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Charlotte Schmitz

Take me to Jermany

From 2015 to 2016, Charlotte Schmitz photographed the Polaroid series Take me to Jermany, which chronicles the dangerous journey of asylum seekers from Turkey to Europe, turning its characters into co-authors. Mainstream coverage often reinforces a stereotypical view of asylum seekers, and barely involves them in telling their own stories. The artist invited the people she photographed to write on their Polaroids and thereby create their own narratives – their stories reveal a nuanced, human, relatable depth to them. 


In 2015, many people fleeing war and persecution took the dangerous sea route from Turkey to Greece in search of a new home in Europe. Germany took a leading role in coordinating the EU’s response for the humanitarian crisis, becoming a symbol of a new “welcome culture" (Willkommenskultur). The positive attitude did not last. 


“I see only Humans, not Humanity” is written on one of the Polaroids. A painful poignant statement, which also is a timeless description of the aftermath of the EU Turkey deal in Greece, where asylum seekers are still living under horrible conditions and stuck in legal limbo on the islands or in other places of the Balkans.


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Die Gruppenausstellung BEYOND zum Thema Ideologien kann bis zum 20.06. live in der FRAMED GALLERY (Braubachstraße 26, 60311 Frankfurt) besucht werden.


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