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As part of the "International Photoscene" the German Photographic Association (DGPh) organizes "The Long Night of projections" on 27 September 2018. Thirty photographs by selected photographers are simultaneously projected at different locations of the MAKK - Museum of Applied Art Cologne. We asked the curator of the Photographer's Night, Bettina Flitner, about her selection criteria.

LFI: What did you take into consideration when selecting the photographers?
Bettina Flitner: We chose photographers who have inspired us with their images, and who have impacted the way we see the world. They are photography legends, such as William Klein and Duane Michals; but we have also included younger colleagues, like the South African photographer Zanele Muholi. We didn’t only ask them about their most famous pictures, but also about pictures that they consider personally important for their lives and work. In other words, this exhibition is not about showing the “best of”, but rather a very personal selection of pictures, that these legends of photography have taken specifically for the Long Night of Projections. But, of course, there are also one or two iconic images that have become part of people’s visual memory.

Despite all the differences, what do the works have in common?
The photographers have very different ways of seeing the world and of communicating it. There are portraits, as well as conceptual approaches, reportages and works combining image and text. Maybe what they have in common is that they not only show and interpret the world with their pictures; in many cases, you can feel a sense of hope that their work might bring about some change in the world. This includes William Klein’s direct commitment to the rights of black people in the USA in the sixties, Lynsey Addario’s war photography that primarily reveals the suffering of civil populations, all the way to Zanele Muholi’s fight for the rights of homosexuals.

Can you give us a brief explanation about the role of the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh - German Photographic Association) at photokina and as part of the photo scene in Cologne?
The DGPh is the most significant association of renowned personalities from all areas of photography in Germany. As chairperson of the DGPh’s photography section, I envisioned and conceived this long night of projections together with my colleagues Manfred Linke and Christoph Bangert; consequently, the DGPh is the initiator and organiser of the Long Night of Projections, and this Legends of Photography show. In addition, it’s worth mentioning that some of these legends, such as William Klein, Barbara Klemm, Duane Michals, Anders Petersen and Herlinde Koelbl, are also winners of the DGPh’s Dr. Erich Salomon Award.
© Jan Grarup: Hebron, West Bank, 2002/2003
© Thomas Höpker: September 11, 2001. USA, New York, NY
© William Klein: Antonia + Simone, Barbershop, New York 1962 (Vogue)
© Mads Nissen: Jon and Alex, homosexual couple in Sankt Petersburg, May 2014
© Zanele Muholi: Palesa, Parktown, South Africa, 2016
© Bettina Flitner

Bettina Flitner

Born in Cologne in 1961, Bettina Flitner came to photography via television. She trained as an editor at the West German Radio and Television station (WDR) and then studied at the German Film and Television Academy. Her ‘Reportage from No Man’s Land’ about the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall was her first outstanding photo project and her breakthrough as a photographer. The work was published as a book and distributed worldwide. Two years later she became a member of the laif Agency. The photographer’s installations and photo sculptures in public spaces often trigger hefty debates, but they have also earned her many awards, including the 1993 Chargesheimer Grant from the city of Cologne and the 2001 Rückblende special award for political photography.
Since 2016 she is the CEO of the German Photographic Association.

German Photographic Association
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