Scrutiny @ Mauer Park
Today, a good few of us met up and went to Mauer Park's infamous Sunday Gathering and Flea Market to document the first of our projects here in Berlin. We were carrying IKEA bags, tripods, paper bags, and of course, my ultimate selfie stick. It's bright pink handle, and rake-like formation garnered much (unwanted) attention the entire U-Bahn ride to, during, and back. I heard a kid scream in excitement, "WOAH SHE'S GOT SEVEN SELFIE STICKS" and a French couple on the U-Bahn whispering to each other wondering how my contraption worked and decided it was definitely an "art piece".
Mostly, people stared. And pointed. And whispered and giggled to themselves. They also have me stares of death. I wasn't sure if it was the causal "Berliner" attitude or the ridiculousness and atrociousness of my project, but there were some definite daggers staring at me the entire time I was documenting—truthfully, I felt like the most hated person at Mauer Park today and the most loved. Someone came up to me, "THATS SO F*CKING COOL WOW!" as an elder man crossed his arms and just stared into my soul. (I tried to ignore that as much as I could).
I'd like to think that it's because these people thought I was super touristy and very very American, but as interested as they were in what I was doing, none of them actually wanted to take a selfie with me. Which was disappointing. Until I spotted a couple taking a photo and shyly asked them if they wanted to take a ridiculous seven phoned selfie with me because it was for a school project.
Thank goodness they decided to take a selfie with me, or else I would have felt really sad leaving Mauer Park. But it's safe to say that today's experience was definitely eye opening. The people of Berlin are much happier taking photos of me taking photos of myself on my ginormous selfie stick rather than join in the fun. All is cool. (Except the graffiti artist I managed to upset because I took the attention away from him for all but 10 minutes). I'm still checking the #mauerpark tag on instagram to see if any of the selfie-shy but camera-bold Berlin Natives actually posted a picture of me rather than just make fun of my ridiculously awesome seven sided selfie stick.