Free Choice / Conceptual Photography | Nominee

Nina Röder

Berlin / DE

wenn du gehen musst willst du doch auch bleiben


In 2017, both my grandparents, Franz and Theresia Protschka, passed away. Both were around 90 years old. As refugees from the former Sudetenland and grown up in the war generation, they both kept everything and threw almost nothing away their whole lives. The house where they lived for more than half a century after seeking refuge in Windsbach, Franconia, served as the nucleus for our family. After the death of my grandparents, my mother, Dagmar, my cousin, Laura, and I cleaned the house before it was sold. This photo series was taken during the process of sorting their belongings according to sentimental value, and deciding whether they would be kept, donated or thrown away. This piece not only examines the aesthetic pluralism of my grandparents’ collected belongings, but also shows a possible approach to dealing with loss, grief and memory, using the stylistic device of absurdity. The work was created in analogue medium format.


Nina Röder, born 1983 in Neuendettelsau, Franconia, lives and works in Berlin and Hamburg.

She studied media design with a focus on photography at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, where she worked from 2012-2017 as an artistic assistant. Since autumn 2017 she has been professor for photography in the Art & Design Department at BTK Hamburg.

Her photographic works focus on hidden structures of biographical narratives, in which she combines aspects of theatre and performance with the temporal space of photography.

Nina Röder's series have been exhibited and awarded prizes at international exhibitions such as the Voies Off Festival in France, the Goa Photo Festival in India and the European Month of Photography in Berlin.

She is currently doing her doctorate at the Bauhaus University Weimar in the Ph.D.-by-project program on "Performative Strategies of Emergence in Contemporary Photography".

Nina Röder is represented by Galerie Burster in Berlin.