Anne Ackermann

Photographer
 
Behind Veils and Walls
Location: Speyer
Nationality: Germany
Biography: Anne Ackermann is a documentary photographer based in Germany working worldwide. Her work often focuses on women’s and contemporary issues, touching themes ranging from migration and aftermath to skin bleaching and plastic surgery, from... read on
Public Story
Behind Veils and Walls
Credits: anne ackermann
Updated: 12/18/18
'Behind Veils and Walls' reveals the lives of female Somali refugees living in exile and the quest for an authentic, meaningful existence in a transitional space.

After over two decades of chaos, conflict, and violence more than 1.5 million Somalis remain displaced all over the world, many in other African countries like Uganda or Kenya. Somalia to them is no longer a physical country but rather a diaspora of Somalis and their culture. Everything is temporary for a refugee awaiting resettlement in the US or Europe, eager to leave Africa once and for all.

In Kampala, tucked away in a corner of the humming downtown area lies Kisenyi, a small and rough looking bunch of dusty streets bursting with business and trade, home to thousands of Somalis. Welcome to “Little Mogadishu“.

Exile to the young women in my photographs seems more like living in a parallel sphere. Connected to family, friends, and dates all over the world almost 24/7, these women seemingly maintain their bonds through telephone, internet, social media, rotating wedding videos and gossip rather than living in the actual place they are in. It is Uganda but could be anywhere, really. They celebrate female friendship and solidarity, creating a home away from home for each other, often in absence of men, who have either died, fled or stayed behind in Somalia. They dream of romantic love just like anyone their age, yet give in to the promising material stabilities of older and more established candidates. The further up north on the globe, the better.

Exile is also a hardship that bears everyday hostilities, the feeling of not belonging and a haunting past.

For the women in my photos, however, exile is an overall liberating experience. Stricter cultural authorities are weakened by circumstance, backward practices like female genital mutilation (FGM) are harder to execute in this different environment while life feels freer.

Somewhere in this bubble of Somali life in Uganda and hope for a better future in a far away third place, life happens.
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By Anne Ackermann —

VISUAL STORY

Education Island

By Anne Ackermann — In the tiny self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) over 100,000  mostly international students are currently enrolled in a..
VISUAL STORY

Inclusion in Cameroon

By Anne Ackermann — Nearly 80 % of people with disabilities live the world’s poorest countries. Inclusion is a human right, but implementing it even challenges..
VISUAL STORY

Portraits

By Anne Ackermann
VISUAL STORY

Beatrice

By Anne Ackermann — A tale on the aftermath of civil war in Northern Uganda and some of its protagonists. Supported by a grant of VG Bildkunst. 2012-2014. Beatrice..
VISUAL STORY

Gertrude

By Anne Ackermann — Gertrude, Uganda, 2015 In Uganda, giving birth is predominantly a women-only affair. In a society where women have little or nothing to say, giving..
VISUAL STORY

Full Speed Ladies

By Anne Ackermann — When Nnenna and Jemmy ride their motorcycles through the busy streets of the megacity of Lagos in Nigeria, people sometimes stare at their chests to..
VISUAL STORY

Costumes

By Anne Ackermann — “Costume is the distinctive style of dress of an individual or group that reflects their class, gender, profession, ethnicity, nationality,..
VISUAL STORY

Gloria

By Anne Ackermann — A tale on the aftermath of civil war in Northern Uganda and some of its protagonists. Supported by a grant of VG Bildkunst. 2012-2014. Gloria is a..
VISUAL STORY

Wakaliwood

By Anne Ackermann — It’s not Hollywood, not Bollywood, not Nollywood, it’s Wakaliwood! Located in the Kampala slum of Wakaliga the movie-obsessed creatives..
VISUAL STORY

Lake Turkana

By Anne Ackermann — Lake Turkana at the utmost north of Kenya is most likely the place where mankind started: In the 1970s paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey found here..
VISUAL STORY

Plastica

By Anne Ackermann — Plástica, Rio de Janeiro, 2009 I have produced my portraits of women who received plastic surgery (known in Brazil as..
VISUAL STORY

House of Pasha

By Anne Ackermann — My work ‘House of Pasha’ looks at cultural views and expectations on women in Albania using proverbs, song text snippets, and images...
VISUAL STORY

Christine

By Anne Ackermann — A tale on the aftermath of civil war in Northern Uganda and some of its protagonists. Supported by a grant of VG Bildkunst. 2012-2014. Christine..
VISUAL STORY

Lady Sharia

By Anne Ackermann — A tale on the aftermath of civil war in Northern Uganda and some of its protagonists. Supported by a grant of VG Bildkunst 2012-2014. Lady Sharia..
VISUAL STORY

Ladies first!

By Anne Ackermann — In numbers, it looks so beautiful, the new world of gender-equality in Rwanda. 64 % of the members of parliament are women and half of the judges of..
VISUAL STORY

Gulu Youth

By Anne Ackermann — A tale on the aftermath of civil war in Northern Uganda and some of its protagonists. Supported by a grant of VG Bildkunst. 2012-2014. Youth have..
VISUAL STORY

Lake Turkana

By Anne Ackermann — Lake Turkana at the utmost north of Kenya is most likely the place where mankind started: In the 1970s paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey found here..
VISUAL STORY

White Blacks

By Anne Ackermann — This project is about the harmful practice of skin lightening in black African women. Skin lightening has gained terrifying popularity in some..
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