The Leica Interview – HOPE by Alexander von Wiedenbeck.

Many photographers around the globe aspire to have an impact not only in the artistic world, but leave a mark of goodness in mankind. Alexander von Wiedenbeck, born in the province in South-Eastern Bavaria near the Austrian border, is among those who have experienced the live of a renowned advertising photographer and is now using his own art to follow a more socially responsible career and impact lives in a positive manner. One where his main objective is to give “Hope”.

His most recent project is an ambitious and touching project about children who live in cleared-out graves in the cemeteries and mausoleums of some areas in the Philippines. Not surprisingly, von Wiedenbeck’s reaction to this situation was of eagerness to help. The most important question that came to him was how to help these kids through his photography. Undoubtedly, this collection of images tell a compelling and profound story about the dreams, faith and hope of these children. All images were proudly taken with a Leica Monochrom and the 50mm Summilux lens.

He narrates part of this experience:
“They live in 2x2m wooden shacks in dumps in the midst of foul odor, rubbish, rats and biomedical waste. Yet despite these appalling and scarcely imaginable circumstances, these children were so warm and open, so hopeful about a better life, that it can hardly be put into words. The hope and faith of these children are much greater than the world in which they live.

On the other hand, we also visited projects where the action group has been involved for more than 30 years. It was fascinating for me to see that something has in fact changed there. Schools and hospitals have arisen, and agriculture is promoted and made more effective. Many lawyers, teachers and doctors have graduated from the schools, and they in turn have committed themselves to the region today. With all the skepticism that prevails nowadays regarding aid organizations, it was great to see that here helping people to help themselves actually works.”

Now, Alexander embarks into yet another adventure, searching for a meaningful and lasting way to impact the lives of these children. His Kickstarter campaign titled “HOPE” is aiming to raise enough funds to make a touring exhibition and an accompanying catalogue to show not only the conditions under which these children live, but more importantly, their “unshakable faith and their hope for a better life.”

>>> The full interview exclusive here at the Leica Camera Blog.

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