This blog is a work in progress. »You and Me« is a project by Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber supported by the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, the Goethe Institute Chicago and the Goethe Institute Sarajevo. It will be exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago from Jan 26 – Mar 22, 2015.
»You and Me« was the name of a restaurant in Bowling Green run by Indira Ibrahimovic and her family. During the war in Bosnia she came to Düsseldorf – where we met – and moved to the United States in 1999 (because the German Goverment descided that most of the bosnian refugees had to go back to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In February 2014 we travelled through Bosnia – to Sarajevo, Tuzla and Zvornik. Zvornik is the village Indira came from. We photographed in Düsseldorf; portraits, streets, landscape. In July/August 2014 we went all the way down from Chicago to St. Petersburg, where we – after some research in the Internet and through faecebook – at the end found out that that’s the place she’s living now. We went through St. Louis (with the biggest Bosnian community in the US) and Bowling Green (where the family lived for some time. We also visited Nashville, Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta and Ocala – following some movies, music, literature and photography.
During working on a project like this for more than a year, dealing with it, doing some research about the war in Bosnia the way you look slightly changes. The ideas, the photographs you already took are always in your mind. You percive differently what happens around you, what you see, what you pick to read, even which movies you watch or which music you listen to – we even ate different food; you find similar ideas everywhere. Topics like refugees, homes, home and homelessness, human rights, protest, the civil rights momevent, the health system, economy and financial crisis come up while travelling.
In this blog we publish photographs taken in Bosnia, the United States and in Düsseldorf/Germany. We use this blog to juxtapose our own images, to work on the editing and still the appearance of the photographs. They are unedited, just in a chronological order. Not all of the will be published or exhibited. (We publish another blog with some reseach-material important for this project; information about books, movies, music. Please check out: faxfromthelibrary.boehmkobayashi.de – There are also some songs which became important during wrking on theis project. Some of them are in a Youtube-playlist: www.youtube.com/playlist)
Starting from Indira’s story we continue our research, complete our memories, expand our imagination and associations. Our artistic practise always goes far beyond (historical) research or pure documenting photography. A personal perspective on historic or today’s facts, memories from different angles, personal opinions or focus are always included in artistic images or texts.
On the occasion of the exhibtion, we will produce the »You and Me« publications in an edition of #10 copies.
Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber
You and Me
24 x 31 cm, 458 pages, with 115 black/white images, 235 colour
22+5 saddle-stitched booklets in a box
Language(s): Bosnian, French, German, English
Spector Books, Leipzig May, 2017
#1 Sinoc ja i moja kona (12 pages)
#2 Leaving (20 pages)
#3 Play a part in history (16 pages)
#4 I forgot to remember to forget (12 pages)
#5 Sleeper in Metropolis (20 pages)
#6 Imagine there’s no countries (12 pages)
#7 War – what is it good for (16 pages)
#8 A state of crisis (12 pages)
#9 Women like this (20 pages)
#10 I am coming here to stay (16 pages)
#11 Searching for Indira (16 pages)
#12 Wonder where we land (12 pages)
#13 Come to a promised land (20 pages)
#14 Three rivers (12 pages)
#15 This land is made for you and me (20 pages)
#16 The streets (16 pages)
#17 Bad religion (16 pages)
#18 Mystery train (16 pages)
#19 I have a dream (16 pages)
#20 Do the right thing (12 pages)
#21 There is no home for you here (16 pages)
#22 Finding and Leaving again (16 pages)
Research #1 Mo man’s land
Research #2 Regarding the pain of others
Research #3 The family of man
Research #4 Where are we
Research #5 This land is made for you and me