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Berlininside cafébabelSecond Home

AND THE WINNER IS Jean-Paul Pastor Guzmán!

The jury met on No­vem­ber 28, 2013 in Berlin and after a long and thor­ough dis­cus­sion ac­com­pa­nied by mul­ti­ple cups of tea and cof­fee agreed on a ver­dict. The de­ci­sion was not easy as there were fifty-nine sub­mis­sions we had to an­a­lyze and dis­cuss. A huge thank you to all par­tic­i­pants!

The SEC­OND HOME pho­tog­ra­phy con­test award goes to Jean-Paul Pas­tor Guzmán for his con­tri­bu­tion en­ti­tled “Hello Cri­sis!

The sub­mit­ted se­quence con­sist­ing of five pho­tographs is a part of a larger work con­ducted as a BA diploma pro­ject in Com­mu­ni­ca­tion De­sign at the Uni­ver­sity of Ap­plied Sci­ences in Aachen, Ger­many. The se­ries por­trays young peo­ple from the south of Eu­rope who fac­ing the eco­nomic cri­sis in their home coun­tries de­cide to move to Berlin in search for a bet­ter fu­ture and a bet­ter life. The pho­tographs re­flect their at­tempts at mak­ing Berlin a sec­ond home and prove this process to be highly am­bigu­ous. In the five pho­tographs Guzmán man­ages to por­tray both: in­di­vid­u­als and their re­spec­tive cos­moses. Look­ing for a sec­ond home in a for­eign en­vi­ron­ment can be­come a great chance but it also is a dif­fi­cult chal­lenge which can lead to per­sonal dis­il­lu­sion­ments. It can also re­sult in dis­ap­point­ments with the EU which at times re­minds of an ex­hausted bal­loon that lost too much air.

The jury was con­vinced with the way the se­quence of por­traits and still life showed the ex­tra­or­di­nar­i­ness of the cir­cum­stances. It did so with ex­per­tise and emo­tional en­gage­ment. Clear and pre­cisely worked on in de­tail – the choice of tech­nique and com­po­si­tion con­tribute to telling the story of doubts and long­ing con­nected to the ex­pe­ri­ence of mi­gra­tion. “Hello Cri­sis!” is about prox­im­ity and re­mote­ness, af­fec­tion, needs and de­sires.  

Guzmán’s pho­tog­ra­phy shows not only the fragility of peo­ple but also and equally im­por­tantly, the fragility of the no­tion of home. A home can be eas­ily aban­doned but it is every­thing but easy to re­place it. A home once left is a place one can­not re­turn to or re­claim, as the per­cep­tion of it changes while being away.    

 “Hello Cri­sis!” will be ex­hib­ited in Berlin in Be­ta­Haus and Cen­tre Marc Bloch to­gether with pho­tos of seven other com­pe­ti­tion par­tic­i­pants cho­sen by the jury. The cho­sen sub­mis­sions are

Sleepy Life, Zwis­chen und in und doch nicht dort, I am my home, Home Is Where My Heart Is, Ticket to The Fu­ture, Of­froad Sprinter and Das Lager.

We thank every­one for par­tic­i­pat­ing and shar­ing their thoughts on the phe­nom­e­non of con­tem­po­rary eco­nomic mi­gra­tion among young peo­ple! We very much ap­pre­ci­ate your input to the dis­cus­sion and are very happy that the topic gained such a wide at­ten­tion in­ter­na­tion­ally.  

Read the interview with the winner here!