Political journey

Isn’t this a pure sublimation? 


Interview with Sven Johne

What are you a silent witness to?

2017 in Croatia, Serbia or Bosnia: Men my age, maybe a little older, completely in camouflage. They were at work with serious expressions and heavy trimmers on the lawns of their homes. Or I saw them half-hidden in trees and bushes, loppers at the ready. Twenty-five years ago, they were all young conscripts. I asked myself: isn’t this dogged gardening with all that heavy equipment pure sublimation? 

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021, photo: Carl Brunn

Do you also feel like a historian? Archaeologist?

Even if it may sound coy: I’m not really good at anything. A bit of an amateur historian, yes, but also a bit of a recreational writer and amateur sociologist. As a photographer, I’m only mediocre. But all together I think it works. 

What pictures would you rather not have seen?

On this trip: none. There are sad places, yes. Srebrenica was bad, when I came I got into a Bosniak mourning ceremony. But why would I rather not have seen that? 


  • * 1976 in Bergen
  • Studied at the University of Leipzig from 1996–1998, at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig from 1998–2006
  • Lives in Berlin