Photografic Exibition


“The power of language in images”

Hardly any other medium which human beings can use for the purposes of communication disposes of as much power as language. From the most delicate flower to the most powerful empire, it can create everything in our imagination, and paint our entire world (and other worlds beyond it) in the most vibrant colours.
And yet no other medium is so complex and confused. The flipside to this wealth of diversity is the fact that more than 6000 different languages and uncounted dialects are babbling away in the global confusion of this modern Babel. Surely any attempt to communicate the power of language internationally must be doomed to failure?


The idea was as obvious as it is unusual: contrary to the popular saying, a picture may not be worth a thousand words. But at the same time, the language of images is a universally comprehensible code, accessible worldwide. The Goethe-Institut therefore launched an international photographic competition calling on both professional and amateur photographers to capture the power of language in an image. Apart from formal technical criteria, this task was deliberately left open – with an overwhelming result: in more than 3000 pictures, participants from 46 countries focused on the power and impact of language. Whether eye-catching, abstract, intimate, ironic or reflective – the works display very personal interpretations of human understanding from the most diverse regions of our world.

We received a total of 3247 photos from 46 countries addressing “the power of language” in very different and interesting ways. A specialist jury gave awards to the three best submissions and selected another 60 for the photographic exhibition “The power of language in images”. The pictures were presented for the first time at “The power of language” festival in the Academy of Arts in Berlin from June 14 – 16, 2007. From August 15 to September 21, 2007 they will be shown in the Wissenschaftszentrum Bonn, and from september 26, 2007 until january 2008 at the Franckesche Stiftungen, Halle (historic orphanage), and then in the Goethe-Institute in Bremen. Afterwards they will go on a world tour.

Tourdates (PDF 33KB)




The photographic exhibition "The power of language in images" is presented by PHOTONEWS.