I have been working with refugees from Afghanistan since April 2017 and taught them how to take pictures. Originally intended as an analog photoworkshop, it became a broader insight into analogue and digital world of photography.
So we built pinhole cameras under the direction of my friend Valentin Farkasch, practiced in the studio how to shoot proper portrait photography and learned techniques of Landscape and street photography. The company Revolog sponsored 16 analogue 35mm films to start the project and the equipment like lenses and analog cameras came from myself, friends, acquaintances and relatives.
Since the end of April 2017, we have been walking together once or twice a month on a photo safari through Vienna or I taught the theoretical basis of photography.
The contact with the refugees came about through the network of the Viennese Hilfswerk, Nachbarschaftszentrum 17, where the young men are part of an inclusion and integration project of the FSW. Personnel and space resources were partly provided by the Neighborhood Center. Fereshteh Kamaljoo (Farsi-speaking employee of the neighborhood center 17) supported us in communicating with the participants and translating special terms in photography from German to Farsi.
”PHOTOGRAPHY IS A LANGUAGE MORE UNIVERSAL THAN WORDS.“
The idea behind the project was, to give people, who had to leave their homeland and start a new life in a new environment with a new language and different traditions, a medium that works on a nonverbal level.
What gives them the opportunity to develop their own way of telling their story. Hence the title „other stories“.
The participants look at and document their lives between boundaries and freedom. Each of the seven young men has interpreted the topic completely for themselves. For some, birds are the symbol of freedom, for the next playing children and for a third, the life of Austrian women …
Great pictures with strong expressiveness emerged, and they were presented in an exhibition throughout the whole of July 2018.
Pictures by Franziska Liehl Photography
Opening of the exhibition was on July 5, 2018 at 7 pm at „ZIMMER – Working in Concept” Piaristengasse 8 – 1080 Vienna.
An excellent insight into the progress of the project can be found on Instagram .
Video by PULS 4