EUROPEAN TOUR (Berlin): Day 2, Finding Visual Poetry

We’ve been in Berlin for a little over a week and it has quickly become one of our favorite cities! There are so many photography openings happening for the European Month of Photography across the city, so it’s been a wonderful place for us to immerse ourselves. We’ve had few moments to spend on the computer, so without further ado, we’d like to share the second and final day of Jessica Backhaus’s workshop: Finding Visual Poetry.

Berlin is our second to last stop of our European tour, which takes us from Naples to Paris, Catania, Berlin and finally to Warsaw with acclaimed photographers Stefano De Luigi, Jessica Backhaus, Michael Ackerman, Adam Panczuk and program directors Laura De Marco & Kate Fowler. We’re preparing to begin our workshop with Michael Ackerman in one day, and next week we’ll spend five days with Adam Panczuk. There’s still room in both, so please join us for these last two workshops!

The second day of Jessica Backhaus’s workshop began at the Cartel Collective Gallery in Berliner Allee at 12:00 pm, so students would have the time to complete an assignment given to them the day before. Jessica asked them to spend some time creating a visual poem of their private space– whether they were in their homes, hotels or at a friend’s during their stay in Berlin. When everyone arrived we began the day by looking at the work of our scholarship recipient Luisa Hubner, which she presented in (polaroid) prints and in the form of a small, artfully created dummy of a book. We spent a long time discussing aesthetics, beauty, book-making and the content of these beautifully solitary images. Afterwards, we had the wonderful opportunity to look at many of Jessica’s favorite photography books, which she brought from her private collection. From there, Jessica began an inspirational slideshow of work that ranged from painters to performance artists, photographers and music. It was amazing to see the sensibility that Jessica brings to her photographs spread throughout these varied art forms– from color to freedom of expression and movement.

After a brief break to enjoy some pizza, Jessica worked with each student on their poetry assignment to create a strong edit. While the students worked, Laura and I created a video of their projects, assignments and portraits of each participant to close the workshop. We finished the two days with a slideshow, some drinks and hugs goodbye!

It was a very short amount of time to spend with this wonderful group of students and we were sad to see each of them go. They each brought a unique warmth, kindness and talent to the room and we truly wish that we had had another week to spend getting to know them. Unfortunately, this is the nature of workshops– we all depart too quickly. We’re incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Jessica and were deeply inspired by everyone in the room.

All photographs taken with the amazing Leica M, thanks to a generous sponsorship from Leica Store Firenze!

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