It was only meant to serve as a short-term arrival centre, but the lack of accommodation in other parts of the city forced it to stay open for longer. Even though the situation was chaotic and stressful, a little group of children found a way out of it: by observing foxes roaming around the abandoned warehouses in the area.
In the beginning, some of them would throw stones at them or run after them with their arms wide open and yelling, scaring them away. For them, they were dangerous animals.
But eventually, by following them closely and with a bit of teaching and guidance, they became very fond of these animals and would chase them with a completely different goal: to picture them with their mobile phones. They painted foxes, they pretended to be foxes, they looked for new locations to take better pictures and for some time it was all about foxes.
Two of the children even saved a couple of young foxes from dying from a grim death.
The “Kaserne” is now empty again. The children and their families live somewhere else and the old military barracks have gone back to hosting only small businesses and animals. Some families were taken back to their countries and some still live in Berlin, but it is hard to stay in touch. The time of the “Kaserne” is one to remember: It took a lot of patience and care, a lot of time in the van, waiting, and countless encounters with the animals.
But we managed to create a very strong and hopefully long-lasting bond. A very close relationship, based on affection and trust and empowered by photography and the love for nature.