah, right, yes they speak spanish there also – but NOT castellano!” and I had to interrupt him since I had a chaos behind the counter and I was not at all interested to speak to someone that ignorant ;) but he was a sweet old, proud man…

ANYHOW – when I finally could tear myself away from the shop I just took one step out of the door – and then went back in to buy to ice-lattes for these too talented guys:

Jam session at Vlångg/Tyska Brinken, Stockholm from Kiki Beije on Vimeo.

These guys always came into our shop last summer ’11 and saved us with their coins while they also bought a coffee – we always turned off the music in the shop when we heard them on the corner of Västerlånggatan and Tyska Brinken – so when I saw that they where back this summer I was so happy!

In the video, at 2.41, you’ll also see my local, friend and college Siri just turning into the street – for you that don’t know swedish this is how the conversation goes:

“Hi Siri!”

“Heeey!!”

“Look, it’s the street musicians, remember them  from last summer?!”

“Ah, yeah, it seems like they’re always here….. there are so many men that play in the street… I would like to see more women playing”

“Start playing yourself then!”

“Yeah, I’ve actually thought about it, together with my boyfriend..”

“Just do it! If you wanna see a change you have to be the change!”

“If one would have a day off work, ahha! Well, see ya!”

“yeah, have a good one!”

So, to see Karl Bernhard Josephson and Manne Norrhäll play just stroll down Västerlånggatan, or preferebly Tyska Brinken  (less tourists) and stop by this corner, if you have the right timing they’re there jamming for the people – and if you’ll have even better timing you might at the same time step by the coffeeshop and find me there ;)

Before heading home I told my college that I had just realised that Old town is so crazy in the summers since there are so many different and strange people in a tiny place, and then they come rumbling into our even tinier shop! (just like NYC – not tiny though, but with a big mix of people)

The musician who got away…

So, after trying to get up at 8 (my usual optimism) I got a text from Caro at 10 saying that she didn’t work and wanted to have brunch together, that got me out of bed! So we went to this place close to my apartment, Chez Cora at Mont Royal. We got ourselves big café lattes and big plates with fruits, sweet bread, eggs and grease!

After that I was loaded for a day at the studio – right now I help put with some administrative stuff at La V photo, today I browsed for studios/galleries in Stockholm that could arrange or host a workshop about how to arrange wedding photography and everything around it. Vera (who’s the main photographer at La V) and Alesya are going to Russia (where they’re from) in the end of may to make such an workshop and if I can help them arrange something in Stockholm they would like to do the same there… it’s just a bit tricky with such a short notice, but I think I might have found a studio today…

Around 5 o clock I set off to scout street musicians at St Catherine street. I took a turn around the block where I’d found Mr.Berger – he wasn’t there, but just one block down I found this nice bloke…

While he was playing I motioned to my camera as to ask “is it OK that I take your picture” and so I did when he nodded, though after several pictures he probably started wondering what strange creature I was – he asked me when he stopped playing and I told him I was doing a reportage about street musicians, he seemed enthused and I asked if he had time for a brief interview or if I was disturbing him in his work – “Well, if you come back in about 20min I’ve enough for a beer and then I can sit down, take a beer, have a joint and talk to you!” I think he said his name was Jim, but I can’t remember since I didn’t write it down and he asked me my name and gave me his fist since “I usually don’t shake hands with people since my hands are dirty for the most of the time”.
So I took a walk around the block, I don’t think I was away even 20min and when I headed back I was prepared to buy him his beer (and mine) as thanks for his time, but when I got there.. He was GONE! =( He seemed like a really talkative and interesting guy so I was really disappointed! Probably he had got enough and couldn’t wait to get that beer or he decided he was better of alone without anyone questioning him about his lifestyle…
As I didnt write down his name I just call him Jim or simply Musician#2

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Change of mind, changing luck

I’ve never had any problem finding work so this last week have been my first experience of being unemployed – in the mornings I have felt useless because I’ve slept waay to long (although I’ve gone to sleep quite late) at the same time that it’s hard to get up in the morning if you don’t have any time schedule. When I havn’t had any luck in finding trainee-ship I’ve felt like a day drifter and since I was so set on the idea that I’d start following photographers almost from day one I’ve found myself a bit disoriented. After the first days walking around town I havn’t had any more urge to act like a tourist.

It’s funny how too much time for yourself can make you’re mind spin. These lasts nights it’s kept me awake, ponding on my goals, what I will do after this summer – if I should work like a maniac to get money together for another trip, or what I should do if I’ll stay in Stockholm… I’ve felt confused and my spirit have failed me, I’ve had to remember myself that I would have just kept running the hamster wheel if I had stayed home, so I’m better off whatever it is I’m doing here. Last night I read Situation Sthlm as bedtime story (the best swedish magazine, in my opinion, sold by homeless in Stockholm) and there was an article about the increasing cases of depression, mental illness and suicide among youths. It didn’t surprise me at all, considering all choices we need to make in early age telling us we need to get a good start in life and we’re not just after a descent life with food on the table, no, we have to be successful in careers, partners, looks, well you know – I think it takes more to make us happy and especially, what is what I’m trying to say here also, that if we don’t produce we’re nothing – what do you do, what do you work with EQUALS who are you?

No, I’m not trying to tell you I’m depressed, absolutely not! (I’m just moody =P) I think I have a too light spirit for that, one minute I can think I’m useless the other minute I tell myself, get your act together, chill, you could do MUCH worse! But it’s strange how our minds can play games with us – I’m not used to spend so much time on my own and so my thoughts starts to twist and turn inside my brain.

BUT then I remembered that, hey, I have my own company now (I havn’t had my first income yet but still..) and that means I’m never unemployed! =D

Thanks to a pep-talk through skype with my friend Fanny I started to redirect my aim, so that if it will take a while to get hand on in a studio I’ll just have to find my own reportages that I might sell later when I’m back home. Fanny mentioned doing something on the split between the French and the Brittish Canada but I think I just found my material this very night… on the way to the cinema I heard someone singing Sinatra in the street..

Introducing Mr. Alexander Berger – and that is B E R G E R, not like the hamburgers….

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I will do a reportage about street musicians! Mr.Berger asked for a copy of my video, so later this week I’ll fix that and go back to find him, hopefully he’ll let me buy him a cup of coffee and listen to his story, he seemed like a true gentleman so it’s a meeting I’m looking forward to – the next step is just to find other characters in this city… Stockholm is full of street musicians, maybe not all of them so very talented… but.. here in Montreal I havn’t seen that much so far, and yet I havn’t been using the metro that much. I guess I’ll need to seek more downtown..

And yes, the movie I went to see was HUNGER GAMES, of course, gooood movie! Though it took me a few blocks to walk down my shoulders again, and it also gave some photo opportunities, just a shame that I only had my powershot since the bigger camera had died.. but the powershot gives more vivid colors – do I need to tell you that I’m obsessed with nightlights?

PS. I just got a email from Vera Varley, asking if I could come by her studio on Thursday ;)