My students and I spent last Thursday in our studio in the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg in a state of shock, not only because of Trump’s apocalyptic win, but by the palpable rise of the right wing across Germany. All of my students are beginning to feel the effects of this on their daily lives. The general mood of anxiety and alienation is visceral; more ominously, there’s a sense that a threat of violence against us is imminent. As a group we’re from Armenia, Belarus, China, Japan, South Africa and Turkey; students from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (KABK), where I also teach, are also taking part. We all have collective memories of state-sponsored trauma but the threat now seems too close for comfort. Perhaps because I’m originally from such a toxic place as apartheid South Africa, I know how to respond proactively to state hypocrisy and violence. So, together we’ve decided to create a forum for resistance, a place where everyone, not only Americans, can register their fear, their anger and their common desire for change.
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Main image courtesy: Nino Svireli / HFBK
Adam Broomberg is an artist who works with Oliver Chanarin as Broomberg & Chanarin. They are both Professors of Artistic Photography at HfBK, Hamburg, Germany and live between London, UK and Berlin, Germany.