2017 Nikon-NOOR Masterclass Germany

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Between 7 and 10 March 2017, the Nikon-NOOR Workshop took place at C/O Berlin in Germany. This workshop is part of the Nikon-NOOR Academy 2017, also organized in Amsterdam, Paris & Manchester. Fifteen young photographers and photojournalists from Germany came together for an inspiring four days of learning and sharing with NOOR photographers Yuri Kozyrev, Bénédicte Kurzen & Kadir van Lohuizen and NOOR team represented by Asmara Pelupessy and Anastasia Muratova.

During the four intensive days, the group reviewed and shared their portfolios, listened to presentations by the photographers, held in-depth discussions on practical and creative issues, and edited their visual stories. Below you will find a showcase of the participants’ work.

Ever wondered what it’s like to participate in the Nikon-NOOR Academy? Watch video from workshop in Berlin

The masterclass has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Nikon Europe.


Astrid Dill


null and void

On August 21st, 2014, Uganda’s constitutional court overturned the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was signed the same year, on February 24th, on a technicality. It criminalized consensual and repeated same sex relations, punishable by life in prison. African political and religious leaders erect the widespread belief that homosexuality is un-African and against the order of nature. The impact was wide-reaching and the ensuing fear pervasive. Even though Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act was scrapped in August 2014, the homophobic ideology of the society, politicians and religious leaders remains. Uganda plans to introduce a new Anti-gay law that will withstand any legal challenge.

The work null and void follows up the Ugandan LGBTI community, to show their personal struggle and the impact and aftermath of the anti-gay law on every aspect of their life. In particular, it focuses on the invisible realities, the emotional experience of the situation and the sense of isolation.

Astrid Dill

Astrid Dill is a documentary photographer, currently based in Berlin. After a training as a photographer, she completed her studies in Photodesign at Munich University of Applied Sciences and started freelancing in 2010. In 2013 Astrid was selected for Noorderlicht Photography Masterclass. Her work deals mostly with subjects and issues that involve the society and human relationships, focused on marginalized groups.

This includes the work “I’m still with you”, about the Memory Books in Uganda. Since 2010, she has been documenting the influence of breakdance and Hip Hop for socially disadvantaged young people in Uganda. In 2011, she captured individual stories of immigration on behalf of the Goethe Institut. In March 2014 Astrid started ongoing longterm project “Null and Void”, documenting the impact of Ugandas Anti-Homosexuality Law.

She has been working for clients such as WWF Germany, Médecins du Monde, UNICEF and Goethe Institut. Her work has been published in different media like Nido, missio magazin, emotion, GEOlino and stern.de.


Daniela Koening


Emile Ducke



There is a lack of doctors in the Russian backcountry and a part of the residents does not have regular access to medical treatment. Five medical trains of the Russian federal railways provide basic medical service. The medical train “Saint Lukas” supplies remote areas in the Siberian Region of Krasnoyarsk, which in size is six times larger than Germany. Equipped with a laboratory for blood tests, sonography, EEG, ECG, and x-ray devices seventeen doctors and their assistants examine about 15000 patients per year. The medical treatment on the train is free of charge. Medical specialists make diagnoses and prescribe medication. Once a year the medical train passes one of the stations on the defined route.

Emile Ducke

Emile Ducke was born in 1994 in Munich, Germany. Since 2013 he studies Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover, Germany. In 2016 he spent his semester abroad at the Faculty of Journalism at Tomsk State University, Siberia.


Emine Ekbaba


precious blossom

“Precious blossom” is a story about the increasing violence against women in Turkey: both in number and brutality.

The project confronts the murder of women in Turkey who revolt against abuse and push for independence. Most women were killed by their husband or boyfriend because they requested a divorce or separation from their partners. Others were killed because they did not reply to their confession of love. Women are being killed by beating, beheading, burning alive, shooting into the heart or head with a shotgun, stab- bing up to 25 times or slitting their throat in the middle of the street when children passing by. It should be noted that the women not only were murdered, but their bodies were mutilated before and after their deaths. These brutal deaths occur in broad daylight on the street in front of everyone and at home while their three year old child is playing in the living room. The Umut (Hope Foundation) has stated in a new report that the trend has been increasing from year after year. According to a women’s rights activist organization, 1,638 women were murdered between 2010-2016.

Emine Ekbaba

Emine Akbaba (b. 1987) is an Turkish-German documentary photographer. Her works are related to women‘s rights, gender equality and the freedom of speech, especially in the Middle East, which is her cultural heritage. Therefore, she is continually anxious to act as an interpreter for these women who cannot speak for themselves. In her freelance assignments, Emine works with local and international NGO, non-profit organisations, Newspapers and Magazine. Her photographic works are long-term projects.


Arne Piepke and Ingmar Björn Nolting


Water without salt

Te Kura is the longest river of the Caucasus region. It rises in Turkey, crosses Georgia and Azerbaijan and drains into the Caspian Sea. In Georgia the river is called "Mtkwari", which can be translated as "water without salt". Our project gives an insight into the Georgian culture, the environment and our personal encounters with the people who live close to the river, to tell about their personal stories.

Arne Piepke and Ingmar Björn Nolting

Arne Piepke (1991) studies photography at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund, Germany focussing on documentary photography. He deals with diferent aspects of home and his personal relation to it. Recently he worked on social-documentaries in Georgia and Kosovo. He took part in group exhibitions in Dortmund and two of his photobook-dummies were shown at the Frankfurt book fair in 2015 and at the Miss Read 2016 in Berlin. In December 2016 he took part at the portfoliowalk of the DFA (Deutsche Fotografsche Akademie) in Augsburg. Ingmar Björn Nolting (1995) studies photography at the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Germany. His work focuses on long-term documentary projects and portraits. With one of his projects he was one of the awardees of 2016 “German Youth Photo Award”. Ingmar's work was also chosen for 2016 “Portfoliowalk” at Deichtorhallen, Hamburg and also for the "Portfoliowalk" at H2 Center for Contemporary Art, Augsburg. His photographs were presented at several exhibitions and he held a scholarship granted by the German Ministry for Education and Research BMBF.


Jonas Kako


Stuck in the past

Just a half an hour’s drive outside of Johannesburg sits the small, quiet village of Kleinfontein. In some ways it’s a place little different from other rural South African communities: vast open space is in abundance, everyone knows each other’s business, there’s a sense of community spirit that runs through the streets. But look a little closer at this village of 1200 people, and there’s something disconcertingly different about this small pocket in the heart of the Rainbow Nation: every one of the villagers is white. In the secluded village of Kleinfontein residents refuse to accept the diversity of South Africa as the modern Rainbow Nation, instead living a life of segregation and racism, as they long to return to their Apartheid past.

Jonas Kako

Jonas Kako, born 1992 in Kappeln, Germany. After traveling for some months, internships he began studying photojournalism and documentary photography at the University of applied Science and Arts Hannover.


Lena Mucha


In Armenia and Karabakh, female cadets challenge stereotypes

Since the frozen war between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted again in April 2016, more and more young girls are joining the army. But in Armenia and Karabakh, societies that often confine them to traditional gender roles, its only the second year that they are allowed to become combatants.

The young women are a first in conservative Armenia. But faced with a declining population, the government has decided to admit women into the army.

Despite objections against the girls active role in the military, they shrug off the criticisms and are sure that one day they will serve on the frontline.

Lena Mucha

Lena Mucha (b. 1983, Germany), is a freelance photographer based in Berlin. In 2011 she graduated with a Master of Arts in Social Anthropology and Political Sciences from the University of Cologne, Germany.

Lena had lived several years in Latinamerica and Spain, working on research projects about gender violence and civil resistance for NGOs such as Doctors without Borders. She has been awarded with different international prices as the Photo Annual Awards 2015, the Reporters in the Field Scholarship as well as a scholarship for Magnum photographer Patrick Zachmanns workshop and David Alan Harveys workshop in New York in 2016. With her work about young female cadets in Armenia and Karabakh she has been nominated for the Unicef Photo of the Year Award 2016.

Lenas work has been exhibited and published internationally (Spiegel, Washington Post, GEO, Stern, BURN Magazine, VICE Colombia, Leica Magazine, Huffington Post, El Pais, Nido Stern, 6mois, Lensculture).


Lisa Hermes


Living Utopia

"Living Utopia" is an ongoing project about people who decided to live outside the system and/or society. At the first glimpse the idea of a self-sufficient life sounds quite romantic - but what's behind this idea? Is it a new way of living or just a repetition of the existing social structures with its problems but only in a smaller extent?What difficulties do the people face and what are their living conditions like?

Kadi and Korbi are living a self-sufficient live in Romania since three years. For them, the birth of their son Lean was the decisive impulse to realize their dream of dropping out of the system. For both of them, it quickly became clear, that a self - determined life with a child in Germany is not possible. "Many rules in Germany contradict the self-sufficiency idea - the insurance-obligation for example commits someone to have a high income."

Lisa Hermes

Lisa Hermes is a freelance documentary photographer based in Berlin (Germany). She studied photography at the University of applied Sciences in Bielefeld. Her work is mostly telling intimate and personal stories which carry political subtexts. At the moment she is working on various free projects.


Lukas Schulze


Natalya Reznik



"It is a project in progress about my grandmother. I’ve been working on it about 8 years. Her name is Nadezda Pavlovna, she is 92 and she lives in Perm, Russia with my mom. She has desire to love and to be loved – and at the same time she feels being unworthy of it. She thinks that people have the laugh of her, because of her weakness (doesn’t hear properly, almost blind). Sometimes she tells that she hates herself. But she still has a hope that everything will be fine again".

Natalya Reznik

Natalya Reznik was born in Perm (Russia). She studied design, then took part in several workshops organised by Fotodepartament in St-Petersburg (Fotodepartament), by Objective Reality Foundation, by Ostkreuz Agency (Berlin). In her projects she reflects political and social issues of Soviet and Post-soviet Russia (emigration, problems of elderly people, politics of Russia in the Soviet time). Her works were exhibited widely including International Photography Festival "Encontros da Imagem” (Braga, Portugal), International Photofestival FestFoto (Porto Alegre, Brazil), PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art (Perm, Russia), Metenkov's House Museum of Photography (Ekaterinburg, Russia), International Photography Festival "Warsaw Photo Days" (Warsaw, Poland), Ural Branch of the National Centre for contemporary arts (Ekaterinburg, Russia) etc. Reznik's first photo book "Secrets" (2014) was selected for several international festivals and photo book shows. Her second photo book “Looking for my father” was self-published in 2016. Now she is working on her third book about her grandmother “Aging”.


Ksenia Les


The chosen family

I depict a story of the Russian family Morozovy from Kaliningrad who adopted 13 children (also brothers and sisters) starting from 2009 after their own children became grownups and left the house. The family receives 8000 rubles subsidy for a child per month (around 100 euros) and is allowed to live in a former kindergarten. The couple (Larisa and Sergey, former construction store chain manager and her employee), lives on the poverty line and thus experiences problems with educating the adopted children. Order and house rules are enforced by strong authoritative methods. Nevertheless, all children call Larisa and Sergey „mom“and „dad“ and enjoy a life without existential fears. Only a few families in Russia adopt children due to possible prejudices of society and the fear of raising traumatized children. Children who grow up in orphanages are often not given adequate psychological and physical care. Former orphans in Russia are often stereotyped as alcoholics, criminals or too stupid to work.


Paul Lovis Wagner


State of Exception

In July 2017 more than 13000 police forces will come to Hamburg from all over Germany. The summit of the 20 biggest world economies will take place in the town hall and the exhibition halls. Trump, Erdoğan and Putin are among the attending G20 presidents. The politicians will be secured in an architecture of power. Police is gearing up and lately bought new tanks and machine guns. Paul Lovis Wagner visually investigates the state of exception as governance strategy. He visits key places of the summits and their preparation. In times of growing detachment between the rulers and the ruled, his focus lies on the representations of (in-)security and power.

Paul Lovis Wagner

Paul Lovis Wagner, 25, studied Journalism, Photography and Political Science at Sciences Po Paris, EGE Rabat, FH Hanover and FU Berlin. His work is driven by curiosity and the will to change something for the better. Being trapped in contradictions he reports about migration, social movements and politics. He is part of the jib-collective.


Sebastian Wells



Olympic Games are a world of perfect staging of big heros, nations and powerful people. A world apart, which won´t work without the images of countless media. The always-the-same depiction of spectacle produces new icons steadily. In my series, I try to stand back of that spectacle and take a look behind the scenes by separating myself from the "official" pictures, which normally show the newsworthy stories.

All images of this series were created in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during the Olympic Summer Games 2016 from August 5 to August 21 in its venues.

Sebastian Wells

Sebastian Wells, 20, lives in Berlin. He studies photography at Ostkreuzschule photography and works for newspapers and magazines in Berlin and Germany. Sebastian already received several awards for his work on sports.


Sebi Berens


Being Ultra

A loud voice in my back screamed in a nearly crying tone: “messiah“. I turned around and in front of me a men with closed eyes, covered with a prayer shawl and holding a bundle of a palm, a lemon and a branch in his hands. This scene not out of a freaky movie, it was at the Western Wall in Jerusalem during Sukkoth, an intimate moment, a special tradition.

Nearly 250.000 Haredim live in Jerusalem, the number of children per women is up to 6.2 and the tradition and believes are more stricter than elsewhere. Who ever visit neighbourhoods like Meah Shearim, right next to the modern and western city life of new Jerusalem, feels in a world far away from ours. Century old buildings and black dressed men uniformed with hats and suits flit around the streets deeply in thoughts about the upcoming holy holiday. In total there are 14 different holidays, all are important for the Jewish tradition and all have different practices.

Regarding the specific lifestyle of Ultra Orthodox Haredim, focusing their life on learning the Torah, the exemption causes huge controversy about the equal responsibilities from the citizens of Israel to the democratic state. Weekly Haredim get confronted with the security forces e.g. during the conviction of deserters.

My series „being ultra“ tries to gives a small insight in a few of these holidays and the sub cosmos, the Haredim live in and the problems they have with the government.

Sebi Berens

Now student of photojournalism and documentary photography in Hanover, Germany I do live in up north of Germany in a small town called Bremen. Before and during my time as a photography student I spent so far in total almost two years in Israel and Palestine, getting in touch with the vibe of a country, that carries the mother of all current conflicts. My main project is to create my own visual language, so that I feel expressed and understood through my viewer eyes regarding the sincereness of my message. For my future I want to focus on news photography and long-term projects about social issues in different countries.