Another Obsession for Freedom.

2020/03/26 – First Lockdown at Munich Airport

It almost feels like yesterday when I was at the idyllic emptiness of the Wadden Sea on the North Sea with my companions at that time. In St. Peter Ording and on the island of Sylt, I strove for creative work for my first published photo book OBSESSION FOR FREEDOM almost 7 years ago. At the time, the origin of this compulsive “obsession for freedom” could be defined clearly. It was the advertising industry where I got caught up in superficial and soulless productions. I was only too happy to prostitute myself for a quick “thaler”.

The situation I was in at that time, the fact that there was a kind of lack of freedom in my life, was, however, absolutely self-determined – it was only up to me – and with this knowledge I decided to break out of captivity in order to take a new, self-determined path. Yes, that’s how it was back in days.

However, today there is a completely different and above all, for my generation that grew up in West Germany, an unprecedented call for freedom. A call that cannot be satisfied simply by self-determined action. This time, there are higher forces that… how should I put it, lets call it “robbing me”… of my freedom. The further development is still completely uncertain. The duration of the (even if introduced in small steps) insulation is still unpredictable. It is probably understandable that in such a situation people are also ruminate about the immediate future, or rather, which one of us is not ruminate yet?

What about in two weeks, one month, where will we be next year? Is everything going to be the way it was, is it getting better, or worse, or are we living in a completely different, new world? If so, what does that mean for me, for a photographer, for a traveler? What does it mean for someone whose greatest possession is the freedom to do what you want, when you want and above all – where you want…

Probably the most important tool of my locomotion, the airplane, unfortunately doesn’t seem to be a reliable partner these days. In search of a little bit of security, I glanced at Munich Airport, which inexpressibly showed me how big my restriction was. Where the paths and streets are characterized by stress and hectic all day long, where people rush from one gate to the next, a place where at any time you can buy almost everything you need, or even not… in exactly this place, there is suddenly a similar calm as I once found at the Wadden Sea. No sounds from cars, people or machines, just absolute silence. In a little moment, I thought I even heard a bird – fascinating – the place that I only remembered as a place of my personal freedom of movement now seems to be become a place of inspiration.

Even before I started my way home, I felt the need to put this calm and silence into words and photographs. To accept my resurrecting “obsession for freedom” and to give it a place in my everyday life, although hopefully only for a certain time. For the next days and weeks I have to try to integrate this “new” calm and silence, the inspiration or just the creation of anything, into my new everyday life … and even if it doesn’t turn into face value in the end , at the meantime I have at least my own personal occupational therapy.

No matter what the future holds on for all of us, in the end the only thing that should matter is that we can deal with it. Completely independent, whether with ourselves, with an activity, other people, new tasks or just with new perspectives. The main thing is: no standstill and always the freedom in focus of the horizon of all our efforts…. or is it just the desire of a lonely photographer trapped in his isolation?


Interview – Leica Blog about the Watthof Tagebuch
Der Lichtwald RGB