from the top: Anne Schönharting: Gerry Reynolds, katholischer Priester, Bombay Street, West Belfast, 2011 © Anne Schönharting; Annette Hauschild: Alex und Enikó, Gyönyöspata, Ungarn, 2012 © Annette Hauschild; Espen Eichhöfer: Nationalgarde, Südsudan 2012 © Espen Eichhöfer; Heinrich Völkel: UN Pufferzone, Flughafen Lefkosia, Nikosia, Zypern © Heinrich Völkel; Harald Hauswald: Bluesmesse Rummelsburg, DDR © Harald Hauswald; HATJE CANTZ Cover Image by Dawin Meckel: Vern auf Taubenjagd, Kanada 2012 © Dawin Meckel; ALL IMAGES ALSO © OSTKREUZ
"Not even death wants me", the young Palestinian Saleh says, recalling one of his many failed tries to kill himself. Saleh is a hustler, living in the middle of Tel Aviv, Isreal. His life takes place within the walls of an abandoned bus station, where he resides together with other drug-addicted homosexuals, transvestites, Christians, Muslims, Jews. The walls mark a border - not a territorial one, but one that makes the other inhabitants of Tel Aviv feel more comfortable and similarly offers shelter to the outcasts. Tobias Kruse's photographic documentation and Fritz Schaap's accompanying essay on the old "Terminal" in Tel Aviv, is one out of incredible 17 stories, printed in the exhibition catalogue "On Borders".
A border, however, is not always what we commonly consider to be one: The book shows powerful pictures from official territorial borders, such as those separating North- and South Korea, DDR and western Germany, North- and South Sudan, Catholic and Protestant Ireland. But there are also strikingly many stories, revealing invisible, mental, unofficial or social borders. Beliefs, cultures, politics, philosophies or ideologies - isolation and separation, it seems, always stem from otherness, or at least from the determination of being different in some way.
In that sense, Jordis Antonia Schlösser's story "Made in Italy" represents her photos and notes on the alienated China Town in Prato, Italy. A quarter of Prato's inhabitants are Chinese: working, living, sleeping in more than 4200 run-down textile production factories. An imprisoned life within four walls - estranged from the Italian life. Likewise, Sibylle Fendt's strong images, portraying scant spaces and residents of institutionalized homes for asylum seekers in Berlin, display the architectural and social isolation. Freedom is close, it only needs a stamped paper, and yet freedom seems so far away.
Borders take different shapes, heights, lengths. Sometimes, as in the catalogue's most touching story, it is only a "Labyrinth of Glass" prohibiting the escape. Pepa Histova's photos and Danail Yankow's text portray a Bulgarian orphanage, where most children live a completely isolated and love-less life, spending most of their years motionless in a crib. Whether a chronic illness was the reason for their hospitalization or whether it was the parents' overstrain, once the children may leave the isolation, they are struggling to reintegrate into society. The invisible border between them and the outside world has been imprinted on their memory, eventually accompanying them for the rest of their lives.
ÜBER GRENZEN / ON BORDERS
including photos by Jörg Brüggemann, Espen Eichhöfer, Sibylle Fendt, Annette Hauschild, Harald Hauswald, Pepa Hristova, Tobias Kruse, Ute & Werner Mahler, Dawin Meckel, Thomas Meyer, Julian Röder, Frank Schinski, Jordis Antonia Schlösser, Anne Schönharting, Linn Schröder, Heinrich Völkel, Maurice Weiss
Texts by Andrea Böhm, Wolfgang Büscher, Fabian Dietrich, Anna-Christina Hartmann, Marcus Jauer
On Borders | A photographic panorama of and beyond borders
published by HATJE CANTZ
Edited by Ostkreuz - Agentur der Fotografen
German/English, 2012, 296 pp., 160 ills.; ISBN 978-3-7757-3431-8
Haus der Kulturen der Welt / The House of World Cultures, Berlin
November 9–December 31 2012
Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden
May 17–August 11 2013
from the top: Julian Roeder: Griechisch-Bulgarische Frontex Patrouille, an der Grenze Griechenlands zur Türkei in der Evros Region, Januar 2012 © Julian Roeder; Jörg Brüggemann: Muscheln sammeln, Songjiho Beach, Südkorea, Juni 2012 © Jörg Brüggemann; Frank Schinski: Drei Richter auf dem Weg in den Gerichtssaal des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofes (IStGH) in Den Haag © Frank Schinski; Ute und Werner Mahler: Tettau-Talbahn, Grenze Thüringen/Bayern, Deutschland 2012 © Ute und Werner Mahler; ALL IMAGES ALSO © OSTKREUZ. All images are part of the exhibition and hatjecantz catalogue "ÜBER GRENZEN" / "ON BORDERS"