Kunterbunt Disabled People Travelling
[ EPF 2013 SHORTLIST ]
Few times a year I am collaborating with Kunterbunt, a travel agency for mentally and/or physically disabled people.
Situated in southern Germany it offers around 60 trips a year of various kind and destinations while strongly focusing on a respectful and easy approach towards the individual. Based on this philosophy the disabled people are allowed to find themselves in the very rare occasion where usual structures, borders and roles defining their everyday life no longer exist. Whether they are able do it consciously or not, for a while they can experience a freedom and room for self-expression that every person is deeply longing for.
Being on the road and documenting their time is a unique opportunity to gain insight into a world unknown to most of us. It is easy to fill a book with the countless experiences of every trip but what remains so special for me is the real honesty I had been confronted with. So refreshingly different from ‘our’ life the disabled don’t or better mostly don’t wear masks, they simply are themselves. Their inner child can be very inspiring and reminding us of our own one.
Piotr Pietrus was born in Poland and livesand works in Berlin. He graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany, in 2008.
After a stamping stay in Bologna in 2005, Piotr has started to work with photography. From 2008 until 2011 he had been attending the masterclass of Arno Fischer at the Ostkreuzschule, Berlin.
2009/2010 Piotr has worked as an assistant for fashion photographer Benjmin Kaufmann.
With a strong focus on his personal projects Piotr has exhibited work in Berlin, Hamburg and the Photomonth in Krakow among others.
11 thoughts on “Piotr Pietrus – Kunterbunt Disabled People Travelling”
A nice dreamy quality to the work, but personally I would get rid of 8,9 and 16 to keep the feel consistent.
This is a very sensitive and up-beat treatment of a subject very close and dear to me. I also very much appreciate the sentiments in your statement. Yes, people with special needs have special gifts for us if we are open and willing to engage them. Honesty, a lack of inhibitions, an ability to just be. There are also lessons to be had about comradery, acceptance of differences, tenderness, and yes, child-like innocence . Good on you for tackling this subject. It is one that most people shy away from.
I love the longer edit on your website.
Well done – I can feel through the images the wonder, and sense the openness, of the experience for both the participants of the excursions and yourself…
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When I saw the black cat on the cover photo, I knew what would follow had to be good… It was, very sensitive and well done. I’m not certain I would have picked up on the fact it was about disabled people traveling, but then that’s the gap filled in by the words. Words or no words, the wonder of discovery shines through…
A wonderful essay Piotr.
Full of sensitivity and beautiful images.
Thank you for this.
Sensitive, respectful, tender and beautiful images. I appreciate this project both as a photographer and as a woman who lives with a physical disability myself. As it happens I recently traveled internationally, not in a group but by myself. So I can relate in many ways to this work.
My only concern is with the statement and its description of disabled persons as being honest, simply themselves and not wearing masks. Obviously that is true of the individuals Piotr knows as documenter of this particular travel agency and its clients. But I worry about making such an assertion about ALL disabled persons. As for myself, sometimes I am less than honest, wear masks of one kind or another and am not totally myself in every setting.
Piotr might consider rephrasing his statement to say that the disabled persons he has met and photographed for this project are honest, don’t wear masks and are simply themselves. If he puts it like that, no one will expect all of us disabled people to be so ingenuous. I just don’t want non-disablded folks to expect too much of me!
(Smiling) Patricia, I can’t imagine you not delivering more than expected in any situation!
I think the problem here is that Piotr has not specified what sorts of disabilities his subjects have. The subjects in the photographs I’m assuming have cognitive developmental challenges of one sort or another, which covers a huge range. It’s hard to find a convenient euphemism that covers all the bases. The word “disability” is obviously too broad in this case.
This is a very nice essay, Nice job Piotr
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