Sasha Kharchenko, Photographer, Neukölln

March 2, 2016

Introducing Sasha. Sasha arrived in Berlin approximately three years ago, up until which she had lived her entire her life in the Ukrainian city of Odessa. “One day I was sitting on the couch and told my boyfriend ‘I think I am moving to Germany!'” That was 4 years ago. As a young Ukrainian it wasn’t exactly easy to relocate to Germany, Sasha explains, although her father and grandmother were already living in Berlin at the time. In Odessa, she had already finished a degree in psychology and worked as a psychologist at the Odessa Academic Ukrainian Theater of Opera and Ballet for a year. Consequently, Sasha decided to apply for a Master’s degree of Psychology at Free University of Berlin. Unfortunately, like many hopefuls aiming for entrance into one of Germany’s most prestigious universities, her application was not successful.

Luckily for her though, the ever-rising star of Neukölln’s café scene, Roamers, had recently opened and was still hiring kitchen staff. “That is how my love story with Roamers began,” Sasha laughs. It was there that she soon started taking pictures for the café’s Facebook page, going onto initiate and successfully run its popular Instagram account. “Roamers grew and grew,” she recalls, “and eventually it got the attention of Cee Cee.” The famous Berlin newsletter published Sasha’s pictures of Roamers and asked for more. Nowadays she is working as a freelance food photographer for the Czech Marie Claire as well as different restaurants and cafés in Berlin.

The crux of her Berlin story? “Well, to be honest, I hate the city,” Sasha’s tone changes. “For two years I’ve been feeling homesick. I miss my hometown Odessa so much.” The young photographer elaborates that she’s been missing the sea, the sun and the constantly smiling people. Although hope remains, “Tempelhofer Feld has become my substitute to the sea,” Sasha explains to me that in the end she has developed her own strange love towards the city. “If you give the city a chance, you can eventually fall in love with it.”

Visit Sasha’s website and see some of her work for Roamers at Tumblr, Facebook and/or Instagram.

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