Photographer Michele Baron is documenting the queer night life through his 35mm camera. Playful chats with him about inspiration, Berlin and much more.
By: Amanda Sandström Beijer
Photos: Michele Baron
How did your interest in photography start?
I started to go out to more alternative queer rave scenes and to capture individuals, creatures and my extended queer family in our own environment and intimacy. What I portray throughout my work with a 35mm camera is representative of a social context not everyone is aware of and which I personally could not find back in Italy, where I come from.
The whole process of analog photography is what really got me into photography.
Back home, I had found my mum’s old 35mm olympus mju and started taking pictures of friends. I then built a darkroom in the basement of a friends house and we started developing by ourselves the films we had shot. Photographers among Nan Golding, Larry Clarke and Terry Richardson were and still are a big inspiration to me.
What inspires you?
People have become more aware of the queer community over the past years. It remains a fact it's not accessible to everyone to be part of this bubble. Being queer myself, I have found people with similar ideas over the year, and I guess my biggest inspiration is to be part of this incredible energy and freedom which is not permitted within the traditional normative constructed society. People coming from all backgrounds come together to share their lives and this is very much unique.
Where I come from, the queer community is non existent and I was first amazed to finally meet people like me. This feeling made me fall in love with Berlin.
What’s your relation to Berlin?
I have discovered Berlin through the queer rave culture and have spent one month every summer for the past seven years in the city.
Where I come from, the queer community is non existent and I was first amazed to finally meet people like me. This feeling made me fall in love with Berlin. Queer people are a strong part the structure of cities like Berlin, Paris or London where I usually like to spend time documenting the realness of people’s lives.
What’s special with Berlin?
In Berlin, I feel the queer community is politically engaged and radical in a sense that people are challenging the base of the economical constructs of capitalism and society.
What makes Berlin unique is this feeling of freedom when you are there and the openness of people. People have redefined themselves not from the traditional conversation capitalist point of view but from a more accepting and human perspective - I love it.
What’s the first thing you do when you get here?
What is the first thing you do when you get there? ahaha
I'm not photographing a person for who they're but for what they want to share with me at a specific time.
What do you do to get inspiration?
The people are my main source of inspiration. It's the people themselves who share their energy with me by letting me in their world.
What photo project are you dreaming of doing?
I'm not working on any particular projects but document the present and realness. This documentation is my project.
Who’s your role model when it comes to photo/artists?
Any individual is worth being photographed. It’s an exchange and a communication between me and the individual within their own environment they let me in. I'm not photographing a person for who they are but for what they want to share with me at a specific time. Documenting is not intruding or planning ahead - it's being part of what is happening and capturing it very naturally. Nothing is forced onto people but only comes with the flow.
What Berlin based person are you dreaming about photographing?
I have a lot of incredible memories from the night out in Berlin, and meeting people and following them into their intimacy and world always feel like a privilege. Being part of the queer community is what makes any of my night outs so special.
Who’d you like to see us interview in the future?
I would love to see spyros rennt in the next issue, he's someone i deeply admire-love his work.
Micheles favourite restaurant: Madami
Club: There are so many, but i feel to say Kake which is not a club but a party i lately discover, so much fun.