People of the Krummhörn Photographs by Thomas Hoeren at the ITM

A cultural history – told through photographs of the people who live there “The essence of all photography is documentary” – this is how the photographer August Sander (1876 – 1964) described the basic concern of documentary photography. In his epoch-making work “People of the 20th Century”, he documented people from various social classes and professions in 600 portraits. The Krummhörn also deserves such a photographed cultural history. The Krummhörn is an ancient cultural landscape. The specific character of this landscape becomes clear in the people living there, who combine their East Frisian heritage with Krummhörn-specific rites and roles. In the Krummhörn, for example, you will find VW masters as well as undertakers and captains, shipbuilders as well as lawyers and pastors. The Krummhörn in transition – this was to be captured photographically – in documentary form. The aim is to present each of the 19 villages through a representative selection of men and women, young and old. The Krummhörn – a landscape and its history in photos Only half the size of Bremen, the Krummhörn covers an area of 159 square kilometres and includes 19 villages around the main town of Pewsum. Approximately 13,000 Frisians live in the marshland northwest of Emden amid 600 km of canals and 1000 ha of lakes. The region lies at the point where the Ems flows into the North Sea and the North German Wadden Sea begins. The horn-like location explains the Low German term “Krummhörn”, the crooked horn of the Ems estuary. The Krummhörn and its “types” At the top of the Krummhörn hierarchy are traditionally the large farmers, who called themselves “chiefs” and lived, and in some cases still live, in “castles” or large farm complexes, so-called Gulfhöfen. These were opposed by a steadily growing class of farmhands and maidservants, who organised themselves with their own interest groups during the Weimar period. In the 18th century, the Prussians took over the Krummhörn and developed an efficient system of dyking the region. Since 1964, the Krummhörn has also been strongly influenced by the VW plant in Emden. The production site there was an obvious choice because of its proximity to the port of Emden and the high number of job seekers in the region.


10.01.-17.02.2023, 12 h – 18 h


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