It is with great pleasure that I present this catalogue on the occasion of my first photography exhibition.
The more photographs I have taken on my journeys, the more the human being has become the focus of my interest. Above all I have been fascinated by the deep insights into the authentic expressions of strangers, their dignity and presence. My photographs give immediate access to these magnificent human beings.
Allow the portraits to speak to you! Meet the unknown without any bias.
May the short descriptions help you to relate to the situation, the moment the pictures were taken, the actual encounter between photographer and subject. Look at the pictures from the distance as well as close-up, look deeply into the eyes of the „unknown“. Look at the faces as if you were taking in a landscape.
You will find life depicted in all its aspects. Some of the pictures show pure life force, others poverty and hardship, some may be shocking, and there is also joy and happiness.
Look into the eyes and transcend all boundaries between human beings. Origins, social status, colour, gender and age become irrelevant.
Let yourself be touched by many precious details, by the diversity of expressions of smiling and sad faces, by life itself.
Dhan’yabāda Thank you
Talha, 8 „Everyone says I am very wise, which I believe too. I can do any calculation in a few seconds, and I can answer you most of the things about the universe! Well, only on one condition, which is: I will not answer you anything if you don’t give me a chocolate.“ -----
Dulena, 30 „My husband left us without even saying goodbye. I took my three children into my arms and told them that from now on I am their father and mother. Since then they have never asked for their father.“ Dulena works in the brickfield for less than 2 euros a day. All 3 children go to school. -----
Manum, 42 Manum works as a welder in the Dhaka shipyard. There, large, rusty ships are repaired. As one of the best, he earns 400 Taka a day. That's just 4 euros. „I work in the shipyard on a daily basis. Once a year I can go to visit my family in the country. For this week I don’t get any payment.“ -----
Upal, 54 „It’s fun, it’s the first time in my life that ‘m photographed, my wife will not believe me when I tell her.“ Upal unloads stones from cargo ships on the banks of the Buriganga River. -----
Biddu, 39 „Every day after work, I wash myself and put on a white shirt. Then I feel good. I want my children to be proud of their father.“ -----
Yamaha, 27 „My husband lost his leg in an accident. That is why I am very glad to have work here. I bring my baby with me, because I still have to breastfeed. I am so tired.“ -----
Alan Miya, 40 „After losing my right eye I was afraid to become a beggar. Then I pushed myself and went back to work. My daughter goes to school and reads to me every night.“Alan Miya unloads coal from ships. For 150 baskets he gets 3 euros a day. -----
Aida, 72 Aida lives in the Geneva refugee camp in Dhaka. She came from Bihar to Dhaka in 1947 like all the camp’s inhabitants (about 500 families) at the time of the separation of Pakistan from India. The families speak Urdu and fought on the side of Pakistan in the Bangladeshi independence war in 1971. Even today they see themselves as Pakistani. Only 4 square meters of living space are available per family. There are only 2 water pumps and very bad sanitary facilities. -----
Sabi, 10 „My grandfather can tell the most beautiful stories. I wanted his stories never to end. Now he got sick. Now I tell stories to him“. -----
Mula, 27 „I went to the Middle East to allow a better life to my family. I was employed as a domestic helper. My Landlord treated me like a slave, mistreated and abused me. I worked 15 hours a day without adequate food for less than 200 Dollar a month. When I got the first vacation after 2 years, my savings were just enough for the flight ticket“ -----
Baccu Miah „My daughter’s name is Lily. I lost her 20 years ago, then she was 5 years old, here at the station. I went to bring water for her. When I came back she was not here anymore. It was festival season and there were thousands of people. Since then I have come here every month to find her. People say I live in a insane hope. I wish that she could find someone who loves her and never loses her.“ -----
Rahat, 62 I met Rahat in the early morning in one of the slums of Kolkata, perfectly wrapped in a blanket. He offered me a bidi. I got him some chai and cookies. I told him that I loved the white colour of his beard and hair. He answered, „That’s not white, it is silver, can’t you see?“ Since his beloved wife died of cancer 2 years ago, he is not cutting his beard anymore. She used to call him „silver boy“. -----
Sinatra, 12 „Was ist meine Lieblingsfarbe? Es ist ganz einfach. Mein Name bedeutet Stern. Ein Stern ist am Himmel. Und der Himmel ist BLAU“ „What’s my favourite color? It's easy. My name means star. A star is in the sky. And the sky is BLUE“ -----
Nadra, 5 "I like it. My whole family does it. Who does it is not poor. Recycling! yes I mean waste recycling ". -----
Punita, 2 „Uncle, Uncle“ she called as soon as she saw me. She was curious and wanted to play with me right away. No fear, no doubt, no prejudice. The youngest show us how to do it. -----
Sumaya, 6 "Sukhi is the name of my favorite goat, when she laughs I have to laugh too, later I want to have many goats and laugh a lot more“. -----
Roshni, 7 „I decorated the Christmas tree together with my sister. Christmas is my favorite festival“ Sumaya lives in a Muslim settlement in south Kolkata. Everyone there is looking forward to Christmas.
Sadhu I A Sadhu (literally translated from Sanskrit „The good") is a holy man, the link between Heaven and Earth. -----
Sadhu II Sacrifices to the Sadhus are sacrifices to the gods. The Sadhu is considered a messenger for the gods. -----
Sadhu III The Sadhu breaks off chunks of hashish and mixes them with tobacco in his bony fingers, then dumps the contents into a chillum (conical clay pipe). Then he shouts, “Bom Shiva!” and starts puffing, his head is disappearing behind a cloud of smoke.
Sadhu IV Through the blessing, often with a peacock feather, the faithful receive support in fulfilling their desires and needs or relief from their worries.
Sadhu V Ash (vibhuti) in India ash is a symbol of the imperishable. The immortality targeted or attained by a spiritual life is demonstrated by the Sadhus by painting their bodies with ash.