CAFÉ STORIES: SUSANNE DIESNER

It’s seems perfectly appropriate to meet Susanne Diesner at the Covent Garden Coffee House. Susanne is one of Düsseldorf’s foremost photographers of the creative arts. If you’ve ever seen photos of the Düsseldorf Symphony or of the Opera or Ballet, chances are you’ve seen her work. The portrait section of her website reads like a who’s who of the city’s creative community. A long time resident of the city, Susanne is a perfect person to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon with.  And Covent Garden has the perfect cosy vibe for this weather. It’s the sort of place that just makes you want to curl up in a corner with a good book. Insider tip – check out their Kalter Hund cake. While ‘cold dog’ sounds more like it should be the name of a beer or an old english pub, it’s actually an outstanding cake made of layered cookies and chocolate filling.

1. If you could invite one person to dinner who would you choose?

Ajahn Brahm head of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. I think he would have a really funny take on life…He was a theoretical physicist from Cambridge and has been a Buddhist monk for 40 years. He shows great wisdom about life…Meeting someone in person is a very different thing…I would like to experience his presence.

Marina Ambramovic because I would really like to talk to her about her take on spirituality. She says ‘you have to dig deepest into you own self to create something authentic.’…Perhaps it would give me the confidence to break out of my shell in my own work.”

2. What is your favourite possession?

“Camera. I think a camera can take you to any place or person. It’s an excuse to go to places even though I consider myself a shy person. A camera opens my way of seeing. It’s a lifelong process…Looking back at pictures you takes helps you to understand what you see. I am humbled and grateful that I can make my living with a camera in my hand surrounded by music.

My second possession would probably be voice. I think I inherited my vocal chords from my grandfather. My grandfather was imprisoned during WWII in Russia. Due to the fact that he was a hunter he was allowed out to hunt for food with the soldiers…And because he had a nice voice he was allowed to sing in the prison.”

3. If someone gave you 100K for a legacy project, what would you do with it?

“It would be nice to create a program or space for people to meet and create art together…to heal…to bring more creativity into society. If you release wounds in a positive way, healing spreads from you to others.”

4. What are your hobbies outside of work?

“Reading. Music. Riding bike. Jogging. Nature. Poetry. I don’t know if you can call it a hobby but personal work stuff.”

5. Where are you happiest?

“In nature with friends. Probably very recreative spaces. Also I like creating music in a very informal environment with friends…Sitting together is so nurturing for me. I need to do it more often…connecting to source…At work I can feel really happy when I’m hidden in my corner. I’ve seen so many concerts but there are still moments when you can feel the audience holding their breath and then I still tear up.”