Photographer: Sabrina Jeblaoui
Model: Alyha Love
Interview: Leanne Mark
It’s a few months into quarantine and many in Berlin are starting to settle into their new “normal”. While Neukolln somehow managed to remain calm as always through the shutdown, now more timid locals are even opening their social circles beyond their flatmates, and getting outside to enjoy the warmer weather – mit masks and proper social distance of course. It’s a moment of refrain, a tentative yet tranquil pause as we brace ourselves for what rumors say may be a second wave of COVID-19. If this global pandemic has taught us anything, is taking pleasure in whatever we can slap together for a moment of peace, joy or a little bit of lovin’ is well worth its weight today, as tomorrow holds no promises.
French documentary photographer Sabrina Jeblaoui and stylist Saeed Oulali visited Alyha Love in her sunny WG in Neukolln earlier this month. Sabrina’s photographs are notorious for candidly capturing Berlin’s club culture – catching ravers leaving parties after a night or a few out. While her photography during the pandemic has necessarily evolved from these now-quarantined subjects, she has continued to hone her beautifully barefaced photographic approach. “The crisis allowed me to refocus on myself and take the pressure off attempting to represent some element of society. I think that photography allows you to photograph, in a way, the reflection of your own soul through others” explains Sabrina. Sabrina made use of everyone’s open schedules to finally capture a different side of Alyha Love, a sweetheart of Berlin’s queer nightlife and DJ under the moniker Yha Yha. While the quarantine limited where photographers can shoot, Sabrina took this restriction as an opportunity to capture Alyha in a more intimate space. With these photos, “I was able to catch a glimpse of who she really was because the photos in her room are simple and without artifice.”