Birte Kaufmann

October 6, 2016 - October 30, 2016

Untitled, from the series "The Travellers"
2011-2015
inkjet print
16" x 24"

image © Birte Kaufmann / INSTITUTE

Untitled, from the series "The Travellers"
2011-2015
inkjet print
16" x 24"

image © Birte Kaufmann / INSTITUTE

Untitled, from the series "The Travellers"
2011-2015
inkjet print
16" x 24"

image © Birte Kaufmann / INSTITUTE

Untitled, from the series "The Travellers"
2011-2015
inkjet print
24" x 36"

image © Birte Kaufmann / INSTITUTE

Untitled, from the series "The Travellers"
2011-2015
inkjet print
16" x 24"

image © Birte Kaufmann / INSTITUTE

Untitled, from the series "The Travellers"
2011-2015
inkjet print
24" x 36"

image © Birte Kaufmann / INSTITUTE

Untitled, from the series "The Travellers"
2011-2015
inkjet print
16" x 24"

image © Birte Kaufmann / INSTITUTE

Untitled, from the series "The Travellers"
2011-2015
inkjet print
24" x 16"

image © Birte Kaufmann / INSTITUTE

Untitled, from the series "The Travellers"
2011-2015
inkjet print
16" x 24"

image © Birte Kaufmann / INSTITUTE

Birte Kaufmann

The Travellers

“I wanted to capture the travellers’ way of life and their values in pictures. In doing so, I did not want to romanticize them, but rather show their everyday life; a life where people still hunt rabbits and where horses play a vital role, but it is also a life that contains hardship and boredom from an early age.”

In 2011, Birte Kaufmann made the journey from Germany to Ireland to photograph the daily lives of Irish travellers. As a nomadic group that makes up the largest minority group in the country, travellers are frequently discriminated against within mainstream Irish society. They typically travel in caravans and park on roadsides—often without electricity or running water—and work a variety of jobs while on the move. Although few outsiders are allowed access to their community, Kaufmann was able to befriend one family upon her arrival in Ireland and joined them periodically on their travels for the next four years. The artist’s intimate color photographs testify to the close bonds she formed on these journeys, while also providing a rare and poetic glimpse into a unique way of life.

Born in 1981 in Germany, Birte Kaufmann currently lives and works as a freelance photographer in Cologne. She studied photography at Ostkreuzschule in Berlin after receiving a degree in social work from Cologne University of Applied Sciences. Kaufmann has exhibited her photography throughout Germany, including at the Museum fuer verwandte Kunst in Cologne. Images from The Travellers were included in the 2014 Critical Mass traveling group show, How One Thing Leads to Another, which was exhibited at Corden Potts Gallery in San Francisco and at the Houston Center for Photography, in addition to theYoung German Photography 2013/14 exhibition, which traveled internationally. Kaufmann’s first monograph featuring this series was published in 2016 by Verlag Kettler.

The Travellers is sponsored in part by Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Germany.