Dortmund Diaries, Germany 2019
Dortmund is, with a population of 603,609 inhabitants as of 2020, the third-largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany's eighth-largest city. It is the largest city (by area and population) of the Ruhr, Germany's largest urban area with some 5.1 million inhabitants, as well as the largest city of Westphalia. The Emscher and Ruhr rivers (tributaries of the Rhine), lie in the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region and are considered the administrative, commercial, and cultural center of the eastern Ruhr. Dortmund is the second-largest city in the Low German dialect area after Hamburg. Founded around 882, Dortmund became an Imperial Free City. Throughout the 13th to 14th centuries, it was the "chief city" of the Rhine, Westphalia, and the Netherlands Circle of the Hanseatic League. During the Thirty Years' War, the city was destroyed and decreased in significance until the onset of industrialization. The city then became one of Germany's most important coal, steel and beer centers. Dortmund consequently was one of the most heavily bombed cities in Germany during World War II. The devastating bombing raids of 12 March 1945 destroyed 98% of buildings in the inner city center. These bombing raids, with more than 1,110 aircraft, hold the record to a single target in World War II. Dortmund is home to many cultural and educational institutions, including the Technical University of Dortmund and Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, International School of Management, and other educational, cultural, and administrative facilities with over 49,000 students, many museums, such as Museum Ostwall, Museum of Art and Cultural History, German Football Museum, as well as theatres and music venues like the Konzerthaus or the Opera House of Dortmund. The city is known as Westphalia's "green metropolis". Nearly half the municipal territory consists of waterways, woodland, agriculture, and green spaces with spacious parks such as Westfalenpark and Rombergpark. (Source:wikipedia.org)
My work on Roman culture was invited to the "Djelem Djelem 6th Rome Culture Festival" in Dortmund in September 2019. It was the second international exhibition invitation after my exhibition" Everybody Has a Story "in Plovdiv Bulgaria in April 2019. After the collapse of the eastern block, there was intense Roman immigration from Bulgaria to Dortmund for economic reasons. Along with their economic endeavors, the crime rate also increased. The city administration has absorbed them into society by giving them responsibility instead of punishing them. The festival organized is a part of this project. I exhibited my photos of Roman Weddings in the exhibition hall where an old tram depot has been turned into a cultural center. Apart from the preparations for the exhibition, opening, and hosting the guests, I had the opportunity to get to know the city, albeit limited. A green student city and home of a football club with passionate fans. The jazz concert we were invited to with my wife remained a beautiful memory.