It may not be The City That Never Sleeps or the Ville Lumière, but Berlin is still the largest, best-known, best-loved and most imitated city in Germany (itself the largest economy in Europe), and seeing it tighten its belt has a certain effect.
What the municipality is putting in place to cope with the energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine (i.e. the rise in the price of Russian gas, on which Germany is much more dependent than France, not to mention the United States) is in fact a series of extraordinary measures, the most striking of which involves turning off the spotlight on all monuments.
Balancing urban planning instances and tourist needs, the operation is gradual and, as Luca Girardini, author of the photographic census of which we publish some images, explains, rather than leading to substantial savings it represents an exemplary gesture of civic conscience.
The photos of the “Berlin Unlighted” series (Berlino Oscura), which for Girardini represents the new chapter of a broader research on the relationship between citizens and the monumental dimension in the German capital today, are therefore a trigger that lights up reflections ranging from the sphere of environmental sustainability to that of the effects that this new condition will have on the perception of time (also in a historical sense, since most of the monuments in question were erected before the arrival of public lighting at the end of the 19th century) and space in complex European urban realities.