With a seven year background in corporate and portrait photography, German photographer Susanne Hakuba has started to focus increasingly on editorial and personal projects.
Her projects are usually closely related to personal experiences such as her current project Don’t Mention the War.
This project, while being a very personal inquiry into German identity, can be understood as a metaphor for her generation (“grandchildren of the war”), which strongly resonates with today’s sociopolitical climate.
Inspired by the continuing presence of WWII in the UK through historical TV programmes, newspaper headlines, articles and jokes about Germans, Susanne started to look closer at the unease she has always felt with being German.
The project includes the personal, i.e. the family and personal writings, but also the “outside view” such as portraits and interviews of the war generation, both German and British, essays, poems and texts from writers, archive images, artifacts, and images of re-enactors.
What’s the significance of the image you have chosen and how does it relate to your practice?
While WWII was covered quite thoroughly at school I didn't learn about local WWII history. I found out unexpectedly about three massacres which happened in the forest under the cover of darkness close to my home town in 1945 when interviewing someone for my project. A local couple in their 80s is looking after this memorial site.
What new product, service, business system or project are you introducing to your practice and why?
I hope to introduce moving image to my practice and particularly for my personal project Don’t Mention the War. I find that multimedia/film is able to communicate on a different level than still images, and my aim is to make the viewer connect to and engage with the story on a deeper emotional level. A fairly complex subject matter becomes more accessible to more people when combining various mediums in multimedia as opposed to only using stills.
What was the main motivation behind your application to the LCN programme?
My main goal was to gain new skills such as video production and post-production, as well as alternative photographic processes.
What plans do you have after participating with LCN?
I hope to find funding to work on my “Don’t mention the war project” and to get more training in video work. In addition, I would love to learn more about book making and book design since, in addition to multimedia, I envision this project as a playful discovery of a story in form of a book.