June 2, 2016 - July 3, 2016
Land Ohne Eltern
“On a day in April 2008, I was standing in front of a class of first graders in a small village in the southeast of the Republic of Moldova and their teachers asked ‘whose parents live in Italy?,’ and when about two thirds of the children raised their hands with a mixture of pride and embarrassment, I was shocked.”
For her series Land ohne Eltern, Andrea Diefenbach photographed Moldovan families who have been divided by economic necessity. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Republic of Moldova has struggled to regain the prosperity it enjoyed as one of the U.S.S.R.’s primary agricultural producers. Many Moldovans have chosen to leave their homes in order to find work abroad, leaving their children behind with relatives, friends, or to fend for themselves. Diefenbach’s thoughtful images present both sides of this heart-wrenching story, following the mothers and fathers who labor as caretakers, cleaners, and harvesters in a foreign land, and their children who must grow up without them.
Andrea Diefenbach is a freelance photographer based in Wiesbaden, Germany. Since 2005 her work has been regularly featured in magazines such as Brigitte, DIE ZEIT, GEO, and Stern. In 2006 she finished her photography studies at the University of Applied Science in Bielefeld, Germany with the project AIDS in Odessa. The series received the 2007/2008 Documentary Photography Award from the Wüstenrot Foundation and the Museum Folkwang, and was exhibited at the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim, Germany and at CLAMPART in New York. Diefenbach has exhibited Land ohne Eltern throughout Germany and most recently at the Goethe-Institut San Francisco. Kehrer Verlag published a monograph of the Land ohne Eltern in 2012.
Land ohne Eltern is sponsored in part by Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Germany.