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2021 Winter-Conference | World Cultures Museum (Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen)






D5, 68159 Mannheim

Winter-Conference 2021 | World Cultures Museum (Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen)

Here you will find the program of the conference and short descriptions of the presentations. The presentations will be held regularly in German. For all those who cannot be present, there is the livestream of our Facebook page and after the conference the recordings. Here, on Youtube and Instagram.

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Hygiene rules & registration

To ensure that we all feel comfortable, attendance at the event is limited to a maximum number to maintain hygiene rules, allowing for comfortable spacing in the room. Seating will be assigned by pre-registration on a first-come, first-served basis. Personal registration is not transferable to other persons.

Please register by email at:

The 2 G rule applies. Appropriate proof will be checked upon entry. Contact collection via app or contact form, and wearing a medical mask is mandatory. The meeting is subject to the current Corona regulation. Due to the current situation, there may be adjustments in the schedule. Please check this webpage.

The entire event will be broadcast via Facebook -Livestream, recorded and can be accessed afterwards via the DFA homepage, Instagram and Youtube. By registering for the event, participants agree to this.


Friday 05.11.

18.00 - 21.00 Network Event

"Network Photography?! - Actors + Opportunities"

The first public appearance of the DFA at the new location Mannheim cannot go over the stage without a special prelude. We would like to get to know the regional scene and network, and invite you to do so.

"Network Photography?! - Actors + Possibilities" is the title of the public panel event on Friday, November 5, 2021, initiated by DFA in cooperation with the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museums (rem) and the Cultural Office of the City of Mannheim. Different actors from the field of artistic photography will present and exchange there, especially actors from the city of Mannheim and the region.

From 18.00 to about 21.00 presentations and discussion rounds will be streamed live, so that everyone interested can be there - even if the capacity of the event on site at the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museum is limited due to corona.

We are looking forward to getting to know the photography scene of the new DFA home, and wish for lively attendance - on whatever channels!

  • Greeting Mannheim: Sabine Schirra, Leitung Kulturamt
  • Greeting DFA: Ingo Taubhorn
  • Moderator: Annette Lennartz

Panel 1 Training + Promotion

Panel 2 Show + Market

Panel 3 Research + Archive

  • FIP | Claude Sui + Stephanie Herrmann,
  • Marchivum | Michael Jendrek
  • Uni HD | Dr. Liane Wilhelmus
  • DFA | Corinna Weidner (Schriftgut-Archiv der DFA)

Saturday 06.11.

  • 10:00 - 10:15 Welcome, Ingo Taubhorn
  • 10:15 - 11:00 Prof. Dr. Claude W. Sui
  • 11:00 - 11:15 Coffee break in the foyer
  • 11:15 - 12:00 Nina Röder
  • 12:00 - 12:45 Wolfgang Bellwinkel
  • 12:45 - 13:45 Lunch break
  • 13:45 - 14:30 Christoph Linzbach
  • 14:30 - 15:15 Wolfgang Zurborn
  • 15:15 - 15:30 Coffee break in the foyer
  • 15:30 - 16:15 Ute Behrend
  • 16:15 - 17:00 Jana Hartmann
  • 17:00 - 17:15 Coffee break in the foyer
  • 17:15 - 18:00 Boris Eldagsen
  • 18:00 - 21:00 Portfolio Walk with Markus Ackermann, Swen Bernitz, Samet Durgun, Andrea Esswein, Nele Herr, Natalia Kepesz, Stephan Lucka, Oliver Raschka, Markus Redert, Jule Wild

Sunday 07.11.

  • 09:30 - 11:30 Members meeting
  • 11:30 - 12:00 Snack break in the foyer
  • 12:00 - 12:30 Ruth Stoltenberg / Wolfgang Zurborn: Presentation of the publication for the 100th anniversary of GDL/DFA
  • 12:30 - 13:15 Hendrik Faure
  • 13:15 - 14:00 Elena Helfrecht
  • 14:00 - 14:15 Coffee break in the foyer
  • 14:15 - 15:00 Alexander Hagmann
  • 15:00 - 15:45 Richard Reisen
  • 15:45 - 16:00 Coffee break in the foyer
  • 16:00 - 16:45 Thomas Wrede
  • 16:45 End of conference


Nina Röder

Saturday, 06.11. | 11:15 - 12:00

"Absurdity is the remedy of our time when words fail us."

In her lecture, Prof. Dr. Nina Röder will explain why this quote by Samuel Becket also applies to the loss of people in the context of her works. In the series presented, she will introduce her performative and tragicomic approach with which she confronts the topics of loss and mourning. Individual agency as well as the question of the influence of provincial origins or inherited trauma form the foundation of her explorations.

If you want to watch the recording of the talk (in German), check out the YouTube / Facebook links on our German version of this site.

© Nina Röder | Champagner im Keller

Christoph Linzbach

Photography and Colonialism: From the typifying image panel to photographic rehumanization?

Saturday, 06.11. | 13:45 - 14:30

Based on the university project [Re:]Entanglement, the results of which are currently on display at the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology Cambridge, Linzbach deals with the question of the role photography played for physical anthropology at the end of the 19th century and in the first two decades of the 20th century. The core of the project is a re-engagement with ethnographic archives, which primarily include photographs made and used by anthropologists up to the First World War. He wants to broaden the perspective from the concentration of the public debate on looted art to other objects here especially anthropological photographs and the questions of dealing with these photographs, which also arise from today's point of view and are much more complicated and multi-layered than they are posed to us by the so-called looted art. His contribution also deals with the practical utility of the photographs for the colonial administration and their ideological claiming with the aim of hierarchizing races. He describes the constitutive importance of photography for anthropology in its efforts to gain recognition as a "science" as well as the lifeworld aspects that were associated with this type of photography. Finally, the question of what meaning the photographs can have today for the descendants of those photographed.

If you want to watch the recording of the talk (in German), check out the YouTube / Facebook links on our German version of this site.

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© Royal Anthropological Institute

Richard Reisen

A 1987 post-documentary photographic project about the Holocaust. The authors Jeff B. Harmon and Richard Reisen.

Sunday, 07.11. | 15:00 - 15:45

In 1987, Poland was still under communist rule. My friend Jeff Harmon and I traveled to the "Land of Paradoxes." That's exactly how a train conductor greeted us as we crossed the border into Poland. I had met Jeff years earlier on a riverboat in Paraguay. He is of Jewish descent and our journey together was to take us to Nueva Germania in search of Dr. Josef Mengele, but that is another story.

At that time we decided to make a photo documentary about the Nazi death camps in Poland. Jeff was a documentary filmmaker whose war films about El Salvador and Afghanistan had already been broadcast by television stations. I was still relatively clueless and was studying with Rolf Sachsse in Krefeld at the time. The resulting work is divided into a color documentary section and a poetic-looking B/W section. The whole has a clearly cinematic character and proves, among other things, our intensive collaboration.

During our stay of several months in Poland we visited the former extermination camps (Auschwitz, Birkenau, Majdanek, Treblinka, Stutthof). Robert Dannin, the former head of Magnum in New York, was very supportive of the project, as was Cornell Capa. After more than 30 years, we have now decided to publish the project.

"Uebergangsheim Schiessstrasse" book project about my time as a security guard in a Düsseldorf asylum seekers' home 1994

Exhibition in the Düsseldorf City Museum 2020, pictures DOMid eV, Cologne, author, Richard Reisen

The publication is available for sale.

The talk had to be canceled due to personal reasons.

© Jeff B. Harmon und Richard Reisen
© Richard Reisen

Jana Hartmann


Saturday, 06.11. | 16:15 - 17:00

"MASTERING the ELEMENTS" is a photographic research on the scientific exploration and conquest of nature from the beginnings of alchemy to the present.

For this, Jana Hartmann photographed scientific experiments, natural history exhibits, studio models, and in nature itself. By juxtaposing her photographs with excerpts from alchemical writings, scientific reports, and ethical viewpoints, she initiates an interdisciplinary dialogue between several narrative perspectives - the artistic, the allegorical alchemical, the philosophical, and the scientific.

The livestream was not archived at the request of the photographer.

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© Jana Hartmann | Modern Attempts of Transmutation, 2021

Elena Helfrecht

Sunday, 07.11. | 13:15 - 14:00

Elena Helfrecht will give a brief introduction to her artistic practice by presenting two long-term projects which are currently at the core of her research. In ‘Plexus’, she deals with inherited trauma and the connection between shared history and current affairs on both a personal and a societal scale. ‘Unternächte’ explores the myths and traditions accompanying the renewal of the solar cycle in Bavaria and relates them to generational transition and the basic human need for meaning.

The livestream was not archived at the request of the photographer.

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© Elena Helfrecht | Supper (Plexus)

Alexander Hagmann

How I fell in love with photography, we got married, had kids, broke up, and then stayed best friends.

Sunday, 07.11. | 14:15 - 15:00

In his lecture, Alexander Hagmann will look back on his own career and explain how it comes about that any form of photographic image material is an occasion for him to start a conversation. Be it an inner dialogue or an interview. In the process, he will present his own artistic works as well as the applied, the absurd and finally the accumulation of all experiences in a project called dieMotive. A project that is clearly more than just a podcast. At least for Alexander Hagmann.

If you want to watch the recording of the talk (in German), check out the YouTube / Facebook links on our German version of this site.

© Alexander Hagmann

Thomas Wrede

SCENERIES | Images between idyll and catastrophe

Sunday, 07.11. | 16:00 - 16:45

The starting point of my artistic work is the reflection of the longing for nature and our relationship to it with the means of photography. My pictures move between staging and documentation. I either stage things myself or take up stagings and traces of people to create photographic images.

In "Magic Worlds" (1997), for example, I examine the staging of German amusement park landscapes. In the series "Domestic Landscapes" (2001), my subject is the interaction of photographic wallpaper with the interior of German flats.

The "Real Landscapes" play with the boundaries between model and reality in the real landscape and ask about truth and fiction. The motifs are free re-stagings of images from the media or art world, but also images that develop in the interplay between model and landscape. In the motifs of Real Landscapes, the world is reproduced as a kind of model kit, as a staging with a grand gesture on a small scale, as an image and replica between idyll and catastrophe.

In the current project (since 2017), I walk through the glaciers wrapped in foil in the European Alps and contrast the almost surreal-looking exterior shots with the colourful ice caves inside the melting glaciers.

To show the development of my artistic position, I will start with examples of my early black and white photography and then present some current positions.

If you want to watch the recording of the talk (in German), check out the YouTube / Facebook links on our German version of this site.

© Thomas Wrede | After the Flood


Prof. Dr. Claude W. Sui

Director of the Forum Internationale Photographie (FIP) / Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen

Looking back at the oldest photographic society in Germany

Saturday, 06.11. | 10:15 - 11:00

Both the Robert Häusser Archive and the Helmut Gernsheim Archive, both administered by the Forum Internationale Photographie/Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, offer valuable insights into the history of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Lichtbildner (GDL), today known - at the instigation of Robert Häusser - as the Deutsche Fotografische Akademie (DFA). The lecture highlights the special period when the charismatic photographer and educator Otto Steinert chaired the GDL. Robert Häusser served as vice chairman and organized several GDL exhibitions. A special highlight was the awarding of the D. O. Hill Medal to Paul Strand at the Kunstverein Mannheim in 1967. The interesting review of historical events also repeatedly makes references to today's Mannheim.

If you want to watch the recording of the talk (in German), check out the YouTube / Facebook links on our German version of this site.

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Otto Steinert at a GDL conference 1959 © Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen

Wolfgang Bellwinkel


Saturday, 06.11. | 12:00 - 12:45

In the photographic work 'Interventions' I deal with certain phenomena of the present. Above all, I am interested in forms of political violence and transnational social and ecological crises as well as their medial mediation.

With the help of analog stagings, I create images that exemplify certain occurrences of our time. These photographs are reminiscent of real events, their media images or those of our collective pictorial memory, so they usually have a strong connection to real events, but without trying to 'recreate' them.

Through the form of staging I have control over the pictorial space and the narrative, which enables me to create a kind of blueprint, a visual prototype of certain events and situations.

Precisely because what is depicted is not bound to concrete situations, regions, societies... - and in these cases would meet with highly selective attention - but independently, generalizingly thematizes certain phenomena, new visual spaces and levels of meaning open up. At the same time, the knowledge of the construct of the image leads to an examination of questions concerning the reliability of our perception and the authenticity and subjectivity as well as the intention of photographic images.

If you want to watch the recording of the talk (in German), check out the YouTube / Facebook links on our German version of this site.

© Wolfgang Bellwinkel

Ute Behrend

Back to Nature

Saturday, 06.11. | 15:30 - 16:15

Within an artistic exploration of the theme of nature, Ute Behrend has taken ordinary everyday objects that are replicas of plants, stones, and animals and carried them to places where one would expect to find their real counterparts. As a sign of "what remains" when everything else has been destroyed. Or even to increase the little nature that remains. As temporary sculptures, they were photographed by her in their "natural environment."

In the pictures they appear like "androids" that develop their own self-awareness. They want to return to the place of their origin.

Not knowing that they are simulacra, they ask the same questions that move all of us: Where do I come from? Where do I want to go? How much time do I have left?

If you want to watch the recording of the talk (in German), check out the YouTube / Facebook links on our German version of this site.

© Ute Behrend | Lampshade with feathers, from the work series "Back to Nature" 2019

Boris Eldagsen


Saturday, 06.11. | 17:15 - 18:00

Boris Eldagsen presents his collaboration with Bangladeshi artist Tanvir Taolad.

'Boris Eldagsen and Tanvir Taolad photographs take us to the other side of the mind, to the peripheries of the universe. We are not certain whether we are seeing the artist’s dreams or a mirror of our deeper state of consciousness. These images from the Rabbit Hole series are truly unique, unforgettable, and above all powerful.' Roger Ballen

Both work primarily from their archives, using their experimental skills in merging and condensing photographs to create images that delve deeper into the human condition.

They show their collaborative work in site-specific spatial installations, such as at the Indian Photography Festival Hyderabad 2018, Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018/19 or Arles 2021.

If you want to watch the recording of the talk (in German), check out the YouTube / Facebook links on our German version of this site.

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© Boris Eldagsen & Tanvir Taolad | The Waters of Creation, 2021

Ruth Stoltenberg / Wolfgang Zurborn

1000 REALITIES - the new publication of the DFA

Sunday, 07.11. | 12:00 - 12:30

The 10-part publication is based on the exhibition "1000 Realities 100 GDL/DFA Years" at the Haus der Photographie, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, in autumn 2019 - one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of contemporary photography in Germany. With works by more than 150 photographers, it shows the great diversity of artistic photography over 100 years and the title makes it clear that the DFA has an open eye for the most diverse artistic strategies of this medium. Visions for the future are directly juxtaposed with the ideas of historical photographic positions. It is about raising awareness of the forms of expression of the medium of photography between authenticity and staging, image and abstraction, document and fiction, intuition and concept. Photos of the exhibition's installation walls alternate with individually highlighted photographs as well as short, pithy quotations by the photographers.

A visual interplay that takes up the idea of the exhibition in its unique thematic diversity. A separate catalogue is dedicated to the history of the DFA, which was also allocated its own rooms in the exhibition. Numerous excerpts from the written and pictorial archives illustrate this historically significant collection.

The publication consists of 10 large-format catalogues of 30x30cm each, presented in a slipcase and available from December 2021.

If you want to watch the recording of the talk (in German), check out the YouTube / Facebook links on our German version of this site.


Hendrik Faure

Village history(s) by Hermann Roselieb with additions by Hendrik Faure

Sunday, 07.11. | 12:30 - 13:15

By chance I got the archive of the precision mechanic master Hermann Roselieb (1914-1972), who lived here on the other side of the brook.

He photographed here on glass plates until the Second World War, then on roll film. His photographs show the power of silver-based photography in impressive quality.

The scenes of village life in Reiffenhausen are accompanied by my own photographs from the last 30 years.

If you want to watch the recording of the talk (in German), check out the YouTube / Facebook links on our German version of this site.

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@ Hermann Roselieb
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© Hendrik Faure

Wolfgang Zurborn


Saturday, 06.11. | 14:30 - 15:15

The image worlds of a leisure and media culture, spread by film, television, internet and advertising on monitors, screens, displays of cell phones, in magazines, on posters and house facades, are so omnipresent that they can no longer be seen separately from real life.

Contemporary man finds himself in a playtime in which the boundaries between fiction and reality are blurred. The feeling of security in a familiar living space is increasingly detached from a concrete place to a world full of artificially created myths.

With his photographic works, Wolfgang Zurborn takes the viewer into a very idiosyncratic, whimsical world of images in which scenes and objects of everyday life seem to be out of kilter. It is the curiosity for experience, the search for communication that drives him to create photographs with radical cut-outs, surprising compositions, and unusual perspectives that tear us out of the routine consumption of tidy pictorial ideas.

The book PlayTime is dedicated to the filmmaker Jacques Tati, who with his humorous and at the same time critical view of the everyday world is a great source of inspiration for Wolfgang Zurborn.

If you want to watch the recording of the talk (in German), check out the YouTube / Facebook links on our German version of this site.

@ Wolfgang Zurborn | PlayTime

DFA press materials:

Portfolio Walk

Portfolio Walk

Portfolio Walk with Markus Ackermann Swen Bernitz @swenbernitz Samet Durgun @hi.sametdurgun Andrea Esswein @ann_eaty Nele Herr Natalia Kepesz @nataliakepesz Stephan Lucka @stephanlucka Oliver Raschka @oliverraschka Markus Redert @markusredert Jule Wild @jule.wild Saturday, 06.11. | 18:00 - 21:00


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