WARonWALL - Photographs about the war in Syria on the Berlin Wall.

WARonWALL is an out-door exhibition project. It presents the series SYRIAN COLLATERAL on the former Berlin wall.

In the spring of 2016, the civil war in Syria is raging for five years. Over one and a half million people have been injured and a quarter million are dead.

For one year, the experienced photographer, Kai Wiedenhöfer, realized portraits of injured Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon: men, women, and children. With striking immediacy, the violence that from one moment to the next changed everything for these people leaps out at us from the pictures. We see people in wheelchairs, others wearing artificial limbs, others showing burns. Some have lost parts of their body: arms, legs, feet. The physical wounds are visible, the psychological ones not.

Kai Wiedenhöfer has chosen the classic portrait as the form for his unusual photographs. And he allows its impact to take effect in all its gravity: in the background just a few details can be made out. In the foreground, with an immense force, the personality of each single individual unfolds its own silently powerful presence.

Panorama photos of the destroyed city of Kobani supplement the portraits and show the enormity of the devastation. A beautifying aesthetic is forbidden by the very cruelty of reality itself. Kai Wiedenhöfer's brutally honest pictures of Syria are a passionate plea for peace. They are meant to bring our attention to all those who will suffer their whole lives from the consequences of modern warfare.

Exhibitions
Installation West Side Gallery (opposite Mercedes-Benz Arena), Mühlenstraße, Berlin-Friedrichshain
24. June – 25. September 2016

Opening: 23. June 2016, 19:00 p.m.
Speakers: Claudia Roth, Vice President of the German Parliament, Jana Borkamp, Cultural District Councillor of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Katharina Mouratidi (GfHF) and Syrian guests.

Photographer
Kai Wiedenhoefer (www.wallonwall.org)

Biography

Kai Wiedenhöfer, born in Schwenningen am Neckar, studied photography and book design at the Folkwangschule of the University of Essen, and Arabic in Damascus. Since 1989, the Near East has been the focus of his work. He has been awarded numerous scholarships and prizes for his work, including the Leica Medal of Excellence, the Alexia Grant for World Peace and Cultural Understanding, the World Press Photo Award (numerous times), the Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography, the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award, as well as the German Photobook Prize. He has had four books published by the renowned publisher Steidl.

Biography


Poppy – Trails of Afghan Heroin

For over twenty years Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong followed the path of heroin from Afghanistan to Europe. Their travels led them to Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, to Minor Asia, The Balkans, Dubai and Somalia, the Netherlands, and finally England. The contexts they found are documenting the dark side of globalization: wars, prostitution and an epidemic spread of AIDS, the fight of anti-drug police forces against unscrupulous drug traffickers, brutal gang feuds, money laundering, corruption, drug dealer and addicts.

Given the complexity of the subject Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong were confronted with the challenge to find an appropriate aesthetic. Therefore, they experimented with non-linear forms of story-telling and integrated the media of photography into more dynamic techniques like video and multi-screen projections.

The installation Poppy – Trails of Afghan Heroin provides a kaleidoscopic impression, illustrating the chaos, urgency and elusiveness of what takes place along the route. For the audience it evokes a sense of being submerged into multi-layered or parallel worlds where different events and developments are related and interconnected, forcing viewers to reposition themselves again and again.

Exerpt from the multi Screen projection.

Exhibitions
CO/Berlin
16. July – 25. September 2016
Opening: 15. July 2016, 7:00 p.m.
www.co-berlin.org

Publications
Poppy – Trails of Afghan Heroin. Hatje Cantz Verlag 2012. (Deutscher Fotobuchpreis 2013, Gold)

Produktion
Paradox/Iris Sikking

Photographer
Robert Knoth (www.roberthknoth.com)

Biography

Robert Knoth, born 1963 in Rotterdam, is an internationally renowned documentary photographer. In the 1990s he gained recognition for his freelance work in many conflict areas in Africa, in Asia, and in the Balkans. During the last years he shifted the focus of his work on long term proects and complex subjects. His work was published in numerous international newspapers and magazines as New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel and it has been exhibited worldwide in many solo and group shows. During his career he received many awards as among them Deutscher Fotobuchpreis 2013 (Gold), twice the World Press Photo Award (2000 and 2006) and several times the Dutch Silver Camera Award.

Antoinette de Jong, born 1964 in Tilburg, is a filmmaker, writer and broadcaster, based in the Netherlands. Her work includes in depth reporting and documentaries, among them many for the BBC World Service and Radio Netherland World Service. She has worked in many conflict areas including Somalia, Iraq, former Yugoslavia, and has covered developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan for almost two decades. Her work was published in numerous international newspapers and magazines.

Biography


Beloved Afghanistan – Photographs by Anja Niedringhaus

Curated by Gisela Kayser (FkWBH) and Katharina Mouratidi (GfHF).

"For most of my lifetime, I could have kept away from dangers, but I have always felt attracted to people in difficult situations." (Anja Niedringhaus, 2005)

Beloved Afghanistan shows 130 images by international renown photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus. The Pulitzer Prize winning AP-Photographer has worked in numerous war and crisis regions worldwide, but Afghanistan had always been closest to her heart. As one of the few international photojournalists, she regularly traveled through the country. With enormous empathy and artistic sensitivity Niedringhaus portrayed the people in all different life situations. She was no war photographer in the usual sense of the term, but was interested in seeing how the normal people kept living their lives during the war. Anja Niedringhaus always had a special interest in depicting the situation of women and children; this is also reflected in the selection of images for the exhibition. Furthermore Beloved Afghanistan shows for the very first time Anja Niedringhaus series on female members of the Afghan Parliament as well as her series on Afghan voters. A whole chapter of the exhibition is dedicated to her last photographs about the presidential elections 2014.

Exhibitions
Willy-Brandt-Haus Berlin
25. November 2015 – 24. January 2016
Opening: 24. November 2015, 7:30 pm
www.freundeskreis-wbh.de


Undaunted: Four women in Kabul

In her photographs and short films, the photographer and multimedia journalist Lela Ahmadzai shows the lives of four women in Kabul. Both the images and the words of the women themselves reveal the balancing act that women in Afghanistan perform between self-determination and their traditional roles, and document how brave and strong every woman in Afghanistan must be to be able to earn a living in a profession of her own choice.

Shinkai Karokhail is a parliamentarian, an ambitious career woman from the upper class, active in women's rights, experienced on the diplomatic stage both in Kabul and internationally.

Reza Guel runs her own bakery. She works long hours every day, bent over the traditional clay oven that has been dug into the ground. In this way she is able to feed her children and finance her husband's opium addiction.

Saba Sahar works as a policewoman and produces crime thrillers. Her mission is to increase both respect and recognition for women and the police.

Pary Ghulami is still young and already a star – she performs as an actress and as a pop singer. She gets looked down upon and threatened, but is also envied and admired.

In fascinating images a multi-layered portrait of the women and a very intimate insight into their situation is created. The work of Lela Ahmadzai is a poetically dense time document that directs attention to current Afghanistan: a land of strong women who fight for their rights and for their freedom undaunted.

A project in cooperation with Freundeskreis Willy-Brandt-Haus
Curated by Gisela Kayser and Katharina Mouratidi

Exhibitions
Kunsträume der Michael Horbach Stiftung
11. April – 25. May 2016
Opening: 10. April 2016, 11:00 p.m.
www.michael-horbach-stiftung.de

Willy-Brandt-Haus Berlin
25. November 2015 – 30. January 2016
Opening: 24. November 2015
www.freundeskreis-wbh.de

FotoIstanbul
9. October – 8. November 2015
Opening: 9. October 2015, 7:00 p.m.
www.fotoistanbul.org

Photographer
Lela Ahmadzai (www.ahmadzai.eu)

Biography

Lela Ahmadzai lives and works as a photographer and multi media journalist in Berlin. Born in Kabul in 1975 and raised in Afghanistan, she emigrated to Germany at the age of 17. She made her Master in Design and Media with a focus on documentary photography at the Fachhochschule Hannover. Since 2003, Lela Ahmadzai regularly returns to her homeland to document the social and political changes there. Many of her stories deal with the situation of Afghan women and are long-term projects. Her work has been published in prestigious newspapers and magazines among them Stern, Spiegel, Der Standard, Courrier International and Los Angeles Times. 2014 her short film Silent Night was awarded the 2nd place for the best short film feature of the World Press Photo Award.

Biography


Changing Realities – Images of a World in Transition

In recent years, Europe has shown itself mainly as a Europe in crisis. However, it is interesting to tell the many other stories: those of the small utopias and grand visions which have been implemented in everyday life. Alternative housing concepts, careful use of natural resources, decent immigration policy, a global equitable distribution of wealth and protest movements of the civil society – all ideas, initiatives and models that have been developed on these issues, are part of the exhibition.

18 photographic positions with outstanding aesthetic solutions were presented in the framework of the European Month of Photography in Berlin and at the Triennal of Photography in Hamburg at subway stations. Installed on billboards, usually altars of consumer society, they created a surprising "art"-space. In this way, they were likewise part of an exhibition and intervention in public space.

Participating photographers
Lela Ahmadzai, Toby Binder, Laura Böök, Marc Brinkmeier, Linda Dreisen, Maria Feck, Michael Heck, Hannes Jung, Michael Löwa, Daniel Rihs, Gordon Welters, Gerhard Westrich

Exhibitions
Triennal of Photography Hamburg
19. June – 2. July 2015
www.phototriennale.de

European Month of Photography Berlin
24. October – 3. November 2014
www.mdf-berlin.de

Further information: www.changingrealities.de


The Critical Camera

The exhibition The Critical Camera presents internationally dedicated photographers. They all share a critical perspective on development policy and human rights, social ills, and conflict situations all over the world as well as the impact that these have on individuals and groups. Each of the photographers choose a different aesthetic approach for his or her photo spread: reportage or portrait, the combination of image and text, black and white or color. All their works take a firm stand. Beyond daily news their photographs make people visible who are affected by war and the consequences of globalization and show once more the importance of committed auteur photography these days.

In different exhibitions, among others, the following positions were represented: Lela Ahmadzai, No Women No Future (see below); Andrea Diefenbach, Country Without Parents; Robert Knoth/Antoinette de Jong, Certificate no. 000358/ (see below), Katharina Mouratidi, Backstage Heroes – Alternative Nobel Prize Laureates (see below).

Exhibitions
Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus 2014
Wissenschaftspark Gelsenkirchen 2014
Kunstverein Tiergarten | Galerie Nord 2012


Backstage Heroes – Alternative Nobel Prize Laureates

For the series Backstage Heroes photographer Katharina Mouratidi portrayed 40 laureates of the Right Livelihood Award. Internationally known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize", it honors since 1980, people and initiatives that have developed outstanding solutions to pressing problems of our times and fight for their implementation. 153 individuals and organizations from 64 countries have received the award, which is regarded worldwide as one of the most important distinctions for personal courage and social transformation, to date.

All laureates have found individual ways to meet the overwhelming challenges of our time. Their bravery, determination and creativity in the face of seemingly unsolvable tasks, encourage us to stand up for our own beliefs.

"Sometime what is a only small idea in the beginning becomes a large movement in the end," Katharina Mouratidi describes the commitment of the laureates. "By portraying them all in the same setting before a black background, I allow the viewer to concentrate on their person". As the crucial aesthetic element of the portraits the photographer chooses the replica of a Rococo style parlor chair, a symbol of a past feudal rule system, which – in allusion to our present days – embodies power, pomp and prosperity. By placing themselves humbly on it, the laureates of the „Alternative Nobel Prize" in contrast stand for awakening and change.

Exhibitions
Europäischer Monat der Fotografie Wien, 2014
Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk, Cottbus 2014
Willy-Brandt-Haus, Berlin 2014
Palau Robert, Barcelona 2013
Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn 2012

Publications
Backstage Heroes, Kehrer Verlag, 2012.

Short film
Short film about the project, produced by 2470media.com.

Photographer
Katharina Mouratidi (www.mouratidi.de)

Biography

Katharina Mouratidi, born 1971, lives and works as freelance photographer and artist in Berlin. Her projects and features have been published throughout Europe and have been exhibited im many solo and group shows worldwide, including Willy-Brandt-Haus Berlin (Germany), Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn (Germany), Palau Robert (Spain), FotoFest Houston (USA), Pingyao International Photography Festival (China). In 2013 Katharina Mouratidi was elected a member of the German Photographic Association (DGPh). She is teaching at several institutions, among them Ostkreuzschule and Kunsthochschule Berlin, where she was appointed as visiting professor in 2011. Since 2008 Katharina Mouratidi is executive director of the Society for Humanistic Photography (Gesellschaft für Humanistische Fotografie, GfHF). In this position, she plans, curates and directs photographic projects in cooperation with renowned art and cultural institutions at home and abroad.

Biography


Certificate no. 000358/

Chernobyl in the Ukraine became the site of the most devastating nuclear accident in the history of nuclear power. The explosion of the nuclear reactor in 1986 affected the lives of millions in Western Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Certificate no. 000358/ – completed for the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster – documents the aftermaths of nuclear accidents in four regions and shows that Chernobyl was not an isolated case, but the sad climax in a series of catastrophic nuclear accidents in the former Soviet Union during the past 45 years.

Russia plays a vital role in the nuclear industry worldwide and will play a vital role in its development. Russia exports its nuclear technology in emerging economies such as Iran, India and Pakistan, it produces nuclear fuel for France, Germany and the Netherlands and imports nuclear waste for disposal or for reprocessing from countries such as Taiwan, Japan, Hungary, Iran, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and China. Shockingly, however, is the partially negligent handling of this hazardous energy and its contaminated waste.

In intense black and white photographs, Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong approach the fate of the people in the forgotten disaster areas and show how much they still are suffering from the consequences. Images of orphaned landscapes change with the portraits of the victims contaminated with radiation. Especially the portraits give the extent of the devastation a face and tell a story of stoic rebellion and untold suffering.

Photographer
Robert Knoth (www.roberthknoth.com)

Biography

Robert Knoth, born 1963 in Rotterdam, is an internationally renowned documentary photographer. In the 1990s he gained recognition for his freelance work in many conflict areas in Africa, in Asia, and in the Balkans. During the last years he shifted the focus of his work on long term proects and complex subjects. His work was published in numerous international newspapers and magazines as New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel and it has been exhibited worldwide in many solo and group shows. During his career he received many awards as among them Deutscher Fotobuchpreis 2013 (Gold), twice the World Press Photo Award (2000 and 2006) and several times the Dutch Silver Camera Award.

Antoinette de Jong, born 1964 in Tilburg, is a filmmaker, writer and broadcaster, based in the Netherlands. Her work includes in depth reporting and documentaries, among them many for the BBC World Service and Radio Netherland World Service. She has worked in many conflict areas including Somalia, Iraq, former Yugoslavia, and has covered developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan for almost two decades. Her work was published in numerous international newspapers and magazines.

Biography