Julius Rueckert, fashion stylist, writer and artist releases Franconia Dreams: an intimate zine chronicling life during COVID-19, lockdowns, friends, family ties, and the process of grief…
“The focus of my project was the excruciating boredom of the Bavarian province coupled with the fear of going into lockdown. I would describe myself as a hyper social person and the time of the absolute lockdown was for me like a discussion with myself; what I want to achieve in life, addiction, Berlin, my roots and how much Franconia is actually in me.
I didn’t give any guidelines to my friends who were part of the project as well. It was supposed to just be a collection of thoughts that kept them busy during that time. So what I was searching for was very open and abstract. But even despite this I could still hear the same melancholy in their words as in mine and that troubled me. Nevertheless, there was a kind of mood change during my stay in Dörrmorsbach (this is the name of the village I come from). There is basically nothing there. No supermarket, no good internet. It just has a lot of forest, a quarry and a cigarette machine which were my only friends at that time. All the photos were taken by me and I am not a good photographer, god knows. They are snapshots that came about when I needed to keep my thoughts from being too loud. The only photos that are not mine are the two portrait photos by Marie Grosz. As part of a series of portraits, she led people who showed her their favorite places. Marie didn’t know where she was going. I led her to this quarry and she made fantastic photos with flash.
I was at war with my homeland for a long time because I didn’t have an easy time there as a gay teenager. But I notice more and more how much of this environment I have in me. So it’s a little homage, a declaration of love to my home in Lower Franconia. It was also nice to be able to connect my friends and with my roots on this project. I felt less alone and it made me feel like I was working on something in common.”