Benne OCHS c/o EMEIS DEUBEL and Anna Clea Skoluda, aka ‘OS Imagery’, photographed a personal project for which they portrayed Abitur students in their final year during the stay-at-home order in Hamburg.
OS Imagery : “Graduating with the Abitur, the highest possible German school diploma, is a time students have been longing for, a time laden all the while with plans and dreams, in anticipation of the rest of life finally beginning. But all of a sudden, right before plunging into independence, planned just as much as all the parties and trips around the world upon graduation, the plug is pulled – and everything goes silent. The lockdown led to a complete standstill. All plans were null and void, while graduates waited in uncertainty. A feeling of weightlessness, of floating in a vacuum of plans and events that wanted to be experienced before it’s off to uni.
This break, although temporary, from the rat race of ‘growing up’ initially felt wrong, and boredom soon set in. This state of mind, which is so utterly important for creativity and self-reflexion, was new for many in a day and age of constant distraction, but ultimately turned out to be a valuable gift. Because now, they were even freed from the obligation to have fun and spend the time between graduation and uni as extremely effectively or unusually as possible. There was finally a bit of space to analyze and reflect upon what has been achieved and what lies ahead without pressure from the outside. Time to think over plans and focus on other things. A chance to live life independently, bound less by the expectations of society. Serving as a symbol for this standstill in the life of Abitur graduates is the abandoned Reeperbahn, just waiting for the starting signal to get things going again.”