Frank Rothe

Running Through The Wind – Frank Rothe – Artist Statement

“As a twelve year old boy, I was put on a list for a summer camp in the Soviet Union. Only the best of the former Pioneer Organisation in the GDR were on that list. I was quite surprised about that. To make it short I was soon deleted from the list. Some of my classmates went to the camp, called Artek on the Crimean peninsula, which today belongs to the Ukraine. After their vacation and return to school, all of them spoke very good Russian, because they had spent their time with other Pioneers from all over the Eastern Block and their main language was Russian.
Seven years later at the age of 19 I travelled around the world, starting in Africa and ending up in China, it was not planned, but I had no other choice. With the remaining money I bought a ticket on a ferry boat from Hong Kong to China and a train ticket from Beijing to Moscow. It was in 1991.
I never wanted to go to Russia, because of the pressure we had at school to learn Russian, often against our will. But in 1991 China, I was quite happy to hold a cheap train ticket back home to Europe via Moscow. When I arrived in Moscow there was a Revolution going on, tanks were on the streets and there was shooting at the White House. In the evening everything was quiet and the Russians demolished the statue of the KGB founder Felix Dzerzhinsky on Ljubjanka in the centre of Moscow. I watched it and had the feeling that Russia could be a place to return. I went home studied Russian and since then have been back many times.
In 2004, I planned my project “Running Through The Wind”. After all the changes in the Eastern Block, I was very interested to get to know the younger generation of the Former Soviet Union. Therefore I chose the Artek summer camp, the place whose list I was on as a boy. I got the information that the camp still exists and that it’s as big as a small city and still today thousands of youngsters spend their summer vacation there. Today parents have to pay for the vacation and there is no list for the good ones anymore.
I went there and found what I was looking for: the new generation of the East – I photographed them as they were, with no flash, no tripod, only using natural light at day and night time. What I found out during my interviews on a video camcorder was that the young generation has not changed much, except they don’t talk about politics anymore, because they don’t need to. But what makes them different from the youngsters in the West is that time is not money. So everything goes slower, people talk to each other and sleep in the same rooms. For me as a photographer it was a journey back in time. I travelled back into a period of my life, which does not exist anymore. This generation belonging to neither West nor East I call “Running Through The Wind”, because there is nothing to give them a direction for their future, except washing their hands before they go to eat or having to sleep between 2 and 4 pm. During the period I stayed with all those kids and teenagers I rediscovered some big and small pieces of my childhood. Today as an adult and as a somehow quite experienced photographer, I have captured those moments on film and produced what I was looking for for a long time - my personal masterpiece.”

 

Als zwölfjähriger Junge wurde ich auf die Teilnehmerliste für ein sowjetisches Ferienlager gesetzt. Nur die Besten der früheren Pionierorganisation der DDR kamen auf diese Liste. Ich war ziemlich überrascht, dass man mich ausgewählt hatte. Um es kurz zu machen, mein Name wurde schnell wieder gestrichen. Einige meiner Klassenkameraden fuhren in das Pionierlager „Artek“ auf der Insel Krim, die heute zur Ukraine gehört. Als sie von dieser Reise zurückkehrten, sprachen sie sehr gut Russisch, da sie ihre Zeit mit anderen Pionieren aus verschiedenen Ländern des Ostblocks verbracht hatten, deren gemeinsame Sprache Russisch war.
Sieben Jahre später, im Alter von 19 Jahren, reiste ich um die Welt. Ich startete in Afrika und irgendwann später verschlug es mich nach China. Das war so nicht geplant. Mein Geld war so gut wie aufgebraucht. Es reichte gerade noch für eine Zugfahrkarte von Peking nach Moskau. Das war 1991.
Ich wollte eigentlich nie nach Russland, allein schon wegen des Drucks, mit dem wir in der Schule gegen unseren Willen Russisch lernen mussten. Damals 1991, war ich glücklich über mein günstiges Zugticket nach Hause. Bei meinem letzten Zwischenstopp in Moskau, geriet ich in eine kleinere Revolution. Panzer fuhren auf den Straßen und das Weiße Haus wurde beschossen. Am Abend war alles wieder ruhig, die Russen zerstörten nur noch schnell die Statue des KGB-Gründers Felix Dscherschinski auf der Ljubljanka. Ich beobachtete das alles und entschied, dass Russland weitere Reisen wert ist. Für meine letzten 15 Dollar kaufe ich auf dem Schwarzmarkt eine Fahrkarte nach Berlin. Dort studierte ich dann Russisch. Seitdem war ich viele Male im ehemaligen Ostblock unterwegs.

2004 plante ich mein Projekt „Running Through The Wind“. Nach all den politischen und gesellschaftlichen Veränderungen der letzten 15 Jahre wollte ich gern die jüngere Generation der früheren Sowjetunion kennenlernen. Dafür wählte ich das Ferienlager „Artek“ aus. Es existiert noch immer. Noch heute verbringen jeden Sommer Tausende Kinder und Jugendliche ihre Ferien dort. Die Eltern zahlen mittlerweile für den Aufenthalt und die Liste für die Besten existierte nicht mehr.
Ich fuhr hin. In Artek fand ich genau das, wonach ich suchte. Die neue Generation des Ostens: Ich fotografierte sie direkt, ohne Blitz und ohne Stativ. Ich verwendete nur natürliches Licht. Durch Interviews mit einer Videokamera stellte sich heraus, dass sich diese junge Generation nicht sehr verändert hat, sie spricht nur nicht mehr über Politik, denn das ist nicht nötig oder interessiert sie nicht. Die meisten Kinder und Jugendlichen unterscheiden sich von der jüngeren Generation im Westen dadurch, dass sie über immens viel Zeit verfügen. Alles läuft etwas langsamer und den größten Teil des Tages verbringt man gemeinsam.
Für mich als Fotograf war es eine Reise in die Vergangenheit. Ich stieß auf Fragmente meiner Vergangenheit, die es dort wo ich lebe, nicht mehr gibt. Diese Generation – weder Ost noch West – nenne ich „Running Through The Wind”, da sie sich auf einer schwierigen Suche nach ihrer Zukunft befindet. Die Eltern können ihnen kaum dabei helfen, das sie sich neu orientieren müssen. Als Fotograf konzentrierte ich mich vor allem auf die Gefühle dieser Generation – Glück, Melancholie, Einsamkeit, Sehnsucht und Liebe. Mit der Arbeit „Running Through The Wind“ ist mir mein kleines persönliches Meisterwerk geglückt.

Frank Rothe

video

  • strict warning: Declaration of rules_data_type_string::get_default_input_form() should be compatible with rules_data_type::get_default_input_form($variable_info, $value, &$form_state) in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/rules/rules/modules/rules.rules.inc on line 73.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_node_status::operator_form() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::operator_form(&$form, &$form_state) in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_filter_node_status.inc on line 14.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load_views() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 800.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::db_objects() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/includes/view.inc on line 1357.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /www/htdocs/w00efde6/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
00:00
00:00