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DFA Podcast #17 | Petra Bopp: The limits of what can be shown



Petra Bopp on photographs, wars and the limits of what can be depicted: "For me, every picture is only an approximation".

Our podcast photo comes from the project collection "Fremde im Visier" and shows a section of the colour slide "Photographing a Wehrmacht soldier in Kharkiv", taken around 1942 by First Lieutenant Herbert Achenbach. Born in 1911, Achenbach had access to IG Farben's photographic material as a foreign correspondent. He was killed in action in 1944 or 1945. The copyright of the photo is held by Christiane Feuerhake.

The Hamburg art historian Dr Petra Bopp is a DFA member and has been dealing with the connections between photography and war for decades. During the highly controversial so-called "Wehrmacht Exhibition" in the 1990s, she experienced the explosive nature of the medium of war photography as a former employee of the Hamburg Institute for Social Research: because of some inadequate captions, the entire exhibition was cancelled and completely reworked. Nevertheless, the project had far-reaching consequences for the national self-image - the Wehrmacht's co-responsibility for the Holocaust and genocide has been undeniable ever since.

In the DFA podcast, Petra Bopp talks to Andreas Langen about her own project on private photos of German soldiers in World War II, "Fremde im Visier", about screaming exhibition visitors, war images from Ukraine and the limits of what can be shown.

46 min

Listen on, Spotify and YouTube!

© Achenbach | Wehrmacht soldier, photographing in Kharkiv, ca 1942

We would like to thank 'KULTUR.GEMEINSCHAFTEN – Förderprogramm für digitale Content-Produktion in Kultureinrichtungen' for their support. This funding project is supported by Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien, NEUSTART KULTUR and Kulturstiftung der Länder.

DFA press materials:

DFA Podcast #17 | Petra Bopp: The limits of what can be shown

DFA Podcast #17 | Petra Bopp: The limits of what can be shown

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