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Interview

Maximilian Mann: The climate crisis is a big problem for my generation and photography can be a way to draw attention to it

text:
Futures Photography
Date:
July 7, 2021
“The global climate crisis is one of the biggest problems of my generation and photography can be a powerful way to draw attention to it.” In this interview, meet Maximilian Mann, nominated for Futures by the Triennial of Photography Hamburg in 2020.

Maximilian Mann (b. 1992) is a German photographer. He holds a BA in photography from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Dortmund. Max is a documentary and portrait photographer who focuses on stories about society, social and ecological chances. He is also a founding member of DOCKS collective.

Below, he talked to us about his inspirations and career:

The documentary photographer Adam Broomberg mentored five Futures Talents over the three months running up to Unseen Amsterdam 2019
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Can you tell us a little bit about your inspirations? Which themes do you often work with?

I think the global climate crisis is one of the biggest problems of my generation. I think photography can be a powerful way to draw attention to it. In the last few years, I've been looking at the consequences in different countries like Iran and Mongolia. Right now, I'm working about the climate crisis in Germany. Because climate change has also arrived here in Central Europe.

How do you see your relationship with the medium? How do you use photography to express your art?

I would describe myself as a documentary photographer. It is important to me to draw attention to major social issues and changes with a journalistic approach. But of course, my photography is also subjective and also has a lot to do with my view of the world. So, it is always a personal reflection with the topics.

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Do you have any ongoing (or more recent) project that you would like to share with us?

Yes. Together with a colleague from DOCKS Collective, Arne Piepke, I photographed a project about the psychological effects during the so-called “second Lockdown" in Germany. We followed up on questions such as: How do people endure such circumstances during this dark winter season? And how do people cope with having fewer social contacts?

Last year was challenging in many different ways. How do you see this moment for your career? What has changed in your practice?

Yes, there are big challenges. I could not continue photographing some projects and many exhibitions have been canceled. I always like to be on the road and do things, being at home a lot is hard for me. So the Covid Project  about the second "Lockdown" was also important for me personally. Talking to many people for the project about the current hardships and concerns was a valuable experience for me as well.

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Can you share with us some of your plans for the future? Do you have any new project in mind?

I still want to continue working on the Covid Project "the longest night" together with my colleague  Arne Piepke. And also for my project about the climate crisis  in Germany I want to continue working in the next months. So it goes on, I'm looking forward to it.

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