JURY'S CHOICE

 

Teshaieva Mila

Lives and works in Berlin

 

www.milateshaieva.com

 

 

 

InselWesen

 

In my project InselWesen I portrayed the North-­‐Frisian island Foehr as an imaginary world, where isolation of a place creates special connection of humans with their nature. I applied a photography style reminiscent of old painting to emphasize this mystical connection and coexistence of past and present in the daily lives of people on the island.

 

Once a lonely spot in the North Sea and a home for whale hunters the island Föhr is now trying to protect its unique identity from assimilation and disappearance. Representing one of the last remaining communities in Germany with its own language the people of Föhr are connected with the island to some almost mystical extent. These bonds have complex facets and nowadays islanders also find themselves in an invisible conflict between modernity and traditions.

 

Developing the work in course of two years of being in an art-­‐residence on the Island, I have engaged myself into intensive interaction with community of native islanders and was accepted to the closed circles of their life. I photographed people in the complete darkness in their usual living and working environment, and used a gentle hand-­‐light like a painting brush to reveal the picture. This distinctive technic allowed me to visualize the island on the border of fantasy, underlining, at the same time the fragility of its real essence.