Germany has been at peace for over 70 years. But war does not only manifest itself as military conflicts on battlefields, but also appears in a more abstract form in our society in various places. The work “I died 22 times” combines motifs from different scenarios. Thus, images of gun shows are combined with photos of war games such as Airsoft. Despite their different content, both scenarios shown have one thing in common: nobody dies. War is staged as something entertaining and at the same time harmless — and thus experienced as an event that can be consumed.

This series asks important questions: How does the acceptance of war arise? Can’t feelings of power and dominance also be delightful and appealing? Is destructiveness predisposed in humans? And finally, where does war begin?

Rafael Heygster. Born in 1990, he studied cultural anthropology and political science at the University of Hamburg from 2010 to 2015. Since 2015, he has been studying photojournalism at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover. Rafael Heygster’s works deal with the relationship of individuals to their social, cultural and political environment.


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