Student photographs Germany on lockdown and collects personal messages

Robin Paeßens (24), uses photography to show the impact of the pandemic on society, cities and forests. The student uses the motifs to create postcards, which he printed on an imagePROGRAF PRO-2100 in cooperation with Canon Germany. Paeßens sends these postcards to citizens all over the country and asks them to write how they are feeling during this extraordinary time. The answers, interviews and photos have now been turned into a first book.

Photo: Robin Paeßens (24)

The Corona pandemic with contact restrictions and lockdowns lasting months has also kept Robin Paeßens busy. His passion is documentary photography, which is how the student began photographing empty streets, closed bars or cordoned-off playgrounds during the first lockdown in 2020. The communication design student at the Behrens School of Arts in Düsseldorf feels that everyone is a witness to this "unusual and at the same time novel time".

Everyone experienced this time differently and felt it in their own individual way. The student from Friedrichstadt now wants to capture these different situations in words and pictures in his project, which he started on his own initiative before it developed into a study project.

 

Personal messages on postcards

Already in the first lockdown, Paeßens sent postcards - asking people to write down their thoughts and feelings about the pandemic - to strangers all over the country. Citizens were chosen at random via the online phone book. "Every citizen in Germany was to have the opportunity to share individual experiences from this difficult time and bring them to the public. There was no influence by questions or guidelines regarding the content. The aim was to achieve different results. I decided on the medium of picture postcards, because on the one hand I could address a wider range with it and on the other hand I received confirmation of the historical time through the postmark," Paeßens comments on his idea.

 

Cooperation with Canon Germany

The student became aware of Canon through an earlier cooperation between Canon Germany and the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences - the exhibition "The Invention of Now". "We are particularly pleased to support young people and their talents, as well as creativity, which is why we are very happy to support Robin in his project. With his postcards, he shows how important images are and how much emotion can be conveyed in photos," comments Heiko Elmsheuser, Director Corporate Communications and Marketing Services at Canon Deutschland GmbH.

Canon supported Paeßens both financially and by printing the postcards on an imagePROGRAF PRO-2100. The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS M6 Mark II. Social action, as a pillar of the sustainability vision, is deeply embedded in Canon's corporate mission. Empowering people, depicting everyday situations and making them accessible to the public is essential in this regard.

About Robin Paeßens and his first book

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