Neuruppin . Berlin

With school class of refugees from Oberschulzentrum Ostprignitz-Ruppin
Ein junger Mann mit Sonnenbrille und Kamera
© Sebastian Wells
Junge Männer mit Workshopleiterin vor dem Education Gebäude
© Sebastian Wells

In summer 2019, a school class of refugees began a shared photographic journey between the metropolis of Berlin and the rural town of Neuruppin. In a three-day workshop, eleven students from the Oberschulzentrum Ostprignitz-Ruppin developed photographic series in which they juxtaposed their view of life in the rural region of Brandenburg and their impressions of a two-day visit to Berlin.

On the first day of the workshop at the school in Neuruppin, the young people were given a theoretical introduction to photography. Technical and design fundamentals were presented and developed in practical exercises. Next, the group discussed the topic of the countryside versus the city in order to identify joint and individual points of overlap, experiences, ideas, and worries occurring in both environments, which led to thoughts on different approaches and possibilities for individual interpretations. The students were assigned the task of independently preparing their own photo series on the topic of the countryside over the course of a week, in order to express their unique ways of seeing their current living environment.

© Iris Janke
Junger Mann fotografiert auf belebter Straße
© Sebastian Wells
Two weeks later, the students spent two days in Berlin, expanding and complementing their series by adding an urban dimension. The pulsating, urbane spaces in Berlin made a particularly sharp contrast to rural life and thus provided the perfect experiential space for the students to find links to the photo series that they had made in Brandenburg.

Sebastian Wells Sebastian Wells has been a member of the Ostkreuz agency since 2019. He was born in Königs Wusterhausen in 1996, lives in Berlin, and is at home in the world. His photographs are taken freely and on commission, and regularly appear in exhibitions and in magazines and newspapers such as Stern, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 11Freunde and Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

Iris Janke studied visual communication and fine art and works as a photographer. Her work has been shown around the world in numerous exhibitions and photography festivals. In 2011, she exhibited her work as part of C/O Berlin’s Talents series.