Silke Koch was one of the honourable mentions of the fifth edition of the SCOPIO International Photography Contest, titled 'Crossing Borders Shifting Boundaries: City', which was focused on diverse countries and on how the migratory movements have influenced the places and people (identities) of those territories. The primarily focus of this fifth edition was on the subject of residential spaces, public spaces, urban scattered communities and city life in general. We were interested in showing works that characterise the rich multifaceted world of contemporary cities and / or non-traditional urban communities regarding immigrants or minorities' different types of block, neighbourhoods, cultural diversity and values expressed in various types of residential and public spaces.
"New Leipzig" is a recurrent prefix for cities and states, which adds the meaning of a hopeful fresh start to the often nostalgic use of the place of origin. In Silke Koch's pictures, the hundred years old New Leipzig seems to have lost both hope and original identity if it ever had one. Through her rigorously composed images, Koch shows the impossibility to draw parallels between her home city in Saxony and this small town in North Dakota, a 200 inhabitants village where trophies turn their backs in the future. Signs are the only loose and dystopic connections, raising a kind of Paris or Texas feeling.
"New Leipzig", by Silke Koch
"People need to (re)invent to survive since the beggining of human history. I am interested in shifting boundaries and how is it look like: My home town Leipzig compared to New Leipzig, and what is the "NEW" in New Leipzig. German everyday life or American dream? Is New Leipzig an observation or a statement, fiction or reality? At the beggining of the 19th century, thousands of Europeans set off for American. They wished to leave their home behind - or even had to. For a new world, for adventure, for the land of the unlimited opportunities. A world offering the opportunity to reinvent or complete Leipzig? And where can you locate the New Leipzig School?"