All posts filed under: Bratislava

Bratislava Street Art

Bratislava has a surprising amount of street art and I am not talking about graffiti. Yes, there is a difference between street art and graffiti. Street art is constructive, asks important questions, it takes a fair amount of skill and exists for its audience. Graffiti, on the other hand, is destructive and self-centred. Street art can be an important creative outlet for local artists while graffiti accelerates urban decay. Graffiti is considered a crime in Bratislava but there is one place in the city where you can spray paint the walls legally – Janíkov dvor in Petržalka. You can buy spays at the Rooftop shop which also happens to be a meeting place for the street art community. The definition and uses of street art are changing – originally a tool to mark territorial boundaries it is now a positive tool of urban beautification and regeneration. One of the main supporters of street art in Bratislava and in Slovakia is ArtAttack. They have their own clothing and music label as well as their own magazine. They …


How Slovakian Firm GutGut Transforms Concrete Communist Panelaks into Sleek Housing

Over 130,000 people in Bratislava live in prefabricated communist housing blocks called panelaks and most of them are located in a district of Bratislava called Peterzalka. I have mixed feelings about panelaks. My uncle lives in one that is quite roomy and comfy with plenty of light and a park just outside his doorstep. Transportation links are good and there are many shops close by. On the other hand, I’ve visited other panelaks that were not so inviting and desperately in need of updating. I found this inspiring video by a Slovak architecture firm called GutGut that shows it’s possible to reuse and transform these difficult concrete structures into modern homes. SaveSave Advertisements


How I Saw Bratislava This Week (Part One)

I love the red decorative elements on this building located at 11 Štefánikova just across from the Presidential Palace gardens in Bratislava. The yellow sculpture is a piece of modern art in the Presidential Palace gardens. The facade of Kostol Zvestovania – Bratislava’s oldest church – founded in the 13th century and restored in the 18th century with opulent baroque decor.An old door located at Kapitulská 9. Kapitulská is one of the oldest streets in the Bratislava’s Old Town. Most of the buildings here date back to medieval times and belong to the Catholic Church. Many have fallen into a sad state of disrepair after being confiscated during Communism however the lack of repair means that you can still see many of the original medieval features. A plaque on the Pállfy’s Palace facade on Ventúrska street bringing attention to the fact that Mozart performed a concert in the palace when he was six years old. A set of sculptures at the entrance of Bratislava’s Presidium of the Police Force. Fountain of Union in Bratislava’s Freedom …


Bratislava Uncensored

Bratislava’s brutalist and communist-era architecture are hard to ignore. It’s part of Bratislava’s identity and part of its history that I, sadly, know very little about.  I was only a toddler when my parents fled communism and now finding myself once again living in the city I wanted to know more about this part of Bratislava’s history. My desire to know more led me on a post-communist tour of Bratislava with Juro from Authentic Slovakia as my guide. The tour was about 2 and a half hours long and full of interesting stories and information about what it meant to be living in communist Czechoslovakia and the impact of communism on Bratislava today. Highlights of the tour included: Námestie Slovenského Národného Povstania The first stop on our tour was Námestie Slovenského Národného Povstania (Slovak National Uprising Square). I learned that is was here that in November 1989 the events of the Velvet Revolution unfolded. 70.000 people gathered to celebrate the end of communism and the new democratic elite performed their speeches. Little did people know …


Hello Bratislava

Here are some of my photographs of Bratislava taken on one of many walks through the city. I try to take a walk each day in order to break up my thoughts and to gain new perspectives. It’s also an excuse to keep on photographing. Bratislava is small but it never fails to surprise me. I always find something new to explore. Each week I will post the most interesting photographs from my walks in a blog post so that I can share them with you.   Advertisements


A Change of Pace

It’s time for a change of pace. Paperwork brings me to Bratislava. That, and the fact that I have a home here – a retreat – that allows me to rest when life becomes too hectic or uncertain. I’ll keep posting my images from Istanbul but I want to focus more on the here and now in whatever way it presents itself and however it may inspire me. Being home has always been temporary and although I already have plans for elsewhere – for Portugal, Hungary and even Armenia – I think this time I’ll nest a little longer at home. I need the quiet to anchor me and of course, I am never sure how long the paperwork will take. Things happen in Slovakia on their own time and very slowly. But I can’t really complain. This time gives me a chance to bond with family that I have missed. It also gives me an excuse to cook big dinners in my kitchen to share with both old and new friends. Lately, I have …

Devin Castle photographed by Martina Korkmaz for The Depth of Now, Bratislava

Visiting Devin Castle

Located about 10 miles west of Bratislava, Devin Castle was once part of the Roman border in the first century A.D. and later became the seat of the Great Moravian Empire and a strategic post during the Turkish Wars. It’s situated on a high cliff overlooking the Morava and Danube rivers and stands on the border between Slovakia and Austria. It’s easy to get to. It’s a 20 min bus ride from the city centre.                 Advertisements

Bratislava photographed by Martina Korkmaz for The Depth of Now, Bratislava

Loving Lens Distortion

A few months ago I traded in some photography gear for the Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 I heard mixed reviews about this compact lens but I wanted to try it out for myself. Up till now I had been mostly using the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4. Both are very good but I wanted something a little wider because I was interested in the distortion. I see lens distortion as a chance to get creative and to capture images in a whole new way. My two favourite photographers Daido Moriyama and Jeanloup Sieff shared three loves in common: women, street photography and the wide angle lens. Combine all three in their hands and you have nothing short of magic. Jeanloup Sieff’s portraits of women with their elongated bodies look as if they could have been painted by Matisse. Daido Moriyama’s urban street scenes sparkle with grittiness and life. Both photographers work with the distortion of the wide-angle lens and both challenge our perception of their subject by doing so. Distortion occurs when some norm …