My name is Max Czollek. I’m a writer from Berlin.
Where did the idea for your portrait’s staging and setting come from?
There wasn’t one! I took Frédéric Brenner along on a walk through the neighborhood where I grew up and suddenly there was this pile of shredded paper on the ground. The photo came about completely spontaneously.
How do you experience Jewish life in Berlin?
As extraordinarily vibrant and diverse. Even the singular seems too small to me somehow. Better to speak of Jewish lives in Berlin, plural. The people come here from all over. They have very different ideas of what makes a good life, different political views, positions in society, and approaches to Judaism. A major shift is currently underway towards a new Judaism in Germany, the contours of which are just starting to solidify.
Describe your life in Berlin in three adjectives.
Varied, intensive, political
What would your wish be for the future of Jewish life in Berlin?
For it to continue at the beginning. For Jewishness to mean vibrancy. And for its diversity also to be reflected in the institutions that seek to represent it.
Jewish Museum Berlin (2021), Max Czollek. Interview and Photo from the Frédéric Brenner – ZERHEILT: HEALED TO PIECES Exhibition Opening.