Rotterdam Photo

Paul Christener


Between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, philosopher Max Picard wrote, “Nothing has changed the nature of man as much as the loss of silence.” That is debatable. But what if we are all a bit quieter, and if we begin to listen to what scientists have been saying about the danger posed by viruses and global warming for decades? 

The project “Silence” begins with photographs from the series “The World Is Darkening.” We consider the world we live in today to be normal. But if you study history, it quickly becomes clear that the opposite is true. That leads to the next series, called “Lifequake,” taken from the word earthquake. Do we need a quake to realize that adjustments in most aspects of our lives are the only solution? Why didn’t we start changing the human blueprint decades ago?

That question brings me back to what Piccard wrote about the loss of quietness. It is a gut feeling with no scientific reasoning. I believe that a global slowdown in everything we do is a way to protect the planet from us. Thus, the third series shows winter landscapes—snow creates silence and ensures that we reduce our pace. 


Instagram: @paul.christener

Rotterdam Photo

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