Let’s Meet Up with … Anna Charlotte Schmid

Anna Charlotte Schmid won the first prize in the Gender category in 2013 with her photo series The Other Side of Venus. She is a photographer based in Berlin, Germany. Anna Charlotte’s work has been exhibited in Hungary, the Netherlands and Germany and has received several awards. The Other Side of Venus is a sensitive yet powerful series about the “dangerous realization of one’s identity,” as she describes it.
In your series, we see young men who seem to be sad and vulnerable. Can you tell us more about your models?
I met Gabor in 2010 on the streets of Budapest. He is indeed vulnerable and his individual presence impressed me immediately. We’ve known each other for 4 years now, and he is still hiding his real identity because of some dangerous situations he might get himself into on the streets of Budapest.  
In the limbo of post-puberty, the revelation of your own sexuality is a highly sensitive form of vulnerability. Bodily change and self-confidence go along the dangerous path of realization of one’s identity.
The poetic discussion of the „otherness“ is complex. In some countries being different means fear of being ostracized, persecuted and discriminated. Where to go, where to stay? Where can you feel safe? They are not (yet) on the run, but they are looking for shelter and security in a protective place and so they find themselves on the outskirts of vacant, abandoned sites. In the end, these people are searching nothing else but their „very own“ identity. It is their individuality in a moment of solitude, shifting from a strong presence to a labile emotionality, that I captured with my camera.
The background consists of abandoned, desolate buildings. Why did you choose such places?
These buildings seem to represent the same feelings as the ones of these young men I photographed. Isolated and kind of forgotten by society. The rooms I photographed in were either empty or filled with very old furniture, and had not been lived in for several decades. To me, they look like stages on which the persons can show their real faces without being seen by the “outside” world. The run-down walls and spaces are as vulnerable as the people themselves.
Through Pride Photo Award your work was chosen to be part of the Love Aids Riot Sex II exhibition in Berlin, that is on view now. What does that mean to you?
It means a lot to me. Frank Wagner, the curator of the Love Aids Riots Sex exhibition visited the Pride Photo Award exhibition in Amsterdam last year and contacted Irina Popova and me. I feel honored to be chosen by him to take part in the Love Aids Riot Sex II exhibition in the nGbK in Berlin. Five of my analog printed photographs of “The Other Side of Venus” will be shown there.
The exhibition Love Aids Riot Seks II in the nGbK in Berlin will be open from January 17th until the March 9th 2014.
See the full The Other Side of Venus series, together with all 2013 awarded photos..

Pride Photo Award is an annual international contest for photos about sexual and gender diversity.


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