Hertha BSC football fan culture: Photographs by Kasimir Weichert 

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“In these times football seems to loose the connection to its roots and its culture. It’s money over everything. I wanted to show what football and its culture really is.”

Kasimir Weichert

Photographer and Hertha supporter Kasimir Weichert focuses on fellow fans of Die Alte Dame – The Old Lady, as the club is affectionately known, the culture around the club and within the historic Olympiastadion Berlin.

Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert

For lifelong Hertha BSC fan Kasimir Weichert, following his club throughout the years has exposed him to a world where the club and supporters unite with a common cause, devotion to their team.

It’s all about the “deep and very basic emotions.”

Weichert is moved by what he calls: “The connection between different groups of society because of the love to a club”, while also recognising “the psychology behind the sport and also the support, the connection and representation of the city and its people. 

Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert

“Seeing self-organized fan groups that hold together through thick and thin and engage socially,” that’s what inspires this photographer and film maker.

“Telling stories was always my biggest interest,” he said. “I started out making music and wanting to tell stories, then combine it with pictures, to tell stories with videos and film, now I am really interested in telling stories through single images.”

Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert

“Seeing games without fans and the emotions brought me to the idea to portrait this culture and feelings that many don’t understand.”

Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert

“The extremes, tattoos, people, haircuts…. the details of the culture that symbolize the football fan scene.”

Kasimir Weichert

Season ticket holder Weichert, stands in the ‘Ostkurve’ (East Curve) section of the famous Olympiastadion Berlin, and calls his project ‘Kurvenlage’, which directly translates to ‘cornering’ in English – forcing something into a place or situation from which it is hard to escape.

The idea for this project started out during the corona lockdown. Seeing games without fans, the culture around it and the emotions, brought me to the idea to portrait this culture and feelings that many don’t understand.

“In these times football seems to loose the connection to its roots and its culture. We see World Cups are gonna be played in Qatar, Super League etc. It’s money over everything. That’s why I wanted to show what football and its culture really is.”

Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert

It is the culture of the fans around the grounds and games that sets Weichert’s pulses racing. Following ‘Kurvenlage’, which is centred on Hertha, and ultimately their fight against relegation, he now wants to broaden his horizon, with England’s and Italy’s stadiums and culture now in his sights.

It’s the whole package that interests him. As he says: “The extremes, tattoos, people, haircuts…. Especially the details of the culture that symbolize the football fan scene.”

Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert

“Seeing self-organized fan groups that hold together through thick and thin and engage socially, especially the people where many outsiders think that they are criminals and only look for trouble.”

Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert

Weichert was born in Bonn and moved to Berlin as a four year old. 

“I don’t remember my first game,” he said, “but I went to the Olympiastadion in Berlin from an early age with my father, who brought me there although he supports a different team. So all the thanks to him. The stadium experience got me hooked.”

He does vividly remember the day he was match day mascot, Hertha BSC v Schalke, in front of 75,000 fans. But it was a Schalke player he ended up accompanying onto the pitch, not one of his Hertha heroes.

“It was a shocking moment to see that the Schalke player came to the side where I was waiting for the players. Seeing my dream vanish,” he recalled. “But then Gerald Asamoah (a Schalke legend) took my hand. One of the nicest and greatest players. Talked with me all the way onto the pitch. A great memory for me.”

Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert

“Over time you develop a deeper connection and love to a club that sticks with you forever.”

Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert

He lists his father, Ulrich Weichert, also a photographer, among those who have influenced him, alongside William Eggleston among others, while he is also a keen admirer of those who have embraced the Instagram age, Sam Youkilis, Sam Alexander Gregg and Sarah Van Rij all on his radar.

“I love so much facets of football. The deep and very basic emotions. The connection between different groups of society because of the love to a club.”

Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert

“I definitely want to see more and different football cultures around the world,” he said. “Next definitely England and Italy. Very old tradition of football culture. I always love the old grounds, vintage shirts and the classical connection the city. 

“I want to get to know the places where the club is like a religion in the city. Also the connection between fans from different clubs can be amazing and teach you a lot.”

Hertha BSC. Germany football fan culture. Copyright: Kasimir Weichert
Copyright: Kasimir Weichert

Weichert’s project Kurvenlage was shot using an Olympus Mju 1 on Kodak Portra 400 film.

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