KULTURHYBRID®

Exploring Human with Photography

— There were countless scary things in each unknown environment, endless cultural differences that appeared to be wrong and several annoying reasons to turn away from people. However, there was one fundamental element in everyone I meet which turned even the most foreign character to a familiar friend. The strive for love.

Yushu

A 3000km long journey to the border of Tibet (2016)
Fujifilm X100T + 23mm F2

Around 6 years ago I stopped using the word "hate". Mainly, as a little personal challenge but with an idealistic motive behind it, since there was already enough negativity on earth. I do occasionally catch myself saying it, however, what once began as a self-experiment became my fundament, life philosophy and reminder. It takes years to change for the better, especially if it's something that's deeply rooted in our daily life. With time, I began deconstructing my negative chains of thoughts and I got to the point where I reflected on my own feelings rather than blaming others. I might dislike something, I might disagree with some behaviour, however, it made me more understanding, positive and overall balanced. Eventually, I detached from hate while shifting my mind and focus on the good.

 

Morocco

A month-long trip full of contrasts across Morocco (2016)
Fujifilm X100T + 23mm F2

The day I started to travel I had hundreds of thoughts that I wanted to share with my family, friends and fellow travellers. However, the more I moved the less I said, reaching the point of near silence. How do I find the accurate words for all I saw and felt? The intensity of experiencing was so high that even today it's difficult to comprehend and even more challenging to share with those who maybe didn't have the possibility or privilege to make similar experiences to mine. In the end, I figured, it's not the physical distance that creates the hurdle. It's the cultural contrast that seems infinite, making it a so simple yet sometimes indescribable concept for me. Maybe that's why I've chosen photography. I want to inspire visually and emotionally because not long ago it was me that got inspired in the same way.

 

Vietnam

A month-long motorbike tour through Vietnam (2017)
Fujifilm X-Pro2 + 23mm F2

I moved across the globe just to realize that I know nothing about the world and I talked to hundreds of people just to realize that the world knows nothing about me. This realization was the best lesson of my life and it taught me that - with the right mix of naivety and respect - I can go wherever I want, I can do whatever I want and I can be whoever I want. The only barrier I have to overcome is my own fear that was created by years of living in a bubble of ignorance and a society that would rather pessimistically ask "why?" instead of an encouraging "why not?". Eventually, all that keeps a person away from archiving a goal is the person itself. Luckily, I was curious enough to make the step out. I was aware enough to understand that my perspective is not the standard for the rest of the world and I was persistent enough to see the good in people instead of hurting myself on every cultural edge. The world can be a rough place, however, all the smiles I felt are more worth than all the struggles I had while reaching them.

 

Cambodia

A six-month-long volunteer experience in Cambodia (2017)
Fujifilm X-Pro2 + 23mm F2

I am privileged to have the possibility to explore and to experience other cultures and it's my responsibility to treat this opportunity with respect for the people I visit and the people I represent. There are numerous reasonable reasons to understand why people are different but if you start to judge and define a culture from your own point of view, things will make no sense and in combination with unrealistic expectations it will likely break your heart. These are the situations where I experienced the most misunderstandings between people. It is ignorance that creates distance and fear that keeps us apart. But it's curiosity that brings us together, cultural exchange that makes us understand each other and most important a common goal that makes us progress together.

 

Sri Lanka

A two-month-long trip around Sri Lanka (2018)
Fujifilm X-Pro2 + 23mm F2

Speaking about exchanging. Sometimes people ask me how I communicate while travelling and living without knowing the languages. On a deeper level, common words obviously are essential to express our intellectual points and emotional needs, however, on the level we move in everyday life it’s a whole different story. In relation to people, there are basically no negative differences between taking a bus in Germany or somewhere in the middle of Morocco or China. Bluntly said, people don't talk anyway since everyone is minding its own business. If there is something to point out then that abroad it's more likely to happen to start a conversation with a random stranger which can end up in the most interesting or wholesome situations. I reached some of my most remote places by using body language and a positive attitude while having multiple 'lost in translation' moments. If I smile you see that I am happy. If I hold my folded hands next to my tilted head you understand that I am tired. If I take off my shoes and wave my hand in front of my nose while making a funny face you will probably laugh because you know about the struggle of smelly feet. And if I touch my heart and bow to you, you hopefully feel that I am genuinely thankful. There are many things that try to hinder us from exchanging, however, there is one universal language that connects every human. It's based on our emotions, thousands of years old and beautiful. I simply call it the "love among people".

 

Tokyo

Final words from Japan (2019)
Fujifilm X-Pro2 + 23mm F1.4

This is the end of KULTURHYBRID's first journey. After two and a half years I saw everything I could wish for, I did everything I desired and I said everything I had in mind. I recently moved to Tokyo, Japan to fulfil one of my last dreams and after taking some few test shots to try something new in terms of photography, I will now take a break and think about what's next for me.


 

Nepal (Soon)

A failed mission in Nepal (2019)
Fujifilm X-Pro2 + 23mm F1.4

I’ve always been fascinated by remote places including their people and lifestyle. If it’s the life within the wide emptiness of the Sahara desert or the high fields on the Tibetan Plateau. These places always make me emotional and more than often speechless. It's been a while since my first trip to the border of Tibet and I always craved to go back to similar heights. Therefore, let's move to the top again! Project will be published soon.

 

While you are here please check out my small foundation. Thank you!