Katharina Mouratidi (born in 1971) is a freelance photographer and artist, based in Berlin. Her projects and features have been published throughout Europe, they have been exhibited in many individual and group shows worldwide, including: Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn (Germany), FotoFest Houston (USA), George Eastman House (USA), Lianzhou Photography Festival (China), Melkweg Gallery (The Netherlands), Thessaloniki Museum of Photography (Greece), Museo de Arte Moderna Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Primavera Fotográfica (Spain). Since 2009 she is teaching at several institutions, among them Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie as well as at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee. 2011 she was appointed a post as visiting professor there. Katharina Mouratidi is a co-founder of the "Society for Humanistic Photography" and the organizations executive director since 2008. Her latest monograph "Backstage Heroes" has been published in 2012 by Editorial Kehrer.
"Why do you do what you’re doing?"
For three years the photographer Katharina Mouratidi portrayed activists of the Global Justice Movement from 43 countries: farmers and workers, students, reindeer-breeders, native and indigenous people, scientists, Christians, atheists, citizens and revolutionaries. She asked all of them, including many internationally recognised, prominent personalities – like Peace Nobel Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchú and Nobel Prize Laureate for Economics Joseph Stiglitz – the same question: "Why do you do what you’re doing?"
In answering this question, the interviewed related a great deal about their own stories and personal motives for their engagement. The answers Mouratidi collected are as exceptional as they are varied – spectacular and normal, aggressive, loving, full of longing, idealism and hope, but also moving, alarming, and thought-provoking. Considered together, they have only one thing in common: the certainty that, for the survival of humanity and our planet, a change in consciousness – leading to another globalisation from which all people profit, as well as to a sustainable relationship with the environment – is absolutely indispensable.
“The work "Breast Cancer" consists of 22 semi-nude portraits of women affected by breast cancer.
For the project I portrayed 22 women, all of whom I found through the placement of short advertisements in Berlin newspapers. I did not select them, but accepted them in the sequence of their phone calls so as to give all women interested the possibility of participation, independent of their physical state or health. Thus emerged photographs of women between the ages of 25 and 63. They had had surgery, had had a mastectomy, a breast "rebuilt", or not, and wore a prothesis, or again, not.
All the photographs were taken in close co-operation with the women portrayed. My intention was to photograph them as THEY wanted to present themselves in front of the camera and in public. There were no special rules to observe in the studio; the participants only had the responsibility to pose according to THEIR own interpretations and in the way THEY would like to be represented, as women in our society affected by breast cancer.
Four of the motifs were shown in October 2000 in 90 metro stations all over Berlin as large publicity placards.”
Katharina Mouratidi, Berlin, Mai 2004
George Eastman House, Rochester, USA
Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, USA
Lianzhou Photography Museum, Lianzhou, China
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus, Germany
Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Greece
Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium
Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Collection M+M Auer, Switzerland
2012: Backstage Heroes, Editorial Kehrer, Germany
2006: ¡Venceremos! The Other Globalisation, Edition Braus, Germany