MEINRAD SCHADE

UNRESOLVED
January 29, 2014. Efrat, West Bank.

Jewish settlers from Efrat at target practice on the Caliber 3 training grounds, close to their settlement. Caliber 3 is an Israeli anti-terror training site for, for instance, Israelis who work in security jobs for settlers. In recent years, these types of facilities have become tourist attractions. These settlers are participating in a security course. When asked what their motivation is, most say, ‘awareness.’

December 3, 2015. Moshav Shibolim, Israel.

Under commission from the local authorities, the artist Eliasaf Myara paints an air raid shelter meant to provide protection in the case of a rocket attack from the Gaza strip. The painting depicts Jerusalem. Israel has been fired at from the Gaza Strip since 2001. Cities and settlements such as Sderot, Ashkelon, Netivot, and the surrounding kibbutzim bear the brunt of the attacks.

Meinrad Schade: Near Kibbutz Snir, Golan Heights from the series "Unresolved"
May 13, 2017. Near Kibbutz Snir, Golan Heights.

The wreck of the Syrian tank that remained on the shores of the Banyas at the end of the Six-Day War is a favorite destination for Sabbath outings. The tank was involved in the attack on the Kibbutz Dan, lost its way in the retreat, and crashed into the ravine.

All works above are from the series Unresolved (published in 2018).
© Meinrad Schade

FRAMING SOCIETY | In his series Unresolved (published in 2018), Meinrad Schade offers a new perspective to the endless Israel/Palestine conflict. In contrast to classical war photography, he is concerned with portraying places at varying distances from war, both temporally and geographically. Rather than focusing on the actual events of the war, Schade addresses how conflict becomes visible in everyday life. Faces and bodies, cities and streets, living rooms, the way to work, and leisure parks, museums, memorial days, and theatre stages: all areas of life are affected by conflict—for a long time. In these conditions, they also are trapped in an endless loop of building, destruction, and rebuilding; of volition and destruction.

Schade travelled to the regions of both parties to the conflict, moving back and forth in Israel, the West Bank, on the Golan Heights, and in the Gaza Strip. He experienced extremely different societies, realities, attitudes, and diverse perspectives on the same situation. This became a real, lived experience. Schade sought to capture the situation in new eyes but also to portray the reactions and counter-reactions, images and counter images, which supply a steady stream of fresh fuel for the unresolved conflict. The series is published in a book Unresolved, a continuation of Schade’s book War Without War from 2015 in which he documented the lingering, damaging marks of war on the former Soviet Union.

Meinrad Schade
Meinrad Schade

BIOGRAPHY

After completing a degree in biology at the University of Zurich, Meinrad Schade worked as a press photographer with the St. Galler Tagblatt. In 2002 he began working as a freelance portrait photographer and photojournalist and joined the Lookat Photos agency. For the last 15 years, Meinrad Schade has been moving along the borders of conflicts, exploring and questioning what is visible beyond the epicentres of war. In 2011 he was honoured with the Swiss Photo Award and also with the ewz selection award for ‘Editorial Photography.’ In 2013 he won the n-ost journalism prize for ‘Photojournalism.’

OPEN CALL 2021

Our Open Call for the Solo Exhibitions at Copenhagen Photo Festival 2021 is in full swing! To become one of the new solo artists, apply here.

ARTIST’S VIDEO INTRODUCTION

“The biggest challenge was to find my own photographic language to describe this conflict. On the one hand it was necessary to know the existing pictorial world of this conflict and on the other hand to emancipate from it. 

It was very difficult for me to change my perspective almost every day, but this was my program. At the same time I tried to train my tolerance for contradictions. There were indeed those moments when I understood both narratives and could agree with both parties, knowing that these two narratives were completely mutually exclusive.” – Meinrad Schade on the challenges of creating Unresolved.

March 3, 2017. Near Nitzana, Israel.

Military shoes on an abandoned Israel Defense Forces base. From the series Unresolved (published in 2018).
© Meinrad Schade

January 21, 2014. Jericho, West Bank.

Students at Al-Istiqlal (‘independent’) University during early morning drills. They are training for various jobs in the security field and preparing for an independent state. The graduates are employed by the Palestinian National Authority. From the series Unresolved (published in 2018).
© Meinrad Schade