More than two years Dario Jacopo Laganá and Stefano Corso – two brilliant Italian photographers in Berlin have been working on a dear to me as an ex-Soviet project called “We will forget soon”. They travelled more than 8000 km by car following the left traces of the Red Army in the ex-DDR territory. They visited more than 300 places, which used to be under Soviet control including hospitals, schools, barracks and KGB prisons and collected more than 20.000 pictures.
Last week, I had an opportunity to chat with Dario about their amazing photographic project.
Dario, what was the main idea of the project?
The idea was to document a part of the German history from an outsider’s point of you. As you know, Stefano and myself are both Italians living in Berlin. At the beginning it was a bit strange to work on a project about the German history and the Soviet presence: two different countries that had little to do with us ;-). But then we actually realized that it was a great idea since we had and have no ideological perspective on the history, we photographers simply go around documenting the hidden places and collecting memories.
Where did you get the idea of the name for the project?
We started calling the project from the very beginning “We will forget soon”, which actually sounds a bit wrong in English…you are most likely to say in English “We will soon forget”, but we wanted to put more emphasis on the word “forget” rather than “soon”. If we don’t document these stories, they will be lost and forgotten in the nearest future.
What does this reverse “Я” mean in your logo?
The reverse “Я” actually looks like the Russian letter “Я” (pronounced in Russian as “ya” and meaning “I” – ed.). We wanted to give people a small hint about the roots of our project and the Soviet presence. We also wanted to create an identity for the project. The reverse “Я” is like a unique element of the project, something that people will easily remember and perhaps relate to.
What was the best part for you about the project?
It was really nice to work in a team with Stefano. Although we share the same passions for history and photography, we have different point of views and it was great to combine our different ideas and styles into one project.
Did you have to interview people along your travels?
The project was mainly photographic, so we had to be selective already at the beginning on what to include and what not. Of course, we have met a lot of people during these two years and we interacted with them. I remember once we were in the fields and a farmer was passing by in his tractor and he seemed very hostile at first, saying that we were not supposed to be in the fields, but then I explained to him about our project and then he suddenly opened up and started telling us where to go and what else to shoot. Amazing experiences!!!
What is the final goal of the project “We will forget soon”?
The main goal is to produce a photographic book, which will be most likely issued already at the end of June. Also the exhibition tour will start at the end of May lasting about two years. We start the exhibition tour with DOCUMENTATION CENTERS and then come to Rostock and in September to Berlin. We are also looking forward to thank all the people who supported the project and us.
My last questions to you and I let you go 😉 Why do you think the readers of multicoolty should be interested in your project?
On one side I can say that our project is for sure multicultural, but it is not about us or our project, it is more about collecting memories. It is something we created to remember our common European history. Churchill once said: ‘The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see’. We were looking back at places that are disappearing…maybe, in 5-10 years you won’t see them anymore.
Photo credits: Dario Jacopo Laganá and Stefano Corso from “We will forget soon”