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© 2019 by Louise Amelie & AljaŇĺ Fuis | Berlin, Germany | hello@alfaphoto.de 

SOLE HARLEM

Sole Harlem is the result of a yearlong walk through the streets of Harlem, where each step taken by the two photographers led them deeper into the emotions of the neighborhood. Their spontaneous insights resulting from recurrent encounters with a fascinating place tell a story that can hardly be summed up in a few paragraphs but that manifests itself in each scene of everyday life, each street corner, and each crevasse. Going through this book will lead you to the in-between spaces that the two artists discovered in their yearlong walkabout. Do not expect to see the lives of the Harlemers pictured merely as reflections of a sensational past. As much as the world may enjoy mystifying this New York neighborhood, people in Harlem are like people elsewhere, inasmuch as they breathe only air and drink mostly water. The people and the buildings depicted here are Harlem. Just Harlem. Only Harlem. Nothing more and nothing less than inherently ‘genuine’. They all have stories to tell: some are symbolic and fit in a historical context, others are just plain day-to-day reoccurrences that may seem trite or even boring to some. But no attempt to categorize them could be any more than just a feeble attempt to preface the pictures that await. Harlem is, in some respects, the same as anywhere else. Much and nothing. Its truth cannot be expressed completely, especially since a neighborhood such as this essentially contains thousands of truths in constant movement. Not even the largest photo-book in the world could tell all the stories of those who made their home among the red brick, the hard asphalt, and everything in between. It is up to the reader to either fit the following images into an emotional, political or other pattern of understanding, or to just savor the aesthetic of the analogue photography.