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Toufic Beyhum February 13, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Germany.
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Berlin U-Bahn 2007

Toufic Beyhum (b. 1974, Beirut) moved to London at a young age. Toufic first showed an interest in photography at the age of 15, refining his skills at Art College over the next few years. At 21, he graduated and immediately embarked on a successful advertising career, plying his trade as an Art Director for multinational advertising agencies in New York, Dubai, London and Berlin. Amidst the flurry of advertising deadlines, Toufic still managed to indulge his passion for photography, at one point taking a year off to travel publishing a photographic book of Berlin’s U-Bahn in May 2007. He is based in London and is currently working on a documentary called After Tomorrow that was filmed in Petra, Jordan.

About the Photograph:

“This is a photograph from my published book, “Emotions in motion” that was published in Berlin. On my first day to work at the advertising agency BBDO I saw something that I have never seen before, especially at 8:30am on public transport. Two intoxicated women feeding each other ice cream and French kissing on the train. I thought to myself, welcome to Berlin and I also promised myself that from now on I would carry my camera with me everywhere. For two years I took photos on the Berlin Underground. It became an addiction, I took photos on the way to work and back, sometimes riding it till it closed. I also spent Christmas, New Years and every chance I got to  capture the fascinating characters of Berlin. I have had the pleasure of riding the New York Subway, the London Underground, the Paris and Tokyo Metro and when it comes to craziness, the Berlin Ubahn beats all of them hands down. This photo was during the World Cup when everybody was advertising. Usually this type of advertising doesn’t always work because either the person isn’t aligned or the body build is wrong but when I spotted this guy sitting there he was spot on.”

Antonia Zennaro June 13, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Germany.
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Safari Club, Grosse Freiheit, Hamburg 2012/2009

Antonia Zennaro (b. 1980, Italy) studied at the ISFCI in Rome and took part in a master program in the Danish school of journalism in Aarhus, Denmark. Since 2010 she has been a freelance photographer working with the journalist agency Zeitenspiegel in Stuttgart. In addition to commissioned works for magazines and newspapers she is dedicated to long term projects on social issues. Antonia’s work was show at the  Lumix Festival for Young Photographers. Her first long term project, Reeperbahn, about the remains of the famous red light district in Hamburg, was published by Prestel in February 2013.  She is currently based in Hamburg.

About the Photographs:

“Peter and Griselda. Peter is one of the last typical bouncers you can find on the party mile and red light district in Hamburg, the Reeperbahn. He is working since 1976 in front of the Safari Club, the last Sex cabaret in Germany. In this street, Die grosse Freiheit, there were over nine of such Cabarets in the sixties and seventies. Not much is left over from these time and lifestyle. The Safari Club lives more like in a time in between, and Peter is becoming the entrance to it. Griselda arrived in the eighties from the Philippines. She works as a Transvestite artist. Nowadays it is difficult to get paid for her shows so she has to travel all around Germany. Both pictures were taken as part of my long term project Reeperbahn, Griselda was one of my first pictures I was allowed to take inside the Safari Club in 2009. Since then I have returned back and spent some years with them inside their backstage cellar. Peter was one of the last pictures taken in 2012. The work and life in the Reeperbahn is hard, and the ones who earned a lot of money are old, poor and lonely today.”

Fara Phoebe Zetzsche October 10, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Germany.
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From the project Hoard and Clutter. Germany 2009

Fara Phoebe Zetzsche (b. 1984, Germany) studied photojournalism at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover, Germany. Since 2006, she has been working as a freelance photographer for different newspapers and theater productions in German prisons and served an internship in the picture editing office of the Franfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In 2011 she studied at the Danish School of Media and Journalism. Her work has been exhibited in the Galerie im Turm in Jena, Photokina in Cologne, the Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism and the Promenades Photographiques de Vendôme in France. Fara’s long term project Hoard and Clutter received honorable mentions at the UNICEF Photo of the Year, the New York Photo Awards and the International Photography Awards. In 2011, she won the Mark Grosset Prize. Fara is based in Germany and Denmark.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is from Hoard and Clutter, a story about the daily life of a family who suffers from compulsive hoarding syndrome. ‘We will never live a normal life’, say the parents of the 14-member extended family. Due to the littering of the rooms the parents have been deprived of custody in 2009 and 2010. Four of twelve children remained temporarily in an orphanage. The relevant youth department is overcharged with the subject. The urgent understanding is lacking. Nevertheless, the family struggled within their means, cleaned up, to get the children back. Today, only one child is living in an orphanage. The circumstances under which the children grow up have an impact on them. Within the past year my story became more and more about them. I am interested in how they develop and diverge. The children are outsiders and often beaten up or bullied by other children simply because of their parents. The reputation of the family is very negative and the kids have to fight with the prejudices of others every day.”

Dörthe Hagenguth February 20, 2012

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Leonie and Ellen, Hamburg 2010

Dörthe Hagenguth (b.1966, Germany) has been a freelance photographer since 2004. She travels extensively and has been to Brazil, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala and repeatedly to Eastern Europe. While studying economics and geography she worked as a coach in a children’s circus, a travel guide and flight attendent. After studying photojournalism at MAZ, the Swiss School of Journalism, she worked for several months as a photojournalist for Nicaragua’s national newspaper La Prensa”, based in Managua. Her work has been published in Brigitte, Financial Times Deutschland, Greenpeace Magazin, National Geographic Deutschland and Stern among others. Dörthe is represented by Agentur Focus and is based in Hamburg, Germany.

About the Photograph:

“I met Leonie and Ellen in Hamburg by accident while I was doing a reportage about a young show jumper for GEOlino at the German equestrian jump and dressage Derby. They came out of the stable with their horses and I liked how they where talking about situations in their competition. They are 13 years old and normally don’t dress equal. But these equestrian sports have very traditional rules. Leonie was a little bit sad because her pony didn’t want to walk backwards for the dressage exam. Right in front of the scoring judge she put herself on the backward legs and Leonie had  to work hard not to fall from the horseback. That was not the plan! Ellen tried to comfort her sister. It was touching to see. They compete against each other but the next moment they cooperate.” (more…)

Anne Ackermann January 5, 2012

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Mormon Missionaries in Germany 2010

Anne Ackermann (b. 1980, Germany) studied Visual Communication and Photojournalism in Hamburg, Buenos Aires and Aarhus (Denmark). She started freelancing in 2008 and received an Eastern Europe Research Grant from Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Her project «Plástica» (2009) was widely exhibited, e.g. at PhotoGrafia Festival Rome, «Nuit Blanches» F-Stop Festival Leipzig and the New York Photo Festival. She was nominated for Joop Swart Masterclass in 2010. In 2011 Anne received a grant from VG Bildkunst. Her clients include Stern, Amnesty International Journal, Geolino, Yuno, Chrismon and many others. Anne lives in Hamburg where she splits her time between freelancing and following her own projects, currently focussing on Eastern Africa.

About the Photograph:

“This portrait of Sister Diana Simionescu, a young Romanian, is part of an assigned reportage that I did about young Mormon missionaries in Germany. I have been following her and her American friend in a small town in Northern Germany knocking on doors of suburban houses which would too often stay closed. The pair were approaching strangers to bring them the message of God and walking great distances on their self chosen mission to spread their belief. In the afternoon the girls decided to go home to devote their time to studying the Book of Mormon and a bit of German language. When I saw the afternoon light coming through the window to illuminate the young woman´s face, dedicating herself to what is the center of her belief, I was very much struck by the calm but centered expression of commitment on her face and body posture.”

Gordon Welters December 8, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Germany.
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From the Project “Go, My Beauty”, Germany 2009

Gordon Welters (b.1974, Germany) studied photo-journalism at the London College of Communication. He regularly works for The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine, International Herald Tribune, National Geographic, Stern, The Fader Magazine, The Times among others. In 2010 Gordon received a scholarship from VG Bildkunst. His work have been awarded by PDN Photo Annual, International Photography Awards, Sony World Photography Awards, Hansel-Mieth Prize and UNICEF. He organizes and leads photography workshops and was a jury member of various photo awards in Germany and the USA. He lives in Berlin and is represented by the photo agency Laif.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph is part of my story Go, my beauty. It is difficult for us to fully understand and witness death, especially with people very close to us. Although dying is an inseparable part of life, death does not really take place in our society. Dana is 25 years old and challenges life while feeling the knot under her skin. After breast amputation and undergoing chemotherapy she lies in the palliative care unit of a hospital. Dana says goodby to her friends, family and also to her small son. I met Dana 19 days before she died and visited her for 12 days. It was her wish, to transport the idea of the friendship-circle to the outside world, to stimulate and encourage patients as well as for their relatives, friends and other companions.”

Mona Simon January 20, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Germany.
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Roma Community, Transylvania, Romania 2009

Mona Simon (b. 1979, Romania) is a freelance Photographer based in London and Germany. Photography was part of her studies in Media and Graphic Design at the University of the Arts Bremen, where she graduated 2006 with a BA under the guidance of photographer Peter Bialobrzeski. During her BA she spent one semester abroad in Havana, where she studied and photographed her first major Project ‘In the land of Revolution’. After graduating in Bremen she worked as a graphic designer and freelance photographer in Germany and later continued with an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at LCC London, which she finished with distinction in 2008.

About the Photograph:

“The image was taken in Transylvania as part of a long term project which accompanies a group of traditional Roma people. This couple are the oldest belonging to this community which settled down after communism collapsed on the brink of a former Saxon village. They produce handcrafted copper work which they sell in front of their houses and also at national and international fares. Despite globalisation and negative attitudes toward the Roma, they continue preserving their traditional values, which I admire and respect.”

Verena Brandt March 26, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Germany.
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Civil War Weekend. Brandenburg, Germany 2009

Verena Brandt (b. 1978, Germany) studied communication design with a focus on photography at the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg. She is currently working as a freelance documentary and portrait photographer for magazines, commercial clients and on personal long term projects. Since 2007 she has been a member of the German agency Visum Photo. Her work has been shown at the Lumix Festival for International Photojournalism 2008 and was awarded with prizes and scholarships. In 2007 she received a VG Bildkunst scholarship for “Villa Germania”, a series about German retirees in Thailand, and a Gruner+Jahr Photo Award in 2008.

About the Photograph:

“This photo shows two German re en-actors in Yankee uniforms while fencing on a meadow, dunghills in the background. On a yearly meeting called ‘Civil War Weekend’, the so-called living history fans from all over Germany come together to imitate ‘famous’ battlefield situations in a Western town one hour from Berlin. The rules are very strict, traditional outfits and camp life without modern comforts are obligatory. The picture is part of an ongoing project about the rural area surrounding Berlin. In contrast to the international atmosphere of the German capital, the province ‘Brandenburg’ mainly consists of vast empty landscapes and depopulated villages, which is rather uncommon compared to other European capital regions, where the urban fringe is often widely spoiled.”

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