Zeno Spyropoulos

Young and Renegade


Photographer Zeno Spyropoulos first encountered the young expat

community in Berlin while visiting a friend living in the city, in June 2018.

As he found himself quickly immersed within a diverse group of friends

from across the globe, Zeno was struck by the speed and intensity with

which these friendships formed. Berlin is widely known for its extreme

party culture; but for Zeno, its pull lay in the unparalleled openness of

its inhabitants, who had abandoned a life of frustration, boredom or

alienation, for a place where living is cheap and one can express oneself

freely and without judgement. It is this side of Berlin that Zeno felt compelled

to capture, prompting his decision to return and spend exactly one

year, from July 2018 – July 2019, documenting the scene and the people in


Using an analogue point-and-shoot camera, Zeno flits between his

subjects with an unobtrusive lens, capturing spontaneous instances

of tenderness, ecstasy or calm. Showing raw moments of intimacy, and

creative or sexual expression as they naturally occur, his pictures

normalise a culture of sexual and bodily freedom. Although the city’s

extremes form a backdrop to his story, they are not its focus. His focus

is its people, and their visceral connection with one another; sometimes

communicated physically through bodies intimately entangled,

at other times through more subtle gestures. Defining “young and

renegade” as living through the senses, this tactile series is characterised

by a boldness, articulating a sense of living freely and in the moment.

– Polly Bindman

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