Borderlands - Photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer Between the Lines | DocFilm | DW | 26.06.2013
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Borderlands - Photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer Between the Lines

The photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer, who has won two World Press Awards, works at life’s extremes. Rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades are part and parcel of his daily routine.

As a young man, Kai Wiedenhöfer witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since then, he has been fascinated by borders, walls and fences. His mission is to find out what concrete barriers do to the people they separate.

In 2004, when Israel began building a security fence, Kai Wiedenhöfer was there with his camera. He has been following events in the Middle East for years, trying to describe the unimaginable in pictures. Visualizing the absurd: perhaps that is photography’s greatest gift.

26.06.2013 im focus borderlands 1

Kai Wiedenhöfer photographs border fences and concrete barriers.

Wiedenhöfer also seeks out motifs in Belfast, a city divided by sectarianism. Here, Protestants and Catholics live cheek by jowl, with meter-high “peace walls” separating their neighborhoods. It’s a simmering conflict that is constantly threatening to boil over again.

Whether it’s covering disputes at the Israeli security fence or sectarian tensions in Belfast, the 46-year-old’s job is always dangerous. Often, Kai Wiedenhöfer works alone, away from where we might typically find photojournalists. He hunts for images that do not belong to the daily repertoire of the mass media.

The documentary accompanies this courageous and passionate photographer as he goes about his work.


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