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Thomas Ratjen:
Photo project with refugees on the topic of dignity

Every person is beautiful in their uniqueness. Photographer Thomas Ratjen takes portraits of refugees in his studio.

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by Kristin Frauenhoffer

In 2023, more than 220,000 people applied for asylum in Germany. Around 3 million people seeking protection currently live in Germany. But what do these figures tell us? They are anonymous and faceless. The individual people blur into a large mass. It is easier to say to a faceless mass, „We don’t want you here“, as happens more and more often at the moment. Yet every person has a face, a story, dignity.

The project „Dignity – Dignité – Würde“ by freelance photographer Thomas Ratjen shows refugees as they would like to present themselves. He invites them to his studio and takes beautiful, graceful and aesthetic photos of them. His aim is to present them in their uniqueness – as people like you and me. Because we are all unique …


Thomas Ratjen

„In my photo project „Dignity – Dignité – Würde“, I portray refugees in classic studio portraits. I see these images as a tribute to the vitality, beauty and uniqueness of people. On the run, people often lose their awareness and sense of their own strengths and worth. The portraits want to do their part to open this view a little again and reflect the individual expression of dignity that each person carries within them.“

He has compiled some of the pictures for good news for you:

Each portrait participant receives an online gallery of edited images that can be shared on social networks or sent to relatives back home, as well as photo prints.

The portrait project is still open and continues to grow! Interested individuals or organizations that work with refugees are welcome to contact Thomas Ratjen to take part in the project. Contact:

Thomas Ratjen, born in 1968, lives as a freelance photographer in Regensburg and Landshut. He has traveled to the EU’s external borders for the aid organization „Space-Eye“. In numerous photographic works, he deals with the topic of „people on the run“.


This article is protected by copyright.


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