June 23 sees the opening of the WARonWALL exhibition at the West Side Gallery in Berlin. The work by Leica photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer will be display along 350 metres of the former Berlin Wall, up until September 30, 2016.
By spring 2016, the civil war in Syria has been raging for five years. Over one million people have been wounded and around a quarter of a million killed.
For a whole year, the internationally acclaimed photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer took portraits of war invalids who had fled to Jordan and Lebanon: men, women and children. The violence that suddenly changed everything for them is evident in the pictures. They sit in wheelchairs, wear prostheses or bear burn scars. Their physical wounds are visible, their psychological ones are not. Many of them have lost their family members: mother, father, siblings, friends. Practically all have lost their homes.
Even so, Kai Wiedenhöfer’s portraits reveal a moment of dignity. If you look in their eyes you can see strength and pride, and frequently a smile. Panorama images of the destroyed town of Kobane, complement the portraits and show the weight of the destruction. Ruin upon ruin piles up to form endless heaps of rubble. The bombed-out houses once occupied by people who had to flee their homes, now look like a lifeless lunar landscape. The interplay of invalid people and destroyed houses seen in the photographs reveals the inhumanity of modern-day warfare.
In addition to bringing the expected 300,000 viewers closer to the war in Syria, Wiedenhöfer’s intention with the exhibition is to directly help those injured in the Syrian war. This is the reason why the photographer launched a Kick Starter campaign, to collect money to finance the exhibition: Kickstarter
Further information at: Gesellschaft für Humanistische Fotografie