Fragile as Glass: LGBTQ+ people in the Russian invasion against Ukraine

“Fragile as glass” is a long-term photographic essay following the fates of different queer realities in Ukraine.

In my photos I show not only the challenges of young people, but also the empowering moments. From everyday life in a country at war, birthday celebrations in the West to the realities of life for family members near the front in the south of the country. The work aims to not only show the typical photos that dominate during war-times.

The photographs will be on display in HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts in Dresden, from March 18th to May 7th.

Soon more..

When water becomes a weapon.

When water becomes a weapon.

For Greenpeace Magazin - Written by Bartholomäus Laffert.

Northern Syria is withering. Global warming is hitting the region very hardly, at the same time Turkey is cutting off the flow of the Euphrates River, the country's lifeline. Climate change and conflict form a dual crisis of the kind that could affect millions of people worldwide.

Hassakeh It's been four years since the fresh water disappeared from Hassakeh. Since then, oil tankers and fire trucks have been turned into water trucks, and now set out every morning at sunrise to boreholes outside the city to fill their containers with water. Then they go from house to house. Each family gets 5,000 liters per ration, no matter how big it is. They have to live on this for ten days, sometimes three weeks. Some days the water tastes like chlorine, other days bitter. Either way, people say, the water makes them sick. (....)

Support from Shaveen Mohammed & Shalaan Albello.

A big thank you to the support from The Global Health Security Call from the European Journalism Centre (EJC). Without which, this elaborate research would not have been possible!

Rojava before the Turkish elections

In Rojava, in northeastern Syria, the autonomous Kurdish administration is not only still defending itself against ISIS, but also against ongoing attacks by Turkey. The Turkish elections are therefore also about the future of Rojava and the question: Is there a chance of peace?

For Taz die Tageszeitung - Written by Bartholomäus Laffert.

"The explosion tore us from our sleep," says Wadha Mohammad Kasim, 47, blue patterned headscarf and purple knitted skirt. On the seat mats in front of her are her eight children, five daughters, three sons, the oldest, Iwan, just turned 19. One of the family members is missing: their father. His portrait, larger than life, hangs on the wall. A man in a white polo shirt, thick glasses with thin black rims, a birthmark above the right corner of his mouth. We had a modest life, but a good life," says Wadha Kasim. "But since Turkey murdered him, our life has become a disaster." Fayz Ebdulah died on November 20, 2022, killed by Turkish missiles. (...) "When he left, he said, stay in the house, it's cold outside. I'll be back soon." Wadha Kasim's voice falters as she recounts what happened. A single tear rolls down her cheek. Her husband did not return that night. And neither did he come back the next morning.

With the Support from Shaveen Mohammed & driver Shalaan Albello.

Rojava before the Turkish elections: Hoping for Erdoğan's End

For WOZ - written by Bartholomäus Laffert

Turkey is repeatedly shelling targets in northeastern Syria in order to wear down the Kurds. The parliamentary and presidential elections in Turkey on May 14 will therefore also be about the future of the autonomous regions.

The sky over the town of Derik in northeastern Syria, which the Kurds call Rojava, where Syria borders Turkey and Iraq, is silent. Nothing can be seen except for a few fleecy clouds and a zeppelin soaring from a U.S. military base. Zaher Aldin Chalil, 56, whom everyone here just calls Abu Hoger, stands on the roof terrace of his house, his eyes squinted because of the low sun, pointing into the distance where snow-white peaks of the Çiyayê Cûdî mountain range rise out of the green landscape. "They came from there to kill my wife."....

With the Support from Shaveen Mohammed & Shalaan Albello.

Why nature also suffers from the war

For NZZ am Sonntag - written by Andrea Jeska

Ukraine is home to some of the last primeval beech forests in Europe, a Unesco-recognized World Heritage Site. They are still intact. But the war is endangering their existence. A loss of biodiversity already existed before the war. Now, an already tense situation is worsening and also preventing improvements, as all relevant activities and investments have virtually ceased.

Glimpse of Hope

For Tagebuch

The Kurdish people have been persecuted, chased and murdered throughout history. What has always served as a glimpse of hope throughout dark times, is the dream that Kurdish people have the freedom to live their culture, speak their language and build a community under their ideals. In small regions in the Middle East, the Kurdish liberation movement has been able to establish this.

One of those is in northern Iraq. The autonomous region of Kurdistan has its own government and a standing corps, the Peshmerga. Within the autonomous region of Kurdistan lay the politically independent Kandil mountains, known as the place of retreat of the Kurdish Workers’ party PKK that is viewed as a terror organisation by many Western states. Here people live under the ideals formulated by Abdullah Öcalan. All this utopia is shaken by internal and external conflicts. The Kandil mountains are targets of Turkish military operations also killing civilians. The Kurdish liberation movement accuses the autonomous region of Kurdistan to tolerate and support this. The struggle therefore continues and the death tolls amongst Kurds keeps rising.

The people behind the border

Long-term documentary project.

Far from the public gaze, Bihać, a small town in north-western Bosnia-Herzegovina, has become a focal point of migration to Europe. Since February 2021 approximately 300 to 400 young refugees live in several abandoned buildings across Bihać, stranded during the attempt to cross into the European Union. People search for alternatives to official camps that are overcrowded, in horrendous conditions and set up in remote areas.

In 2021 the two biggest self-organized shelters in Bihać are an old paper factory and an unfinished retirement home, called „Dom Penzionera“. The shells are in a very bad condition with no windows, electricity or running water. Heating and cooking is only possible with open fire. The inhabitants are mostly left on their own, as aid work is criminalized, with just a few inhabitants of Bihać and international activists secretly supporting them. Most of the young men that live here have tried to reach Croatia numerous times. Often they are stopped by the Croatian authorities and violently deported back to Bosnia. Some even report, having gone to “the game”, as they call the attempt to cross the border, up to thirteen times. Very little is known about the people forced to live behind the border, their fears, what they experienced and what they wish for.

Therefore, the concept of the project is, to let the people who are affected, participate in the representation of the situation. Handwritten letters are juxtaposed with portraits in front of a neutral background, so the poor conditions they live in do not distract from their faces and words. This is an attempt to counteract the dehumanization they are exposed to every day. The people were given as much time as they wanted to decide what and how much they wished to share. The surrounding images additionally show the reality of their everyday life.

No escape from Calais

For Neues Deutschland

There are places that lie within Europe, where the suffering of the people is no less bearable. Mainly people from Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia and Iran live here. Most of them came to Europe crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the people in Calais didn’t get any papers in other European countries. That’s why their last hope is to get to Great Britain and apply for asylum there, outside of the EU.

Now they stand again in front of a sea border, with the hope to get help in England. And England helps - but not the people on the move. They pay for money to finance French coast guards and police to keep people from coming across the so-called "English Channel" to England. At the same time crossing the sea sneaking onto the train or ferry is nearly impossible due to massive surveillance by French and British authorities. Most of the people stuck here make the dangerous attempt to cross the sea with small rubber boats in the middle of the night.

Simultaneous the politicians tries everything to make them invisible by pushing them outside of the city, and make the city attractive to tourists.


Wer auf einer der ostfriesischen Inseln medizinische Versorgung durch ein Krankenhaus benötigt, wird sie kennenler- nen: Die Luftrettungscrew der Firma „NHC“. Mit ihren Helikoptern sind sie für den Rettungsflugdienst an der ostfriesi- schen Küste verantwortlich. In Emden steht jeden Tag von Sonnenauf- bis untergang ein Helikopter für Einsätze bereit.

So können kranke oder verletzte Inselbewohner:innen und Tourist:innen schnell in die nächstgelegene Klinik zur weiteren fachärztlichen Behandlung geflogen werden. Bei den meisten Einsätzen handelt es sich um medizinische Verlegungen, d.h. um Transporte von Patient:innen, die nicht in akuter Lebensgefahr schweben.