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Once again, Hall 1 is set to be a major point of attraction for this year’s Photokina visitors. In addition to Leica’s Masters of Photography, showcased in the form of 15 solo exhibitions, a section of Hall 1 has been dedicated to the new generation of photographers: the exhibition Upcoming Masters introduces selected international universities to the public. We spoke to Dr. Sandra Abend, who organised the project.

Ms Abend, what form does the presentation of universities take at this year’s Photokina?

It is the first time this particular exhibition format is being used, which was initiated by the German Photographic Society (DGPh) and executed in collaboration with Leica Camera AG and the Imaging Association e.V. (PIV). We are pleased that the concept gives universities the opportunity to present themselves to a wider public. Each university showcases eight representative works, enabling audiences to learn more about the primary focus and orientation of each institution. The idea is to spark curiosity about the diverse range of education and training possibilities.

Which universities are represented, and what was the selection process?

We issued an international call which resulted in applications from 22 universities. An expert jury, consisting of Karin Rehn-Kaufmann (Artdirector of Leica Galleries International), Haika Hinze (art director at DIE ZEIT), Thomas Gerwers (chief editor at ProfiFoto) and the management board of the DGPh’s education section (Dr. Sandra Abend, Prof. Klaus Dierßen and Jan Schmolling), selected the following 10 faculties:
Berlin Weissensee School of Art
Pathshala South Asian Media Institute Bangladesh
Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design, Halle  
University of Applied Sciences, Würzburg
University of the Arts, Bremen
Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts
University of Applied Arts Vienna
Academy of Fine Arts Essen
Hanover University of Applied Sciences  
Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Istanbul

What is your view on presenting universities and academies within the context of Photokina?

For me, the image always takes centre stage, so I believe it is very important that a global trade fair for photography focuses not only on technology and innovation, but also on showcasing high-quality images. This exhibition sends a clear message, and is an appeal to invest in education and training, as this is the only competent and reasonable way to shape the future of our medium. In addition, the stage programme offers opportunities to exchange experiences and ideas, and to discuss new approaches to imparting knowledge to a new generation of photographers.

What surprises are in store, and what are your personal favourites?

In terms of surprises, I won’t give away any spoilers. As for my favourites, it’s like with your children: you love each of them in their own way.  

Ms Abend, thank you for the interview and best of luck with the exhibition!

Upcoming Masters of Photography
Photokina 20 – 25 September 2016, Hall 1

The presentation is accompanied by a comprehensive stage programme.
For details visit www.dgph.de. Once again, the best university portfolio presented at Photokina will be awarded with a 2,000 euro prize funded by the Imaging Association (PIV). In the Education section, there will also be an Education Award endowed with 1,000 euros.
© Max Ernst Stockburger / Hanover University of Applied Sciences
© Lars Hübner / Berlin Weissensee School of Art
© Etzel / Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts
© Jannatul Mawa / Pathshala South Asian Media Institute Bangladesh
© Paul Wimmer / University of Applied Arts Vienna
© Michael Ebert

Sandra Abend

Sandra Abend studied Art History, Philosophy and German Studies. She graduated in 2005 with a dissertation on photography artist Jeff Wall. In addition to her work as a writer and curator, she has been a lecturer for Art History at the Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf since 2009. In 2013, she became a board member for the DGPh’s education section.
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