“The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives. [...] This is poetry as illumination, for it is through poetry that we give name to those ideas which are - until the poem - nameless and formless, about to be birthed, but already felt.”
– Audre Lorde
In art, we can reconnect with our humanity and purpose. In light of the major shifts in the world the past two years we are pleased to select five emerging photographic voices that engage with social issues through their different artistic and collaborative modes of making. Der Greif is an organisation for contemporary photography that was born and built on the foundations of collecting and collective making. Our annual publications testify to the potential of single images and image-pairings to spark and create new narratives. We investigate the sites and spaces of image production, distribution and reception. In this sense, we are continually reflecting on and questioning the roles images play in how we create and process our environment and our respective positions and responsibilities within it. This year’s selected artists share a fascination for how natural and cultural environments shape our identities, our bodies, our voices, our stories, and our selves. What kind(s) of social, political, and emotional engagement and awareness can photography help foster? How can we more effectively engage critically with our audiences? How has the pandemic affected the values of photography and how we operate within these? How can photography connect us more deeply? Ultimately, the question remains: how and where do photographs touch us?