W.I.R. World • Identity • Relations • International Science in Dresden • Portrait Photography by Gabriele Seitz
Dresden is a place where scientists from all over the world live and work in research institutes and institutions. The places they come from are as diverse as their professional fields. However, their scientific work and lives remain largely invisible within the urban space of Dresden. This major exhibition hopes to change this. The photographer Gabriele Seitz shot about 150 black and white portraits of international scientists. The photographs are presented in conjunction with objects from their research and objects they have brought from home in order to provide insight into the professional and private lives of those portrayed.
Science – as well as the arts – is dependent on transfer. Both science and the arts draw life from people who travel from one country to another to conduct research or to teach, who bring experience, values and cultural paradigms, thereby influencing and advancing development.
For this reason, the title of the exhibition “W. I. R.” says it all, both for the university as a place to work and for Dresden as a place to live; living and working together can only succeed if we share a “we-feeling.” Internationalisation is a corner stone of our educational mission and future success. Life and research are exchange.
The two women curating the special exhibition, Valentina Marcenaro, an Italian-Jewish cultural manager, and the Iranian Nazanin Zandi, an artist and graphic designer living in Dresden, interviewed the portrayed scientists about their work; they also chose objects for display that the scholars had brought from home. These objects, which have a special association with their cultures and their countries of origin, build a cultural bridge and add a very personal and intimate dimension to the exhibition.
“W. I. R.” puts international scientists in the public eye, shining a light on the many faces that make up Dresden’s very diverse research community. Moreover, the exhibition, by presenting the photographs of these undergraduates, doctoral students, and professors, gives a face to the new Dresden, a place where people from all over the world can live and work together.