All the youngsters know that at least one extraordinary thing is about to happen to them, or what’s the point of living?
Detailing a night in the lives of a Berlin skateboard posse of teens, what strikes about Steffen Grap’s snapshots is the oomph they radiate—at first latent, then bursting into frenetic spurts of action and excitement with all the clattering force of a skater wiping out down a flight of concrete stairs.
Using the city as a backdrop, these pictures call for becoming immersed in the crowd as we are asked to join these boys in boasting about their prowess as well as their nonchalant attitudes. Looking for a place to chill and hang out, identities blur amid a group of inclusive characters; Berlin and its setting develop into a bewitching playground in which kids have their own world, a private sphere where grownups are not allowed in.
The thing about youthfulness is its “show, don’t tell” attitude, one which is unafraid of experiment, unafraid of mistakes, unafraid of lust and gossip and judgment. And these kids tell and tell without pretending, without the cheap emulation of showing. Being kids is, after all, just a phase, and those who want to mythologize it may have done just that.