End of the Line: Exploring Unseen Terminal Subway Stations

Bustling hubs give way to spindly spokes, infrequently taking locals to particularly distant destinations and often entirely unseen by tourists and other travelers. In the city business or pleasure and lost your way? Sorry, last stop, folks – everybody out.

German video journalist Janosch Delcker has created two short documentaries (End of the Line parts 1 and 2) exploring the terminal points of public transit lines in Berlin and New York, respectively. These locations are off the beaten path for most urbanites, and are primarily known as end stops that indicate you are taking the train in the right direction.

His short films are simple documentaries of the mundane, harshly-lit reality of unloved subway tunnels, stops and stations far from metropolitan centers. Per Pop-Up City, “Delcker’s short, atmospheric documentaries draw upon French anthropologist Marc Augé’s concept of the ‘non-place’ — ‘a space which can not be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity’.” Beyond impersonal spaces, though, Delcker’s urban work also features personal stories:

In his Urban Observations series, Deckler features “A drag performer, a cartoonist, a curator, a filmmaker, an author and a painter.” The series “followed 6 artists through New York City and 6 through Berlin. Each one has a story to tell. Each one has a past. Each one has dreams.”

“The 12 videos of the series form a mosaic; a portrait of New York City and Berlin in the age of recession. Episodes of Urban Observations were screened at festivals and events in Berlin, London, and New York City. The series was awarded with the 2012 Mulert Award on Mutual Understanding.”