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Photo Essay: US Anne Marie Hunter Shares Snapshots of her Exchange in Germany

31.Oktober 2019

© Anne Marie Hunter

This year, Kansas City journalist Anne Marie was given the opportunity to take part in the “Goethe Close-Up” exchange program. Sponsored by the Goethe-Institut and Wunderbar Together, the project gives cultural journalists working in print, online, and radio media the opportunity to swap work places with journalists from another country for three to four weeks. While abroad, journalists get to learn about the day-to-day life and work of professional journalists in their respective host country and share their experiences through articles published in print and online.

For Anne Marie, photography is a useful tool for documenting her exchange in Kassel, Germany and remembering the people and places she has encountered abroad. Her photos tell stories often aren’t found in newspapers and present an authentic picture of what life is like as an American in Kassel.

“As a writer and photographer, I am an attentive observer of the world in which we live,” she tells us. “I often document life’s less noticed moments, seek out tell the stories behind the scenes and capture the invaluable which may be unseen at first glance.“

Below are some highlights from her personal photographs while on the exchange. Find out more about Goethe Close-Up at goethe.de/nahaufnahme!

My first photo shoot for HNA was a wet one. I had accompanied reporter, Valerie Staub to Kaufungen, Festplatz, to photograph local politicians who were preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their village.

Bauntal is home to the second largest Volkswagon parts manufacturer facility in the world and nearly 20,000 people are employed there. The town spotlights their celebrity with more than 300 handpainted Volkswagon models placed around the town.

Against a backdrop of gorgeous scenery, brides and grooms from around the world come to Wilhelmshöhe Palace at Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe to be married. 

No matter the weather on any given day, the skies always looked like paintings at Wilhelmshöhe Park.

Göttingen is a charming medieval university town.

Natural beauty was everywhere in Kassel. Within a short walk or train ride, I could escape into this visual poetry where my soul united with nature.

October 3 was an extraordinary day for Baha and Burak Basak as they celebrated their marriage at Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe.

Eva Sophie Blum and her two-year-old Akita-Husky mix, Hermine enjoyed some play time at Königsplatz on sunny Sunday morning in October. I treasured photographing the dogs of Kassel throughout my exchange program. It was one of the highlights of my time here, in larger part because meeting the dogs always gave me an opportunity to meet and talk with their owners.

Many weekend mornings from spring through fall, Mama Elefölü plays the oboe for visitors at Schloss Orangery Kassel. His favorite tunes are American jazz and blues standards. My last Sunday here, I was walking through the Orangery gardens when I heard Elefölü playing. I followed the music and found him playing on a bench in the rose gardens. I asked if I could take his picture and, after, I sat and listened to his great music.

Reporter Valerie Shaub and I, as photographer, covered the grand opening of the new Hoffner location in Kassel. This five-story, 40,000 square-foot home furnishings store carries more than 100,000 items for purchase with expectations of 20,000 shoppers visiting each day.

Reporter Valerie Shaub and I, as photographer, covered the grand opening of the new Hoffner location in Kassel. This five-story, 40,000 square-foot home furnishings store carries more than 100,000 items for purchase with expectations of 20,000 shoppers visiting each day.

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