In 2015 Europe was confronted with a massive refugee movement. When I saw the amount of people sleeping under a roof in the small Austrian bordertown of Nickeldsorf I knew that we were witnessing something that would change Austria and Europe in general.
Fluchtwege had two main aims: First, the individual photographs are focusing on often overlooked sides of the story e.g. infrastructure and helpers, on living conditions in asylum centers, on conditions upon arrival in Austria and on the way through the country. I tried not to replicate the mass media’s sensationalist and clichèd aesthetics, while at the same time I tried to understand and show what it means to arrive in a foreign country as a refugee in a rather chaotic mass movement.
The book, secondly, had the aim of creating an objective document of time, working with texts published in the Austrian media during these days, found footage from social media and short explanatory pieces of what is to see on the images. Additionally a few pieces were written for exactly the purpose of being put into the book by Austrian writers and journalists and one by myself. Taken together they fittingly describe the public discourse in Austria in autumn 2015 and was planned to serve as a time capsule during the events to come. I wanted to preserve the spirit of this autumn, i had the feeling that this would be an important book.
The book itself was quickly financed through a crowdfunding campain. All proceedings of the book go to charity, mainly Ute Bock. The layout was beautifully done by Michael Fetz of Lisa&Giorgio, the texts were generously granted for free. Fluchtwege was published on December 21st, 2015, shortly before the whole discussion took a sharp right turn. you can order the book at every bookstore ISBN: 978-3902976673, but you can also buy it directly with Ute Bock.