Christian Weber, Torsten Lüders (Germany)
Auf der Kippe (photography)
In 1996, a joined project with right wing and left wing youth group was launched in the coalmining area, in the south of Berlin.
Christian Weber, a Reverend and a social worker of the Protestant Church in Germany, lives and works in Greifenhain, a little village of 300 inhabitants south of Cottbus. Throughout his work, he tries to bring the alienated groups together in order to discuss with them topics such as racism, the Holocaust, German history and current political questions in Germany. During his work he was never neutral. His aim was to convince the right wing orientated youth that a tolerant, democratic and open minded Germany is the only way for a prosperous and secure future.
In October 1998 the photographer Torsten Lueders, studying professional camera at the famous film school in Potsdam-Babelsberg, joined Christian Weber and started documenting the two youth groups. The exhibition on show now is the result of their joined work.
In May 1999, an article about the project was published in the German Magazine "DER SPIEGEL". Following this article a group of young journalists from Israel came to Greifenhain to meet young German people from both sides. After the official event some of the journalists met some extreme right wing skinheads, who were waiting for them. During the talk the right wing extremists denied the Holocaust, in front of the microphones of the German Journalists reporting the event. This meeting was widely covered by the German press and it even had some juridical consequences, since two of the Neo Nazis were prosecuted and sentenced to ten months prison for denying the Holocaust in public.
After the experience they have been through, some of the Israeli journalists proposed to show the exhibition of Torsten Lueders in Israel. The exhibition will enable Israeli youth and students to discuss issues like: German History, roots of racism, the Holocaust, the trauma of the perpetrator, the different approaches in former East Germany and West Germany and strategies against neo fascism in Germany. It will also provide an opportunity to discuss issues like the trauma of the victims and questions of racism and foreign workers in Israel.
Forum Fabricum, Lodz, 21.03–30.03.2001