Fire department. The wait.

As a photographer, I always experience brief impressions of a city and I often ask myself, what are the pictures of a city? Are there the same pictures in different cities? I often notice the people who work in and for the city. They often have the same appearance despite being so individual.

A very special professional group stands out: the firefighters. We hear them often, rarely see them and when we do, we help out in difficult situations. But we don't know the people in their heavy uniforms with breathing masks, although we have the greatest trust in them. We would trust any of them with our child.

Where do these people work, who give every city its image and ensure that the lives of the citizens are made safer.

Documentary photography takes time and a lot of empathy to get close to a subject. In today's professional photography, time is of the essence and projects require extreme planning in order to accomplish them. I wanted to show the exact opposite with this project. Approach slowly and be there – for 24 hours. As long as a working day for the firefighters in Erfurt. Life and work, the alarm and the return, but also the tense wait for the next call for help should be shown. From 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. the next morning. At the Erfurt fire station. With only one camera and a 35mm lens.

Thanks to all firefighters,
who are there for us every day. Elena Kaufmann


Selection from the series
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Vernissage Angermuseum Erfurt 2019
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Art book for the exhibition