Published by Steidl. Text by Michael von Graffenried.
New Bern is a small city in North Carolina with a population of 30,000, conspicuously composed of 55% white and 33% Black citizens. It was here in 1710 that Christoph von Graffenried of Bern, Switzerland, first began building houses; the fledgling town took on the name of his native city. Taken over a period of 15 years, von Graffenried’s photos are patient images of everyday life: a Black church congregation, young white girls at rifle practice; Black men exchanging cash on the street, a white couple displaying their collection of firearms; a Black female stripper performing for a white man.
In June 2020, following the killing of George Floyd, the largest demonstration New Bern had ever seen took place, parallel to many Black Lives Matter protests throughout the country and marking the first time the issue of race relations had been thus proclaimed in the city. This volume maps the contradictions embodied by New Bern.
All year long, the people of Munich look forward to Oktoberfest. When the time finally comes, the city's inhabitants, joined by thousands of tourists from all over the world, don their lederhosen and dirndls and gather on the "Wiesn." With seven million liters of beer flowing at record speed, social boundaries soon dissolve. The grass by the tents becomes a makeshift urinal and is steadily strewn with intoxicated corpses, while the police and medical teams try to keep up with sinking inhibition thresholds. Bierfest shines light on the decadent side of the world's most famous folk festival, and celebrates its nostalgia and mass delirium in equal measure.