Alfred Fried Photography Award

Ein großer Erfolg: STATUS hat einen Fotopreis gewonnen! Eine von 5 Medaillen des internationalen Alfred Fried Photography Award 2014 for the World’s Best Picture on the Theme of Peace geht an den Fotografen Max Kratzer, der gemeinsam mit Verena Wilkesmann unseren Fotoworkshop für jugendliche Flüchtlinge in der Bayern Kaserne leitet.

What does peace look like?

Bayernkaserne, Munich’s first accomondation facilities for asylum-seeking refugees is the biggest of it’s kind all over Bavaria and maybe even Germany. More than 2000 refugees of different nations, religions and cultures are living here and waiting for further perspectives. The number of arriving people increases every day and authorities are often facing massive problems to care for them?

Since more than four years I’m working in team for the Munich-based NGO ‚Refugio Kunstwerkstatt‘, offering weekly photo workshops for young refugees. Medial and public reflection also increased, often focussing on matters of integration, social aspects and how to help and support immigrants. But what do those people really feel, the first days after they arrive from their long and dangerous journey? We’ve tried to let them tell their own story.

What’s your message to the universe? For the portrait project STATUS we’ve asked refugees to find a place at Bayernkaserne, they either just like or find representative for the place and situation there and also to implement some additional space for comments, letters, or messages they will be able to add after the picture is taken. The idea is to create a dialogue between a photographical interpretation of their staging and their ideas, handwritten and transferred to those pictures. Also pictures of the actual current place Bayernkaserne are hard to find without using stereotypes or catchy, expectable motives. Here, the place description is influenced by the locations, the portrayed person chose.

This pictures and also the messages are not representative for the situation of refugees in Germany or Europe, most of them are expression of a first respiring after experiences of war, insecurity and escape, maybe a first idea what peace could look like.

Max Kratzer