stories

Directed by my intuition and subconscious impulses, I usually wander the streets of a city when I photograph. Sometimes I find a place that feels so special that it invites me to linger for a while. It can be the atmosphere, the historical significance, or the particular energy. A photo series allows me to probe deeper into environments and people, which creates the unique feeling of stretching time and which gives me the chance to tell a story. 

 

#selfie | NEW YORK

The most psychedelic place I’ve ever been to is the Times Square in New York. After ascending from the dimly Metro station for the first time I found myself surrounded by gigantic neon signs with moving pictures and thousands of people – a total sensory overload. After acclimatizing by simply standing still for a while my focus wandered from the dazzling capitalist promises on the walls to the potential consumer on the ground. Almost all people on the spot, mainly tourists, had one thing in common: they all were absorbed by taking selfies. Again, and again, and again. I rarely observed a situation where the surrounding was perceived solely through the mobile screen. I guess such an iconic place is just irresistible to make that iconic photo, and through it become an icon yourself. 

 

BUS OBSERVATIONS | KAZAN

The bus is the main public transportation in Kazan, the capital of the autonomous Republic of Tatarstan in Russia. Even though the car is the most prestigious way to travel through the city, the bus system is intricately designed and used by all sorts of people, independent of age, gender or social class. During my stay in Kazan I used the bus daily. Not just to move from point A to point B, but to observe and to photograph the diverse passengers in this strange little microcosm. I was interested in depicting how Russians look like in daily life beyond the stereotypes we carry around about them in the Western sphere. And it was a great way to gain cultural insights and to experience a form of intimacy with the Russian people without being intrusive. 

 

METRO IMPRESSIONISM | BUDAPEST

After using the Metro in Budapest for the first time, I fell in love with it. I was intensely drawn to the combination of European and Soviet architecture, the sheer space and dramatic lighting, the design elements, coloring of the walls, the vintage metro trains, and of course the wonderfully relaxed people. These elements composed a vividly nostalgic picture and a fascination I could hardly escape. During my seven days stay in 2017, I spent several hours each day riding the Metro from one end of the city to the other. I still feel the urge to go back and continue exploring this space.

 

CROSSING AT NIGHT | JERUSALEM

The Jewish Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem is probably one of the most atmospheric and unexpected places I've ever been to. I ended up there by coincidence, confusing the hotel address, and instead found myself photographing the area the whole night. Even though it was past midnight, this crossing was filled with the constant traffic of people. Jewish men deep in conversation, women with shopping bags, kids with vivid expressions. It took only a few minutes to get an insight in the mundane life of a (religious) community that was out of reach of my personal sphere. 

 

WALL WRITINGS | RAMALLAH

During a project in Haifa in 2014, I decided to visit the Westbank. Naturally I was a bit nervous about crossing the border because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its depiction in the Western media, and the huge red signs at the checkpoints which warned the Israeli citizens about not entering the Westbank. Upon entering Ramallah, a city with 30,000 inhabitants and located only a couple of miles away from Jerusalem, my perspective changed. I discovered a prosperous and lively city with warm people and positive energy. The wall, built to protect Israel from terror, is also used as a platform for creative protest against the occupation.