cornelia freitag suffers from ehlers-danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disease that attacks the skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. as a chronically i’ll person with no prospect of a cure, her view of a precious life has changed. 

when i met conny last year in december and learned about her illness, i was crushed by the feeling of how hard it must be to live with such a diagnosis. i felt a direct connection to her as my mother also suffers from chronic illnesses. the constant visits to the doctor, the lack of understanding and the insinuations that she was just imagining things. she had to undergo a total of 77 operations so far and it was only through a random question from a doctor and her own research that she found out what was really bothering her, the ehlers-danlos syndrome. very personal tattoos now shine all over her scars. „i’m fine“ describes conny very accurately, she has accepted her life with the disease. but upside down, you can read „save me“. 

nevertheless, conny is a joyful, funny and strong woman who doesn’t mince words. and she loves to ride her harley davidson. 

photographed for stern 
text by matthias lauerer
photo editor claudia menzel 


focus magazin

for months, german society has been debating the new citizen’s income. in december, i took a look behind the doors of the job centre in duesseldorf for focus magazine. published in issue 52/1. 

office and dignity
citizen’s income, shortage of qualified employees, immigration - debates on labor market policy divide society. but what are the job advisers in the office missing? and the unemployed in the country?

text: lara wernig 

photo editor: kathrin bruch

upcoming exhibition - duesseldorf photo weekend

Press release
Max Brugger: 

heading towards dystopia

neospektiv, Düsselkämpchen 2, 40239 Düsseldorf, Germany 


Opening: March 8, 2019, 18:00 Uhr, with artist talk
Exhibition: March 9, 12:00–22:00 Uhr, March 10, 12:00–18:00 Uhr
Additional artist talk: March 9, 2019, 16:00


Exhibition space neospektiv is presenting the current work “heading towards dystopia” of Duesseldorf-based photographer Max Brugger at Duesseldorf Photo Weekend 2019. Aside from documenting the protests in Hambacher Forst, Max Brugger is outlining various positions in the conflict, that is a symptom of a fundamental future issue. Between the presence of the society and its uncertain future, he is creating an image space, that is shifting within dystopia and hope.
Max Brugger (*1991) is a Duesseldorf based photographer. He studied Communication Design at Peter Behrens School of Arts/ Hochschule Düsseldorf. Focusing on Photography he worked closely together with his professor and mentor Mareike Foecking. During his studies he produced many projects of which some were exhibited in noted galleries such as NRW Forum Düsseldorf. In his conceptual artistic and documentary way of working, Max Brugger challenges the classic narrative structures of photojournalism and comes to terms with his elected subjects as well as his distinct position within the process. For his graduation project “Independet Voluteers” (2018), he travelled several times to Greece portraying people that came from all over the world to establish small and non-institutional projects aiming to help the many refugees in their unfortunate circumstances. He was selected for the Magnum Photos „young talent workshop“ during the visa pour l’image festival in Perpignan 2017. 


neospektiv is an independent exhibition space for contemporary artistic and gestaltist works, prototypes, experiments and processes. It was founded in autumn 2017 by six former students of the Duesseldorf Peter Behrens School of Arts, as an exhibition space and studio for exhibition- and graphicdesign. 


Max Brugger on: “heading towards dystopia”
The undergone utopias founded in novel blueprints of communal life that arose in Hambacher Forst during the past six years, were suddenly destroyed by the country’s demonstration of power. People, who left society behind to develop a new idea of community rooted in the fight for a piece of forest, were bereaved their habitat, to immediately squat it again. The protest against the clearing reached a size that even surprised the occupiers. A broad mass, consisting of all social classes, formed with the common goal of saving the forest.
Loaded with emotional strength, Hambacher Forst grew to a symbol of international climate protection. The discourse about power, future, past, justice and injustice, climate and the fate of RWE workers, forest occupants and local residents leaves marks of a fight that introduces various questions. 


Contact: neospektiv, Anne-Cathrine Mosbach,

Using Format