Baldiga – Unlocked Heart
Photos: Jürgen Baldiga, © Schwules Museum Berlin, Leihgabe Aron Neubert
West Berlin, 1979. Jürgen Baldiga, son of a miner from Essen, has just arrived in the city and decides to become an artist. Working as a rent boy and cook, he writes poems and a diary. After learning that he has HIV in 1984, he discovers photography. He intends his images to stop time and capture reality. They reveal his friends and lovers, wild sex, life on the street and the camp queens from the SchwuZ gay club who become his adopted family. Oscillating between despair and desire, rebellion and the will to survive, Baldiga becomes a chronicler of the queer West Berlin subculture in the face of his own imminent demise. When he died at the age of 34 in 1993, he left behind thousands of photographs and forty diaries – a unique artistic legacy.
Using poetic diary excerpts, stark images and memories from companions, BALDIGA – ENTSICHERTES HERZ depicts not only a ground-breaking photographer but also an AIDS activist and committed fighter against the stigmatisation of gay people’s lives. [74 BERLINALE, Panorama] 2024
74 BERLINALE – Panorama
BFI Flare London Film Festival
64 KFF – Krakow Film Festival