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Photographer Martin Blume on his project "Auschwitz today" |

Photographer Martin Blume on his project "Auschwitz today"

von: Uwe H. Martin

Since 2009 Martin Blume has been working on a photographic series on the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp to keep the memory of the Shoa, the Porajmos and other genocides committed by the Nazis alive for future generations. In this film he speaks about his approach and motivation, and how working on site has influenced him as an artist and a human being.


Martin Blume is one of the last great masters of large-size black-and-white photography. The works of the 57-year-old German can be found in important collections on both sides of the Atlantic and have been extensively published through books and exhibitions. Besides photography, Blume studied psychology, an aspect that has been informing his work to this day. While his work includes landscape and architecture photography, he prefers to see himself as an “archaeologist” – someone who is constantly looking for traces of human nature. For more than twenty years, Blume, whose photographs unfurl like stories or novels, has also been trying to unearth human traces in places linked to the Holocaust; his photographic book on the Struthof Concentration Camp in Alsace, for instance, took ten years to complete. In this series of works, Blume, otherwise known to be a perfectionist aiming for absolute clarity, roughens up the disturbing images of the ruins of the former concentration camp with blurs that appear at the time of the recording. With great psychological acumen he thus opens up new perspectives, while steering clear of stifling symbolism. His images remain accessible, encouraging viewers to think and feel, and thus undermining their well-entrenched reflex to avert the gaze. Asked about what drives him, Blume says: “The unspeakable, the unnameable must be expressed. In this process, preserving and transforming go hand in hand. My slightly abstract photographic interpretation of the subject lets each and every one find their own inner language – and therefore feel. Blurring allows spectators to project their own feelings onto the image and discourages them from looking away and pushing the subject to the back of their mind.”

Mehr Informationen

  • Kamera: Frauke Huber, Poul Madsen

  • Schnitt: Frauke Huber, Henrik Kastenskov, Poul Madsen, Uwe H. Martin

  • Redaktion: Hanna Huhtasaari

  • Sound: Poul Madsen, Frauke Huber

  • Übersetzung: Boris Kremer

  • Tonmischung und Musik: Claus Haargaard

  • Produktion: 20.01.2015

  • Spieldauer: 7 Min.

  • hrsg. von: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung

  • Verfügbar bis: 31.12.2035