From the top: Gábor Arion Kudász — Hungary; Christopher Sharp - England, Uk; (Text) Christopher Sharp - England, Uk; Taiyo Onorato — Germany; Sonya Dyakova — England, UK; Jan-Dirk van der Burg — Netherlands; Aaron MacDonald — Canada; Detail) Iris Janke - Germany; images courtesy the artists and romka magazine
We live in a generation where instagram, pinterest, facebook and other photo suppliers reveal the daily visual dairies of thousands of strangers. We are overwhelmed by other people's privacy, feeding our voyeuristic greed. The Leipzig-based romka.magazine seems to have picked up on that trend, celebrating the purity of snapshots. Developed in a book series, the magazine shows the favourite photos from lots of professional and amateur photographers, including a little story about each picture.
With a minimalist and clear design, their seventh issue juxtaposes nostalgic photos of grandparents, of the photographers' youths, loved ones, random experiences or landscapes. The small stories take the reader to a scenic moment, like in the case of the little girl in the subway on Iris Janke's picture (above):
"We were all together on the subway. Alexander, Nicolas, Milena and me — the whole family. It was Sunday, totally crowded and my daughter Milena was so excited when this blonde Romanian girl with her dog came in and sat down next to her. I photographed the two of them together and this is the last picture I took before the girl and her dog got off the subway."
Other great shots are for instance by Christopher Sharp, who submitted a portrait of his grumpy grandmother (image and text above) or Jan-Dirk von der Burg's fantastic image of him and his mother standing next to their giant marihuana plant. romka.magazine leaves space for the ephemeral, for the inconspicuous - it highlights the exclusiveness of emotional value and delivers a comforting justification to why we seem to love looking at other peoples' private pictures and obviously our own dusty photoalbums - nostalgically tripping down memory lane.
our favorite photographs & the stories behind them
released November 2012
edition of 1500
from the top: Nicolas Turlais — France; Jennifer Schäfer — Germany; Anthony Tortorici - Oregon, USA; Cover, romka magazine issue #7; images courtesy the artists and romka magazine
Stories about the pictures, from top of the post to bottom:
Gábor Arion Kudász — Hungary
We don’t even remember when this happened exactly, but this bruise was probably the result of a collision my son Momo had with his little sister. The pain and self-pity on his face is so touching, so we started to look at this picture more and more often… we do prefer it over the “healthy” ones. Playing is a dangerous business and our hero is constantly in trouble.
Christopher Sharp - England, Uk
Taiyo Onorato — Germany
Suffering from fear of flying quite a bit, I took this as a sign and slept through the rest of the flight.
Sonya Dyakova — England, UK
My mother with my brother two years before I was born. This image could be straight out of a Tarkovsky film — extremely still and full of movement all at the same time. The landscape and the river in the background remind me of a Renaissance painting. The area is called Izdrevaya, the countryside outside of Novosibirsk, Siberia. This is where we grew up and rented a summer house in the forest. It is lush and calm. Rolling hills, a winding river. Classic Russian landscape. Very flat. Pine forests and birch trees, too.
Nicolas Turlais — France
We were out camping in the mountains with two friends of mine for four days. That day we got lost in a scary, dense fog. We walked for about thirteen hours, blind, exhausted, and lost, before finding a place to sleep. I’ve never felt so vulnerable.
Jan-Dirk van der Burg — Netherlands
This is my favourite picture from my childhood. In the Netherlands it's legal grow up to five Marijuana plants. My Mother helped me with my private garden, hoping I would soon get bored with smoking. 'Illegal' actions are so much more interesting for teenagers. In the end, she was right: I haven't smoked anymore in a long, long time.
Aaron MacDonald — Canada
My grandparents swimming — it was the first time I had seen them in the water together in a long time.
Iris Janke - Germany
We were all together on the subway. Alexander, Nicolas, Milena and me — the whole family. It was Sunday, totally crowded and my daughter Milena was so excited when this blonde Romanian girl with her dog came in and sat down next to her. I photographed the two of them together and this is the last picture I took before the girl and her dog got off the subway.
Jennifer Schäfer — Germany
My grandparents are wonderful. They have been married for over 65 years and they still love each other. I don’t know how they found their way to communicate — my grandfather is deaf and yet they don’t speak in sign language. They have their own language. Irmgard and Manfred had but one single vacation outside of Germany: on their 25th wedding anniversary, they went to Teneriffa, Spain. My grandma still loves to talk about this holiday and about the unique flowers over there. Last year I saw the photographs for the first time. My grandfather took many pictures of Irmgard next to exotic flowers and this one is my favorite.
Anthony Tortorici - Oregon, USA
I fell in love with a girl a month before she left the country to study abroad for a year. I didn't know her very well before she left, and over the course of the next year we had a very long distance relationship. Her year ended and we spend the whole summer together, nearly every day. From that we realized it just wasn't meant to be. We were attracted to the romance of distance. I will never forget her.