German Chancellor Angela Merkel isn’t the most photogenic politician. Most photos captured by the press feature the her classic blank expression or look of boredom, but is there another side of Germany’s leader that shows she’s no less of a human than us regular folk? That is what one Instagram user set out to find, and the result is a stunning collection of archival photos that present a side of Merkel that is a little more fun.
Started on February 3rd, merkellooks has been releasing a steady stream of these humanizing photos of Merkel, which creator Alana Johnson from Los Angeles also did of Hillary Clinton leading up to last year’s election.
In an interview with The Local, Johnson explained her reasoning for carrying on with the project by stating the need for a distraction “to get my mind off of Trump and his administration full of moronic bigots for a moment. It helps me stay sane.”
With Merkel seeking reelection this September, Johnson is hoping to contribute to the cause despite being an American herself. “[Merkel’s] popularity has suffered because of her refugee policy (among other things, obviously, but this seems to be one of the more salient reasons), and obviously the European Union is fraying right now,” she added as her justification.
It is indeed an interesting project, capturing some of Merkel’s moments outside the infamous pant suit attire and even some that verge well into the embarrassing side. You may love her or hate her, but no matter what side of the Merkel spectrum you find yourself on, merkellooks will put a smile on your face. Now who doesn’t want that?
Just a small sampling of my own favorites are below.