Residents’ Responses to ‘Territorial Stigmatization’: Visual Research in Berlin


This article deals with the symbolic dimension of the transformation process in a post‐socialist large‐scale housing estate in Berlin after reunification. This reflection is based on the concept of ‘territorial stigmatization’ and I use a photographic method to analyse the representational strategies employed by residents to manage territorial stigma: identifying with depoliticized images of the past, exiting the estate and questioning the very principle of representation. The first two strategies seem to be different ways of internalizing dominant representations of place. The latter differs from the first two in its use of iconic means to challenge the current spatial order and its opening up of possibilities for emancipation. The article thus also shows how photography as a research method can reflect on existing power relations.