Baldur

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.

The title refers to the god in Nordic mythology associated with light, beauty, love and happiness. It also happens to be the name of the street, where the housing project is located.

Over a period of six months I was given the opportunity to follow some aspects of the protagonist’s daily life within the facility and observe the complex interactions of youth welfare, legal affairs, personal commitment and individual fate, in an attempt to enable, manage and advocate for the socially desired aim of successful integration.

All participants were offered the opportunity to voluntarily collaborate in the project on the basis of fully informed consent and with sets of the evolving images commonly accessible by the whole group and at their personal disposal.

Beyond just portraying individual ›migrant stories‹, the project rather seeks to explore questions on identity, both in terms of coming-of-age and juxtaposition of cultures. Of course, not at all neglecting the individual’s traumas, worries, fears and hopes, but embracing them in a holistic approach and trying to avoid stereotyping photographic revictimisation of human beings – in this case adolescents and young men – on their long way to what they have chosen for a better future…

For more context and background information, please also see the video-interview in the upper section of the youth-work-&-common-affairs-chapter

This project was made possible through the participation of the young refugees and the collaboration with the entire team of BMF-Jugendhilfe, Munich and. Thank you!
Finalized and published in December 2020.

Names were changed where requested by the protagonists.

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