Documentary film preview – Blue Donkey & Red Elephant
Based on my multimedia-project Blue Donkey & Red Elephant I made a feature lengh documentary film in the context of my postgraduate studies at LCC, Univesity of the Arts, London.
The film explores the dichotomous political identities within American society and investigates the promoted and propagandised narratives of its division.
Direction, filming & editing: Jens Schwarz / D, USA, UK 2021 / color, b&w / 42 min
If you are interested, you can watch a full length preview of the film (42min), limited to four days, at the following link: https://vimeo.com/539801924 (accessable: 1 July 2021, 12:00 – 4 July 2021, 24h)
Jun 29, 2021
Photobook – Blue Donkey & Red Elephant in Reporters without Borders’ Fotos für die Pressefreiheit 2021
World Press Freedom Day: the German section of Reporters Without Borders releases its 2021 photobook ›Fotos für die Pressefreiheit‹ today.
I feel very much honored for my documentary project ›Blue Donkey & Red Elephant‹ on the manufacturing of a social division in the U.S. to be published in a 14-page feature in the book!
Congtaulations to the other seven great international photographers, of whom I’m proud to be among them: Violetta Savchits / Belarus, Lalo de Almeida / Brasil, Yasin Akgül / Turkey, Louisa Gouliamaki / Greece, Tim Franco / France, Ivor Prickett (Panos) / Ireland, Lindokuhle Sobekwa (Magnum) / South Africa
Curated and edited by Barbara Stauss and Miriam Zlobinski from Studio Stauss, Berlin. Thanks for the fantastic layout and insightful collaboration!
The accompanying artist-interview was conducted and transcribed by American journalist Emily Schultheis who is a fellow with the Institute of Current World Affairs in Berlin.
You can order the book and support the important work of Reporters without Borders here
May 03, 2021
Interview – Reporters Without Borders
Gemma Pörzgen, chair member of the German section of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) interviewed me about my experiences in the U.S. during my work stays for my multimedia project ›Blue Donkey & Red Elephant‹ in the context of the upcoming publication of their annual photobook ›Fotos für die Pressefreiheit 2021‹ in which the project will be featured (German language only).
May 3, 2021
Workshop – The Tirana-Project
I’ll be conducting a visual storytelling workshop and photographic mind-focussing retreat in Tirana, Albania from Sept. 14 – 21, 2021
Conceived and conducted to inspire your photojournalism & documentary photography practice in a project-related environment.
For everyone interested in diving into social transformation processes and producing meaningful work – combining photographic practice with research in a foreign territory.
Enrolled students will get 50% discount on tuition.
For details please click here.
Apr 14, 2021
Crowdfunding – Blue Donkey & Red Elephant in Reporters without Borders photobook
The German section of Reporters without Borders is running a crowdfunding campaign for their new photobook to be published on May 3, 2021 and – amongst six other international colleagues – also featuring my work ›Blue Donkey & Red Elephant‹ on the manufacturing of a political division in the U.S.
A short introduction to my project starts in the middle of the teaser-video at position 01:25;
Thanks to RSF board member Gemma Pörzgen!
Please support RSF & their important commitment!
Apr 1, 2021
New project – Baldur online release
My new collaborative documentary work ›Baldur‹ is online.
Following my previous work on migration and identity [›Displaced – Migration into Germany, 2015-2016‹], I decided to review this topic five years after the so-called refugee crisis in Europe and Germany.
Based on the question of how integration can take place and what role identity formation plays in this process, I focussed my attention once again on adolescence.
›Baldur‹ is a collaborative photographic documentary project with unaccompanied male under-age migrants and refugees living in a partially supervised housing project in Munich, and with the dedicated youth workers taking care of them.
The work comprises photography, visually appropriated documents, text and video.
Dec 17, 2020
Press – Süddeutsche Zeitung
Today’s issue of Süddeutsche Zeitung features an article about my multimedia project ›Blue Donkey & Red Elephant‹ and the current exhibition in Munich.
Thanks to editor Evelyn Vogel for her interest!
Oct 30, 2020
Takeover – University of the Arts, London
Sharing work from ›Blue Donkey & Red Elephant‹ at University of the Arts London - LCC MAPJD online’s Instagam during the next ten days
Oct 18, 2020
Exhibition – innstallation view
›Blue Donkey & Red Elephant‹ – Installation view from the current exhibition at Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations - Amerikahaus München, Oct 4, 2020 – Apr 30, 2021
Oct 9, 2020
TV feature – Bayerisches Fernsehen
A short TV news feature and interview on my project ›Blue Donkey & Red Elephant‹ is broadcasted in Bayerisches Fernsehen Rundschau.
Oct 4, 2020
Artist talk – Amerikahaus
›Blue Donkey & Red Elephant‹ – Artist talk with Dr. Meike Zwingenberger, Executive Director at Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations - Amerikahaus München, Karolinenplatz 3, 7pm
Photo by Sue Gröger
Oct 2, 2020
Exhibition – opening
›Blue Donkey & Red Elephant‹ – Exhibition opening tonight at Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations - Amerikahaus München
Doors open 6pm, welcome and introductory remarks at about 7pm; Open end.
Karolinenplatz 3, 80333 München
More than a year ahead of the Presidential Elections in the U.S., I started working on a multimedia documentary project about the dichotomy of political identities and increasing social divisions.
In consecutive work stays I have photographically followed activists, interest groups and citizens from both sides, also giving them a voice in over a dozen interviews, which are assembled, contrasted and balanced as video sequences along 22 episodes with still-photography in a new multimedia section of my website.
In this exploration, various lifestyles, social settings, perceptions and behaviors within the political spectrum of the U.S. are interconnected and juxtaposed in a complex narrative.
Using the foreground of the electoral cicus, my intention was to look at the sociological backgrounds and establish a deep and subtle audiovisual narrative in a comprehensive form.
The whole body of work comes as a result of open anthropological field research, and every viewer and recipient is called upon to form his or her own view in the end!
Oct 2, 2020
Radio interview – B2 kulturWelt
I had the chance and honor to be interviewed by precise and well informed journalist Knut Cordsen from Bayern2 Radio’s ›kulturWelt‹ program, on my new work ›Blue Donkey & Red Elephant‹.
Thanks for the knowledgeable questions!
German language only, 7:30min; Audio-play-button above the text!
Oct 1, 2020
Exhibition – install
›Blue Donkey & Red Elephant‹ – Exibition preparations and installation at Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations - Amerikahaus München.
Oct 1, 2020
Exhibition – install
A great thanks to a fantastic install-team: @janaislinger, @dianascheibe, @linda.no, @sniklerz, @fabianriedel_ from Dok12 – Kollektiv!
Oct 1, 2020
Edition – Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
The CAC features work from my ›Displaced‹ project in their annual benefit auction among other contributing artists, notably such renowned masters as Vhils, Claes Oldenburg, Zaha Hadid & many others, to whom I bow with respect and veneration!
Aug 12, 2020
Teaching – Munich University of Applied Sciences
During the summer semester I’ve been teaching photojournalism and documentary photography at Munich University of Applied Sciences / Faculty of Design. Together with my students we developed an online platform that went live today.
In this online forum and digital exhibition, all sixteen participants present the projects that were developed during the collaboration. The presentation and discourse format of the website is potentially designed as an expandable archive and open platform.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the entire course was taught online and all students, during the production of their projects, had to face distinct legal regulations and far-reaching restrictions. Therefore, my respect goes to all participants for their inventiveness, persistence and remarkable results!
July 27, 2020
Tearsheets – Themmuns in Stern magazine
Tonight at midnight the United Kingdom will leave the European Union.
As part of the UK, Northern Ireland will have to leave as well eventhough its local majority voted to remain…
One of the images from my ›Themmuns‹ body of work from NI is featured in this week’s issue of ›Stern‹ magazine, along with a satirical poem by Thomas Gsella:
›Gewonnen haben freche feiste Lügen
Von Johnson und Farage und einem Bus,
Der leuchtete vom Wirklichkeitsverbiegen
So schamrot, wie ein Lügner leuchten muss‹
Jan 31, 2020
Artist talk – laif agency biennial meeting
Along with other great speakers, tonight I was invited to talk about some of my personal projects and a process during a long journey within my photographic practice at the biennial meeting of laif photo agency in Cologne. Photo by Julia Knop
Dec 7, 2019
Exhibition – installation view
›Displaced‹ installation view, exhibition at Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Curated by Valentine Umansky
Sept 21, 2019
Exhibition – newsprint
Newsprint, 25,5x35cm, 32 pages
Exhibition – video
Video 5:38min, mixed audio sources
Exhibition – venue
›Displaced‹ at Contemporary Arts Center, Downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Building’s kinetic architecture by Zaha Hadid
Exhibition curated by Valentine Umansky
Sept 20 – Oct 27, 2019
Exhibition – artist talk
›Displaced‹, artist talk at Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Sept 21, 2019
Exhibition – opening
›Displaced‹ exhibition opening visitors leaving Contemporary Arts Center, Downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Sept 20, 2019
Exhibition – ›Displaced‹ opening at CAC Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
In his series ›Displaced‹, German visual artist Jens Schwarz explores the topic of migration during the so called ‚refugee crisis‘, a peak period in terms of numbers, in Germany between September 2015 and April 2016.
Schwarz‘ inquiry is devoted to displaced migrants, which he photographed upon their arrival, and records different stages of hope and despair throughout a journey towards an anticipated, improved future. The work also reflects on authorities‘ interventions, administrative responses and social interaction within our fragmented contemporary society.
The exhibition, held at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, is comprised of photographic prints, video and a newspaper publication, which includes prints and various texts collected from both media-sources and the artist‘s personal archives.
Opening, Sept 20, 2019, 7 pm
Contemporary Arts Center
Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art
44 E. 6th Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA
Sept 20 – 0ct 27, 2019
Exhibition – curation
Preparing my ›Displaced‹ exhibition with Valentine Umansky, curator of Lens-Based Arts at Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Thank you so much for your dedicated collaboration and for having me! Photo by Asa Featherstone
Sept 19, 2019
Exhibition – install
Best install-team ever! Thanks to Joe Civitello, Cecilia, Justin West, Asa and all others at Contemporary Arts Center for their super professional contribution to the exhibition set-up!
Opening tomorrow night at 7pm
Sept 19, 2019
Online feature – Themmuns on De Correspondent
A large set of images from my ›Temmuns‹ work featured in a current report covering the situation in Northern Ireland on De Correspondent, a wonderful and new online journalism platform for ›unbreaking news‹ based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Text by young Irish journalist Luke Sharkey, for now only in Dutch
July 26, 2019
Curating & Teaching – FOTODOKS Student Award
As a co-curator of this year’s edition of FOTODOKS - Festival für Dokumentarfotografie, I have co-initiated a Student-Award, addressed to the students of Munich University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Design, specializing in photography.
In the summer semester 2019, the participants were given the opportunity to work intensively on a project topic in the field of documentary photography in a teaching-cooperation with FOTODOKS – and submit their work into the Student-Award.
The winning work will be presented in October as part of FOTODOKS 2019.
The submissions of all participants of the cooperation are showcased at the Faculty’s annual exhibition at project room X 1.003, upper level.
Opening tonight, 18.7.2019, 19:00, Lothstraße 17, Zeughaus, 80335 Munich
Foto: © Johanna Weber from her winning work ›Schöne neue Welt‹
July 18, 2019
Finalist – Themmuns at Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards
Louise’s portrait from the Irish-Catholic Carrick Hill section of my ›Themmuns‹ work is among the finalists at Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards / Portrait Photography Prize and will be exhibited at Ilham Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from September 14 - 22, 2019.
June 15, 2019
Interview – Arsenali Fotografici, Verona, Italy
Simone Azzoni, the festival’s artistic director, leads an interview with me on my photographic work.
May 31, 2019
Panel discussion – Arsenali Fotografici, Verona, Italy
I was invited to a panel discussion with Simone Azzoni, Francesca Marra, Yvonne de Rosa, Arianna Novaga and others. Below: ›Themmuns‹ installation view
May 31, 2019
Artist talk – Themmuns at Fototreff Berlin BOOK SLOT [#28]
Tonight I’m invited to talk about my ›Themmuns‹ book project at Fototreff Berlin’s BOOK SLOT [#28] amongst other amazing photography enthusiats contributing to the evening in discussions and presentations.
If you’re interested, please join us 7pm at Prinzessinnenstrasse 16, 10969 Berlin, rear building 1st floor
Mar 30, 2019
Tearsheets – The New York Times
The New York Times features my portrait of Russian film critic Maya Turovskaya who recently passed away.
Rest in Peace, Maya!
Maya Turovskaya was once called “the Susan Sontag of Soviet aesthetic thought,” and also co-wrote a popular documentary in the 1960s that drew parallels between Stalin-era totalitarianism and Nazism.
Mar 27, 2019
On display – Themmuns at FORMAT International Photography Festival, Derby, UK
›Themmuns‹ is exhibited at the University of Derby festival venue from March 15 to April 14, 2019
I will be present during the opening weekend.
Mar 14, 2019
Top three finalist – Themmuns at Photobook Week Aarhus Dummy Award
Much obliged for being invited to Denmark 4-7 October this year!
Oct 4, 2018
Showcase – Themmuns at Les Rencontres de la photographie, Arles
›Themmuns‹ is presented at the screenings in Arles.
My gratitude to what music can amazingly add to the pictures! Music credited in the video.
Jul 6, 2018
Exhibition – Mleeta at Panama Plus curated by Der Greif
A large scale wall paper print from my work ›Mleeta‹ from South Lebanon’s Hezbollah theme park is showcased as an outdoor installation at Panama Plus 2017 - Festival for Arts and Social Impact, in Munich, curated by Der Greif.
Jun 26 – Jul 2, 2017
Monograph – Displaced booklet (2016)
A selection from my ›Displaced‹ work is compiled as a photo-essay in a small booklet and now published with 100FOR10.
During a peak period of migrant streams towards central Europe in late 2015 and early 2016 I photographed aspects of the situation at German border crossings, train stations, emergency shelters and refugee camps.
My respect and gratitude to all the human beings I had the chance to get in touch with and photograph on their exhausting and burdensome journey to an aspired better living!
Jun 14, 2016
Monograph – Beirut Eight Thirteen published with book with a beard
Softcover 23,5x31cm, 83 photos, 92 pages
Words by Charbel Haber and Krystel Khoury
book with a beard press info:
Over a period of five years, Jens Schwarz had noumerous chances to visit Beirut and follow tense but exciting everyday life of several people. His observations of street live, reportages of political events, portraits and interviews with people that became friends, and further texts by Krystel Khoury and Charbel Haber allow us an unusual and intense insight about life in the beautiful, tender but rather unstable and rough capital of Lebanon.
For everyone who always wanted to visit Beirut, those who did and miss it, and those who never thought about Beirut but with a favor for good photography in an appropriate comprehensive form.
May 30, 2014