Claudia Leisinger - Photography

feedNewscategory: 2015

Working with children and schools

By Claudia Leisinger | January 22, 2016
Posted in: Commission 2015 Judith Kerr Primary School

I love the energy of primary school children, the slightly cheeky, pushing-the-boundary interaction with me, the photographer and their mostly not yet self-conscious enjoyment of the camera. Every moment feels so alive.

I find their excitement contagious. And so I was very much looking forward to the day I spent at Judith Kerr Primary School  last November to photograph their school, classes, teaching staff, children and building.

Here are my favorite images.

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Photo exhibition at the 1 Berlin Global Forum

By Claudia Leisinger | January 21, 2016
Posted in: Exhibition BMW Foundation 2015

In November I photographed the very interesting 1 Berlin Global Forum. It was the concluding event of two years of Global Table talks held in China, Italy, Brazil, Poland and Tanzania organized by the BMW foundation and their partner for the two year cycle, the Earth Security Group.

The focus of these talks was on “limited resources - opportunities without borders”  and their purpose is best summed up on the Earth Security Group’s website.

“The Global Tables have created a new stakeholder engagement format, providing an intimate, off-the-record, and high-level meeting in isolated places in nature, which seek to connect the industrial and diplomatic interests of Europe and leading emerging economies on critical sustainable development challenges.”

I was lucky to photograph on all five global tables and have found this experience very inspiring and rewarding, especially meeting the varied participants from all corners of the globe and hearing their inputs during the engaging talks.

For the 1 Berlin Global Forum, the foundation planned an exhibition of my photos taken during these 5 tables. The curation of this exhibition was a labor intense but very enjoyable process. The creative team at Triad came up with the exhibition construction and the hang. Below you can get an impression of how it looked.

The book "Berlin Global Forum" published by Herder, which summaries these 5 tables with articles by participants and my photos, will be publicized in February 2016. Here you can see the E-Book version.

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News in March 2015

By Claudia Leisinger | April 17, 2015
Posted in: Story Multimedia Commission BMW Foundation Earth Security Group 2015 newsletter news update on work March 2015 Brazil Of Flying Rivers & Flooded Lands

March 2015 was an unbelievably exciting time I went to Brazil, to the Amazon to shoot my latest project. 

"Of Flying Rivers & Flooded Lands: Damming the Amazon" 

I visited Munduruku Indians living alongside the mighty Tapajós River in the Amazonian forest, who are actively fighting a massive hydro-electricity dam planned by the Brazilian government. Once built, the São Luiz do Tapajós dam will flood vast areas of their land, putting existing villages under water, disrupting the river flow and with it the intricate balance of ecosystems. 

It is not only the Munduruku’s traditional way of life that is threatened, but also river dweller communities like Pimental. This picturesque village with its four churches, eight small stores, a well functioning school and roughly 300 inhabitants, would be completely flooded by the São Luiz do Tapajós dam.

But the impact of the dam will be felt long before it is actually completed. A construction project of this scale in an area with no existing infrastructure, as is the case here, will result in irreversible damage to the natural environment. Forest will make way for roads, housing for workers, shops, restaurants, brothels and more. 

At the Belo Monte dam on the neighbouring Xingu river, 20,000 labourers have migrated into the area to work around the clock. The Munduruku have supported the Xingu indigenous communities in their fight against the Belo Monte dam and witnessed the disastrous consequences first hand. They are now fighting not to suffer the same fate.

In the next months I will create a multimedia project using the stills, video and audio I shot and collected during my stay in Alter do Chao, Santarem, Itaituba, Praia do Mangue, Pimental and Sawre Muybu. 

I was also thrilled to shoot photos and video for BMW Foundation at their 3rd Global Table on Resources and Security in Brazil. 

This 3rd table focused on formulating project ideas to enhance urban quality of life. Read about it in more depth on their website.

You can see a first selection of my photos on their flickr account 

I have also updated my portrait section on my website, please have a look and let me know what you think.

You can follow the development of my new project "Of Flying Rivers & Flooded Lands" here on my blog, via Twitter @CLeisinger, via Facebook  and on my Instagram feed.


Boto dolphins at Santarem harbour.

Girl in traditional Munduruku head dress in Sawre Muybu.

Between digging up potatoes for dinner, in Sawre Muybu.

Jumping into the Tapajos river in Pimental.

Aline Karo Munduruku in Praia do Mangue.

1000 newly built council houses near Santarem ready for the communities displaced by mega construction projects like the São Luiz do Tapajós dam.

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