Back in 2007 I had a wild and crazy adventure in Prague during an art school trip whilst at university. Having come across some of my long forgotten Black and White film photography I took whilst exploring this dark and atmospheric gothic city, it took me back to my first real discovery of travel and of the excitement of experience.
This was my way of capturing more accurately the Prague I saw through my enthusiastic and somewhat naïve eyes as well as the way in which I experienced it and how that trip changed the course of our lives…
We explored further and deeper into Prague than I had ever gone before whilst abroad, we stayed out all night in crazy hallucinogenic bars playing propaganda like videos to crowds of spaced out locals, we got lost down dark and graffiti covered alleyways and had our first dose of the sobering reality of the Nazi death machine when we travelled over to Terezin. It was a wild and bewildering adventure which I reflect back on with sharp focus on the details within a haze of the overwhelmed drug I have been addicted to ever since… Travel!
Prague was an awakening of sorts, a mixture of enlightenment and bemusement. Of a new and more fluid way of travelling, of connections and discoveries, experiences and chance encounters. It laid the foundations for the years of wanderlust that have followed and our love of history saturated cities in which to loose ourselves once again. It was a freedom unlike what I had never felt before when travelling and in a place which seemed so edgy and dark, and that attracted me even more, not to mention the continuing inspiration it gave me for my creative work.
As an art student I was keen to snap more than just the sights of Prague from a tourists point of view, but wanted to go further and try to capture some of the atmosphere and soul that these grand old cities fill you with when you wander their well trodden cobbles. I took over my Pentax K1000 and loaded the old girl up with some black and white film and experimented…
Looking back over these film photos I feel they more readily speak of the Prague I experienced through my fresh and open eyes, or maybe my occasionally absinthe impaired vision! They speak of the mystery and atmosphere of the place, the somewhat intimidating darkness of it, but ultimately the intriguing adventure a group of art students went on. There is also something romantic about the idea of film photography, of chance taking and uncertainty alongside the idea of memory and time.
I also have a set taken in the Nazi concentration camp/ ghetto of Terezin (Theresienstadt). But I hope to shorty do a post surrounding those experiences and how it lead me to have a real need to finally see Auschwitz. I hope to show them alongside a set of Black and White film photos we took at Auschwitz and how it felt like the closing of something that had been open since our haunting visit to Terezin back in 2007. So keep and eye out for that and also a more detailed guide to visiting Prague!
Being written by Nic you might have guessed that this was a trip only taken by one of the Roaming Renegades… way back before we even knew Travel blogs existed but we were still very much a couple in 2007. It was a university trip and so Shorty unfortunately missed out. However… We will be passing through again on our European Leg of our RTW trip next year!
What were your experiences of Prague and do you ever try to use other mediums other than digital photography to capture your experiences of a place?