Scenes of protest

a photo gallery by Bartosz Ludwinski

Talking about a revolution (Issue II/2020)

  • Two men at a rave in Hamburg, 2019

    Two men at a rave in Hamburg, 2019

  • Protests against the G20 summit in Hamburg, 2017

    Protests against the G20 summit in Hamburg, 2017

  • A father drags his son across a sandy beach in St Peter-Ording, 2018

    A father drags his son across a sandy beach in St Peter-Ording, 2018

  • Paint bags colour a bus in the Bet El settlement in the West Bank, 2018

    Paint bags colour a bus in the Bet El settlement in the West Bank, 2018

  • Scene during the demonstrations against the G20 summit in Hamburg, 2017

    Scene during the demonstrations against the G20 summit in Hamburg, 2017

  • A Palestinian demonstrator after a clash with Israeli border troops, 2018

    A Palestinian demonstrator after a clash with Israeli border troops, 2018

  • An anti-AfD demonstration in Hamburg, 2020

    An anti-AfD demonstration in Hamburg, 2020

  • Polizisten während der G20-Proteste in Hamburg, 2017

    Polizisten während der G20-Proteste in Hamburg, 2017


Mr Ludwinski, your photographs document chaos, conflicts and people who resist. Why is this subject interesting for you?

Life is pure chaos, we are constantly in conflict: with other people, with ourselves, with our environment. I think everyone finds these topics exciting, they move us.

Some of your pictures show violent protests. How close do you dare to get to the events?

I'm as close as I have to be and as far away as I can be. Distance is on my mind. For me it is important to have a certain inner peace and to be focused without thinking a lot. Because that only hurts. At the G20 protests in Hamburg in 2017, I constantly followed those at the crux of the unrest. But many of my pictures were taken further away from the event, such as the photo of the demonstrator taking a selfie in front of the fire. I often find such scenes more exciting than snapped at the frontline.

Have you ever been in danger while taking photographs?

Every photograph I take has the potential to cause problems for me and others - either at the moment of taking it or later. In the case of the selfie picture, for example, there were problems. It was used on the front page of the ZEIT newspaper, the girl was recognised and had to explain herself. She said was then that she wanted to send the selfie to her mother to let her know that everything was okay.

Do you have a favourite subject?

It's hard to say. For me personally, the story I photographed in Palestine was new because I had never been there. But the G20 pictures were also important, because it was the first time that I consciously took documentary photos. 

Interview by Leonie Düngefeld

Translated by Jess Smee



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