Sandra Schildwächter

2022 IVLP Impact Award Project: Documenting the Life of Ukrainian Refugees in GermanyGermany

Sandra Schildwächter lives and works as a freelance photographer close to Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She has a degree in communication design with a major in photography from the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt. Her reportage focus includes human interest stories, daily news and portraits about cultural and social topics. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including stern, Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung F.A.Z., GEO, Greenpeace, Chrismon, Eltern family, de Volkskrant and others. 

IVLP Impact Award Project: Documenting the Life of Ukrainian Refugees in Germany

Sandra photographically documented 14 Ukrainian refugee households, who live in Germany, each in their current accommodation, to find out what it meant to them. Her goal was to create strong portraits that give an insight into the experiences of the last months through interviews. In a series of digital format color photographs, she documented the protagonists with an open look into the camera to create a direct encounter between the protagonist and the viewer. Their current housing served as the backdrop. Sandra's work deals with the topics of identity and loss, integration, feelings of security, transitional solutions, their restart and the difference between accommodation and home. Her photographs gave a voice to refugees who are not represented enough in public life and created transparency about the present circumstances of Ukrainian refugees. She titled the work "Should I stay or should I go?" It can be accessed through this link: "Should I stay or should I go?" 

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"I like that there are different personalities here, with different thoughts, plans, and desires, which nicely reveals that every situation is different even though they are all from Ukraine." - Project Translator

IVLP Exchange Experience

Sandra was a participant in the IVLP Project A Global Moment in Time: Photojournalists Document the Challenges and Opportunities in the COVID Era, organized by the U.S. Department of State and World Learning.

Sandra's exchange experience led to the development of her IVLP Impact Award Project: "IVLP enabled me to get in touch with international photographers and professionals in the journalism and to exchange experiences that enrich my own work."

U.S. Communities Visited Virtually 

Washington, DC; Tampa, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Santa Fe, NM; Portland, OR; Dallas, TX; Charlottesville, VA; Milwaukee, WI

Country: Germany

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