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EMOP Berlin 2020 : f³ – freiraum für fotografie : Blind Photographers


Blind photographers – that sounds like a paradox. Isn’t the act of taking a picture inevitably linked to seeing? The exhibition proves the opposite: In order to create visual art, one needs a strong inner vision, sophisticated technology and teamwork.

BLIND PHOTOGRAPHERS presents the work of four photo artists who have gone blind in the course of their lives. For many years they have been dealing with what is actually impossible for them: seeing. For their photographs they use the technique of light painting, which is almost as old as photography itself. In completely darkened rooms or at night, the photographers use different light sources and long exposure to work out the aspects of an image that they want to convey to their counterpart. They receive support from sighted assistants who arrange the motifs according to the photographers instructions and translate them verbally in detail, what they cannot perceive visually.

This collaboration gives the blind photographer a high degree of control over the resulting images. The concentrated examination of the medium leads to individual and unique visual language: Susanne Emmermann deals with the subject of hands in an abstract play of colors and shapes: “Hands transport feelings, like eyes. Hands give support. They stand for love and the presence of the other. But of course also for aggression, which is not the focus for me.” Mary Hartwig‘s expressionistic narrative forms take us into enchanted worlds that are reminiscent of the experiences of Alice in Wonderland. Silja Korn examines the expression of her own self in intoxicating colors. Finally, Gerald Pirner‘s intense black and white series focuses on the self- portrait and his contradicting relationship to light.


Susanne Emmermann (* 1959) is a photographer and reporter. As part of the project Blinde Reporter unterwegs, she visits exhibitions in Berlin and Brandenburg and interviews experts and visitors in order to get a comprehensive picture of the work.

Mary Hartwig (1950-2019) gradually went blind due to a genetic defect. From 2017 she devoted herself intensively to photography and participated in numerous exhibitions.

Silja Korn (* 1966) has been completely blind since she was 12. She has been working as a language teacher for 30 years and has been taking photos since 2004.

Gerald Pirner went blind in 1989. Since 2014 he has been working as a freelance essayist and photographer. He is a founding member of the Fotostudio für blinde Fotograf*innen in Berlin, which was awarded the jury prize of the 11th Wiesbadener Fototage in 2019 as an outstanding and forward- looking project.


Accompanying program:

OPENING: October 2, 2020, 7 p.m.

Greeting: Jürgen Dusel, The Federal Government Commissioner for Matters relating to Persons with Disabilities


For further information please visit


In cooperation with the Fotostudio für blinde Fotograf*innen.


f³ – freiraum für fotografie

Waldemarstraße 17 | 10179 Berlin Opening hours:

Entrance: 5 € | reduced 3 € | #fhochdrei #BlindeFotografInnen


The exhibition takes place as part of the

EMOP Berlin – European Month of Photography


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