Hardly any other current topic stirs us as deeply as the one of “refugees” and “escape”. Though the streams of refugees may have receded, challenges remain or have only just begun. For the Bertelsmann Stiftung we have assembled our most powerful photographs on the subject, the Pulitzer awarded work by New York Times photographers among them. Supported by the Picture Editor class of Berlin’s Ostkreuz School of Photography, laif and the Bertelsmann Stiftung have developed the photo book “Challenging Chances – Flucht im Bild”. Moreover, a selection of images from the book was recently on display in a photo exhibition.
With this combined effort, laif and the Bertelsmann Stiftung wish to shine a light on the situation of human beings seeking refuge and contribute to the overcoming of cultural bias.
The main objective of the photo book “Challenging Chances – Flucht im Bild” is granting access to people. Through powerful images, depicting authentic stories of escape, the book conveys to the onlooker some of the hardship, the desperation, but also the hopes of the individual. Different from dry data, facts and numbers, images have a much bigger impact, as they illustrate the various fates suffered as well as the possibilities of integration and cohabitation in Germany in the future. Peter Altmaier, member of the German Bundestag, Head of the Federal Chancellery, Federal Minister for Special Tasks and governmental refugee coordinator, says: “In a highly impressive manner the images of this book depict people in various stages of their escape – and how they start out living their lives among us. How they try to get their bearings, learn our language and form first ties, in the street, in the family, with friends or at work.”
The book is flanked by an exhibition, curated by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and laif, which opened first in September 2016 at the laif photogalerie in Cologne. Upcoming locations for the exhibition will be the Bundespresseamt in Berlin (expected from January 9th, 2017), followed by Brussels later in the year. (Contact regarding further exhibition sites: Beate Weingartner, firstname.lastname@example.org)
laif core photographer and video journalist David Klammer documented the preparations before and the opening night of the exhibition. Furthermore, Peter Bitzer, Managing Director at laif agency for photos & reportages and Doctor Malva Kemnitz, Vice President Corporate Brand Management told him, how this positive cooperation between laif and the Bertelsmann Stiftung came about in the first place.