Festival 2019

Following the successful opening in 2017, which revolved around the subject of limits, this year’s f² Fotofestival focuses yet again on a significant subject: justice. Ten exhibitions offer different perspectives on a common subject, accompanied by the critical and curious point of view of the photograph.


Justice is the core for human beings in all cultures to live together, and yet opinions differ widely on what justice means exactly. In order to discuss this matter, it is necessary to deal with the subject of equality. It is indisputable that all humans are equal, regardless of their class, origin, gender or skin color.

Different circumstances of life have to be considered just as well. As Karl Marx put it: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!" In 1971, philosopher John Rawls set in motion a paradigm shift with his liberal theory. He stated that social and economic inequalities were ok if they worked "to the highest benefit of the least advantaged". This point of his theory of the difference principle remains controversial until today and points to the complexity of the subject as a whole.

It calls on our wealthy society to treat the issue of justice as a priority and to deal with it on different levels:

How can social commodities be distributed equally? Is everything just that complies with the law? How can justice be achieved on a global scale? And the question that has come up more recently: how can we achieve justice for future generations?


Follow The Water

Water and justice are inseparably connected with each other. With modern ways of living, the need for water is growing steadily. This leads to a decrease of groundwater resources and the drying-up of seas. At the same time, the polar ice caps and glacial ice is melting. We have already noticed the consequences of climate change; on the one hand with its periods of extreme droughts, and on the other hand, with its terrible storm floods. This is one of the causes for people fleeing worldwide and to seek dangerous paths across the Mediterranean Sea.


Water might carry a different meaning for everyone, but in the end, everything is linked to each other. The exhibition presents 14 works that demonstrate their interdependency as a whole. 




Mattia Balsamini, Julio Bittencourt, Solmaz Daryani, Jesco Denzel, Aaron Vincent Elkaim, Matjaž Krivic, Dirk Krüll, Daesung Lee, Kadir van Lohuizen, Gideon Mendel, Freya Najade, Maria Vittoria Trovato, Julia Unkel, Ira Wagner

© v.l.n.r.: Aaron Vincent Elkaim, Freya Najade, Solmaz Daryani


Mit freundlicher Unterstützung von

About Lives – 40 years of Cap Anamur

In the course of the 40-year existence of Cap Anamur, Jürgen Escher gives sensitive insight into the emergency aid, which he has documented and accompanied in the past 34 years.  


Cap Anamur primarily focuses on providing health care and access to education. During their missions, helpers are living directly on the site of operation. That way they develop a sense for being in a special situation and are able to treat people in need with care.  


Photographer: Jürgen Escher

Human Impact

With five different photographic perspectives, the exhibition presents crime scenes, emergency preparations, victims, relicts and causes of violence and exclusion, as well as the photographic construction of news.    


German Preppers and governmental precautions are displayed within the series of photos Black Swan by Hahn/Hartung as a threatening setting and oppressive perspective. David Farrell shows with Innocent Landscapes landscape sceneries that do not immediately hint to their existence as IRA crime scenes. Andrea Gjestvang depicts just a single One Day In History: the day on which hundreds of adolescents fell victim to the massacre of Utopia. She presents its victims as survivors that are visibly or invisibly marked for life. In Icons, Cortis and Sonderegger retake popular photographs of contemporary history to deconstruct intentionally milestones of our memory. Within Restricted Areas, Danila Tkachenko leads us to places preparing for war, as well as to those that seem to have delusively forgotten about it.



Photographers: Cortis & Sonderegger, David Farrell, Andrea Gjestvang, Hahn+Hartung, Danila Tkachenko

Made in...

The Kunsthaus Essen presents, in cooperation with the Folkwang University of Arts, an exhibition with four photographic perspectives that use and comprehend the medium photography, beyond its artistic and formal structure, as a medium of reflection. With their works, they reflect current social discourses and set of questions.


These include, in addition to the ongoing transformation of society through globalization and the change of historical conceptions through postcolonial debates, specifically the question of the role of the photographic image and its relation to the viewer. Regardless of looking at decaying hulks of abandoned European projects, globally circulating food systems, landscape photography or photographic exegesis of space – all of these elements are linked by the question, how photography is able to depict the complexity of reality, its oppositions and challenges as images that reflect the future, as well as the origin of the motif.  



Artists: Javier Gastelum, Caroline Schlüter, Mercedes Wagner, Lidong Zhao

©  Caroline Schlüter: Kroatien


The association Cheezze e.V. from Paderborn called nationwide for participation in the first “Young Cheezze Award for Photography”. The subject Diversity. City. Society. was intentionally addressed at the young talent photography. Photographer Uli Kaufmann was officially declared as the winner by an expert jury. His series “Marianneneck” impressively depicts how life can be experienced from a whole different perspective. Staggering between life stories, the Marianneneck in Berlin does not simply present a mere corner pub. Kaufmann himself states that: “It closes a gap which life, regardless of its causes, might leave. Here, everybody is taking care of each other, taking care of everything, as well as of things that might take place outside these classical furnishings between lace curtains and slot machines.”

© v.l.n.r.: Uli Kaufmann

Joanna Kischka: What explains everything explains nothing in particular

The Mixed Media work What explains everything explains nothing in particular by the photographer Joanna Kischka pictures the atmosphere in Poland after the election victory of the PiS party in 2015. The shift to the right does not represent an individual case within the member states of the European Union and raises questions about their future existence. It seems to become even more important to understand its causes and mechanisms.


 Through photographs of right-wing and left-wing protests, monuments, folk festivals, stores with patriotic clothing, interiors, as well as everyday sceneries and portraits, Kischka tries to approach a phenomenon which does not offer a simple conclusion: Right-wing populism.



Photographer: Joanna Kischka

Improving Reality - Felix Kleymann

In the course of the decision-making process for the venue of the FIFA World Cup 2022, Katar found itself in the spotlight of the press. Meanwhile, severe allegations were brought up, concerning the sale of soccer in a corrupt FIFA and the poor working conditions at the WM stadiums’ construction sites. The small emirate is often praised as one of the richest countries in the world, which is currently attempting to distance itself in the long run from its dependency on gas and oil incomes by investing into foreign companies. In his photographic documentary, photographer Felix Kleyman travels to the peninsula on the Persian Gulf and explores the discrepancy between tradition and presence, as well as between foreign workers and locals.


Photographer: Felix Kleymann

Thrown into Action - The Heosch - Women's Initiative

In the beginning of the 80s and the course of the steel crisis, dedicated women solidarized themselves with the Hoesch employees of an organization, irrespective of their origin, profession and political position. Fascinating photographs, selected documents and exhibits display how these women demonstrated for the preservation of jobs – even going on a hunger strike in front of the Westfalenhütte.   

 © Gisbert Gerhard


What does justice mean? What does count as – and is perceived as – “just” or “injust”? Does justice for one require the injustice for another? Can justice even be defined objectively at all or is its meaning rather dependent on cultural and individual notions?


In contemporary times of social and political upheavals, Master’s degree students, in the field of Photography/Photographic Studies, are approaching the questions revolving around the causes and conditions of justice through ten exemplarily photo and video creations. Therefore, they are dealing with the subject of justice from different perspectives and through heterogeneous photographic approaches.


Exhibition of the Faculty of Photographic Studies at the FH Dortmund.


Responsible academics: Dirk Gebhardt, Marcel René Marburger

© f.l.t.r.: Thomas Morsch & Magnus Terhorst

Justice - A Pictorial Dialogue on More and Less

Often justice, as well as injustice, develop through a comparison of two different conditions. “More” and “Less” seem to be the elemental terms that are represented and displayed by the students’ images, as part of a project that took place over the course of two semesters at the Technical University of Dortmund within the field of Photography.During two thematically linked seminars, the students engaged in a pictorial dialogue and responded to each other’s photos on a weekly basis. That way, a visual exchange developed, from which almost 500 images and many discussions evolved. Consequently, the ambivalent character of the terms (More and Less) became apparent which furthermore revealed the manifold interpretations of justice.


A selection of these pictorial dialogues will be exhibited during the TU Dortmund Campus Days at the Dortmunder U.


Lecturers responsible for the project: Felix Dobbert, Timo Klos

© f.l.t.r.: Katharina Goerges, Sandra Jonas


Projektraum Kaisern shows a first selection of the exhibition "World in Motion", which was planned for the gallery in Iserlohn. Freelens photographers from the Ruhr area present their very different works of a world which seems to be getting faster and faster.