Die Grenze – The Border

Hello everybody! Today I’m proud to present my biggest project so far: “Die Grenze” (in english The Border). It’s also my project for the bachelor degree and yesterday it was shown for the first time in public. So, here it is! 

What’s my project about? At the beginning there was something I experienced very often in Germany, or more exactly the region where I grow up. The border, which devided Germany in two states for 40 years (although it wasn’t there anymore!), was still influencing the people and their mind and often not in a positive way. That was something I found very interesting! Then, it was 2015, the so called refugee crises was all over the media in Europe. And people as well as politics began to speak about closing borders. Some countrys like Hungary where not only speaking, but also doing. And Austria began to build a fence on the border to Slovenia. I thought: oh my god! Didn’t we all agree that borders like the iron curtain in Germany are not that good? Why do they begin with the same stuff 25 years later again?

And so my idea came: do a project where you photograph different borders and interview people. Ask them how they feel, think and live with their border. I choose three totally different borders for that: the former german-german border (which not longer exist; except some parts as historial memorial like in Berlin in the picture above), the austrian-slovenian border fence (a very new thing) and the israeli-palastinian border, a border not so much unlike the former one in Germany, which will probably be there for quite some time.

So, that’s what I did: I travelled to all these places (remember my journey to Israel?) and took photos with my 4x5inch camera in colour film and I interviewed people in these countries. Why on earth didn’t I just take a digital camera? Because I love film. Okay okay, it was heavy and cumbersome, and I had some troubles with the israeli security check at the airport. But also I have now wonderful pictures with accurate colours and I can print them as large as I want (like really really large!) with a lot of details.

My initial thought to the whole topic was: Borders are a very bad solution and make more damage than they prevent. That was something I wanted to prove. During this project I realised that if other people will see it later, they probably won’t fully understand. So I decided that I will also make a book, which of course will include all the pictures and interviews, but also a lot of background information: why is there a border, how does this border look like, what are the consequences,…? I made also short chapters to borders in general (did you know that we have nearly 70 closed borders worldwide with army and walls and so on?!) and to the question how the future might look like. To the thought I wanted to prove at the beginning: I don’t wrote at the end if it’s true or not. I want my readers to decide for themselfs with all the information they get.

So, that’s it. That’s my project. Photographs, interviews and a whole book. Oh and did I mention, that my book got it’s own wall? Yes, I made a slipcase for it and it’s made of concrete! Seems very fitting to the topic, don’t you think?

And of course I made my own exhibition. Yesterday evening was my opening:

Thanks to everybody who helped me during my project! In a few days my pictures will also be on my website. Hope to see you there!

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