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Appeal for donations until July 7: For differentiated perspectives on the initial reception facility in Suhl!

In recent years, the discourse surrounding the local initial reception facility for refugees here in Suhl in southern Thuringia has become very heated; increasingly large sections of the population only see migration defense and deportation as supposed solutions and the local media reports focus almost exclusively on crime and other problems in the vicinity of the facility.

We have decided that we urgently want to counter this with a different narrative that focuses on the people affected. Journalist Lena Löhr conducted interviews for us with seven people who are directly involved with the facility in very different ways. This gives a glimpse behind the superficially visible problems and, above all, brings to the public eye for the first time how people affected by racism experience the situation. The interviews will be supplemented by facts and figures, as well as photographs by Frieder Bickhardt from the surrounding neighborhoods. Lena will also hold a workshop to capture the reactions of young people to the material. Fortunately, we have received funding from the Local Partnership for Democracy for these first steps, so the most important part of the work is done.

But now we want to select the material, design the layout, put it on our website – and above all have it printed at least 3,000 times as a photo-text newspaper before the state elections (on September 1) and then distribute it widely in Suhl: in the letterboxes of the neighboring residential areas, in the town hall, at doctor’s surgeries, at markets, at a discussion event and with small actions in public space.

As we have had less luck with other funding, we urgently need your support to be able to realize all of this! We are currently still missing 5300€ for the selection of material, layout and printing of the newspaper, 600€ for the distribution in mailboxes and 1300€ for moderation, security and room rental for a presentation and discussion event.

Only if we have the necessary money together by July 7 can we start with the layout the following week as planned and start printing the newspaper at the end of July. So please donate immediately if you can, and please spread the word. Thank you so much!

Donate directly by bank transfer:
Account holder: unofficial.pictures e.V.
IBAN: DE18 8306 5408 0005 2381 10
BIC: GENO DEF1 SLR
Credit institution: Deutsche Skatbank
Purpose: Donation project Erstaufnahme

Alternatively, it is also possible to donate via PayPal. However, please bear in mind that we will incur PayPal fees for this, so unfortunately not 100% of the donation will be received.

Donations to unofficial.pictures e.V. are tax-deductible in Germany. If you need a donation receipt (normally required as proof for amounts of €300 or more), please write your address in the reference field or send us an e-mail.

Thank you very much for your support! We hope to see you on August 10 (CCS Suhl, 3-5 pm) for the public presentation and discussion of the newspaper or on September 20 for the opening of our Community Art Center in Suhl.

Workshop and exhibition as part of the f/stop festival

Foto: “#wirsindmehr, Chemnitz, 03.09.2018” from Frieder’s work »Komplex : Heimat«

The f/stop festival for photography runs from 31.05.-16.06.2024 and will expand into public space, true to the title ” Escape into the Public”. We are very pleased that Frieder’s ongoing project “Komplex : Heimat” will be part of the festival program! The work will presumably be shown in a group exhibition in the historic waiting room at the main station. The confirmation is still very fresh – that’s why we are still a bit excited and very curious. So come in large numbers!

We will also be running a poster workshop as part of the festival. In view of the obvious misanthropic & fascist ideas of the Potsdam meeting and after the massive reactions on the street, the question arises: and now?
We want to meet with you over two weekends and think about it, exchange ideas and then take action together. Using found and our own photographs, collages and texts, we want to create a joint poster that will be displayed in a public space in the city center as part of this year’s f/stop festival.
1st block: 26.4. 6-8 p.m., 27 & 28.4. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. each day
2nd block: 10.5. 6-8 p.m., 11 & 12.5. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. each day
Opening / Presentation: on one day during this year’s festival (31.05.-16.06.)
We will meet at Kunstraum D21 Leipzig. Participation is free for you! However, we expect you to take part in all workshop phases. Registration (with brief information about your connection to the topic) by 14.04.24 to office@unofficial.pictures

The f/stop team is also looking forward to helping hands and donations. All information about the festival can be found here.

We are looking for volunteers!

You
. are interested in the connection between society, politics and contemporary art?
. are currently re-orienting yourself, want to gain practical experience, try something new or get into doing something (again)?
. want to strengthen voices that stand up for a fairer world with good living conditions for all?
. write German at least at level B1 and are not afraid of computers?

unofficial.pictures
. was founded in 2016 by documentary photographers Frieder Bickhardt and Rafael Brix with the aim of telling the private and political through photography and film
. aims to create empathy and understanding beyond social groups and milieus and thus reduce discrimination
. develops exhibitions, books, newspapers and films and repeatedly empowers other people in workshops to use these approaches for themselves and their concerns
. has realized over 40 projects to date thanks to repeated project fundings
. plans to open a Community Art Center in Suhl in Thuringia in September 2024, where art from various disciplines can enter into dialogue with local people and initiate change

In a federal volunteer service at unofficial.pictures you can
. get to know exciting artists and their way of working
. use and develop your organizational skills
. improve our presence on social media and on the web
. come into contact with many different people
. learn what else is needed for art to enter into dialog with people
. in Suhl: be there live during the development of our Community Art Center

From us you will receive
. pocket money, which you can usually earn without any deductions in addition to Bürgergeld or AsylbLG
. a room in our guest apartment in Suhl if required
. feedback on your own artistic projects if desired

We currently have vacancies from now on in Suhl and from August/September 2024 in Leipzig!

Write us an email right away, telling us who you are and what interests you about us. Then we can get to know each other as soon as possible and discuss any questions.

Magazine release – »von hier«

We’d like to invite you to our magazine release with reading!
In the photography and text workshop with John Sauter and Frieder Bickhardt in Leipzig, 7 participants dealt with origins and identities, East German and (post)migrant perspectives, portraits and interviews and developed a cool magazine together.
Meet the authors for the release – on February 17 from 7.30 pm at Galerie KUB, Kantstraße 18, Leipzig!
Supported by: Fonds Soziokultur

Photo: Klara Kaori

We are opening a Community Art Center and are looking for … maybe you?

Even if it still looks wild now, we want to open the Community Art Center Suhl under our direction in these premises once the renovation is complete in spring 2024. Community art is art for dialog and change on topics that concern the local community. This means that we will invite even more artists from other disciplines to engage with Suhl. All of this is made possible by funding from the Freudenberg Foundation, which is collaborating with the Kunst & Demokratie association to take the COMMUNITY art CENTER mannheim concept out into the world. They are supporting us and two other locations financially and by providing advice.

With so many new projects, we would also be delighted to have some support in Suhl. There is still a vacant volunteer position available there, which has recently been extended with the opportunity to stay in our association’s own apartment for the duration of the volunteer service. You can find more information about it on our website. Just send us an e-mail if you are interested – and please spread the word!

New newspaper from and about Suhl-Nord

About a year after the first photo-text newspaper “Suhl-Nord – Aus unserer Sicht” (Suhl-North – From Our Perspective), the second edition has now been produced in a workshop in the fall and winter. Under the guidance of Rafael and documentary filmmaker Luisa Bäde, four people who have either lived, currently live, work or are interested in Suhl-Nord have pursued their very personal perspectives and interests and brought them into a 40-page form in images and text.

Desireé Röhlig processed the decline of the neighborhood in which she herself grew up in many satirical classified ads. Kristin Neubecker staged herself in various empty spaces in Suhl-Nord, creating a visual story about hope and leaving that can also stand for other places – she herself grew up in Hoyerswerda, where Neustadt underwent a similar development to Suhl-Nord. In a personal text, Sami Said reports on everyday racist life in Suhl – and that the relatively deserted Suhl-Nord is a place of retreat for him. That is why his photos of places where something happened to him do not show Suhl-Nord. Finally, Frieda Müller documented both the results and the process of difficult research. She wanted to find out who Klaus-Peter Kühn was, who was murdered at his home in Suhl-Nord in 2012. As a second project, she also set up a place where people can mourn the disappearance of the neighborhood.

The resulting newspaper will be presented to the public for the first time at the Kulturbaustelle Suhl on January 17 from 7 pm and we will give an insight into the working process and the results. There will also be a concert with the Noizy Mindz. You can pick up the newspaper free of charge on site or order it online for shipping costs only.

We look forward to browsing, listening, chatting and toasting together!

Open Air exhibition launched

Last Saturday we personally presented our Open Air exhibition as part of our project “Suhl-Nord – In discussion again” to all interested people.
Where once many people lived in prefab buildings, the 15 construction fence tarps now offer a place in Public Space for Remembrance and Conversation on the current state after the great Transformation, which the residential area has undergone. We hope they stand for a long time and spark a conversation or two. The project is supported by Fonds Soziokultur and Heidehof Stiftung.
All content is from the newspaper, which you can order at www.suhl-nord.de or view online. In fall, we plan to create a second edition in a new workshop. We would like to take a closer look at why Suhl Nord has developed the way it has, and what the future could look like. If you are interested in participating, feel free to get in touch already – or subscribe to our newsletter.

Frieder’s exhibition on show in Hoyerswerda until 17 April

Since 16.3. the large format photographs of the exhibition »Komplex : Heimat« by Frieder are hanging in the castle and city museum of Hoyerswerda – hand printed in 80×100 by Barbara Thiel and in great wooden frames by Isaak Broder.

Frieder’s images are accompanied by a text booklet that provides context for all the photos and points out connections to other events. As mentioned in the last newsletter, the topic is how Saxon identities are constructed.

You can view the exhibition until April 17. For the finissage we have come up with something special: on Sunday, April 16 at 3 p.m. we invite you to join us in a conversation over coffee and cake. Please register by April 13 at 03571-20 937 500 or info@museum-hy.de if you would like to participate. UPDATE: canceled due to a lack of registered participants

For those who can’t make it to Hoyerswerda or who already want to get an impression, you can find the photographs in small format and the texts on our website. Also if you want to buy a C-print (edition 2 + 1 AP), you will find the information there.

(more…)

Open-air exhibition and project presentation in Suhl

The date for the opening of the open-air exhibition on Suhl-Nord is now fixed. On 13 May from 16 o’clock we will meet in our rooms in the medical center Suhl-North. Then we will go together to the surrounding abandoned areas, where thousands of people used to live in the apartment blocks. We show pictures and texts from the newspaper “Suhl-Nord – From our point of view” on construction fence tarps there.

On June 15, starting at 6 p.m., Rafael will also present the project in the former plenary hall of the New City Hall in Suhl. The event is part of the supporting program for the opening of the well-travelled touring exhibition “Two German Architectures 1949-1989”, which will probably remain in Suhl at least until the end of the year.

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