The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay
June 2016 issue
Viva Europa Viva A Celebration of European People and their shared Humanity
by Jurgen Schadeberg
A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous! Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
This book and exhibition is about the people from the many corners of Europe who, after centuries of bloody wars (including two horrific World Wars) have put their disagreements aside to form the European Union. Incredibly fast, and unlike anywhere else in the world, Europeans have developed a haven of safety, sanity, peace and democratic stability, within a world experiencing unprecedented chaos and human rights abuses. Of course, the age-old traditional enmity between European nations was more about perceived than real differences - a way of thinking encouraged by individual states to create divisions and unnecessary nationalism.  Thankfully this has now been thoroughly discredited after a brutal period of lunacy, during the early and middle years of the 20th Century, when European nationalism reached its lethal nadir. As a child, I experienced the true horrors of European nationalism.  I grew up in war torn Berlin during a period of insane racism, when there was an all- encompassing propaganda of hate, leading to the total destruction of tolerance and altruism. I actually saw the reality of the Second World War, a
war that left most of Europe in ashes and over sixty million people dead – all due to the insanity of a small group of egocentrically evil leaders who exploited illusory national enmities. “Never again” was, rightly, the call of all Europeans, irrespective of their nation, at the end of the Second World War.  This gave rise to a revolution, of historic proportions, as Europeans have overcome a scarred past to embrace a common humanity - a humanity based upon shared values, aspirations, traditions and mutual respect. The result has been peace, justice, a highly developed set of human rights and an equitable welfare system, all of which now form the cornerstones of European society, irrespective of nation.  The desire for these rights and benefits, and their implementation, are the proof, if ever it was needed, that Europeans have always shared more similarities than differences. In reality, over the centuries, there has been considerable integration between the peoples of different European countries.  Conflicts, economic woes and occasional religious intolerance have meant that Europeans from different states have frequently had to move to other countries within Europe.  So, a shared way of life has always been, more or less, common - with Christianity, of course, underpinning European philosophy and culture.  Of course, on the face of it, there are still differences between Europeans, most notably between those of the north and the Mediterranean countries.  However, look below the surface, and you will see, as my photographs show, that there are far more similarities than differences. The values, humanity, desires and philosophy of the Mediterranean countries are almost a carbon copy of their northern cousins. As a documentary photographer I have spent many years in the United States and Africa.  During this time, I travelled widely and met a vast cross-section of different people.  However, what was clear to me was that Europeans have a u nique character and, now, a precious value system unlike elsewhere in the world.  It is the wonder of this that I wish to celebrate.
Museum Goch exhibition running until 5th June
Lovers at dawn, Cambridge 1983.
Family outing at the Battersea fun fair, London, UK. 1964.
Spring picnic in the Volkspark, Berlin, Germany. 2012.
Provocateurs in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 1966.
A couple and their baby relax at the annual Africa festival in Wulzberg, Germany. 2008.
Visiting families at the ground of Ireland’s National Circus, Ireland. 1974.
A cell in Pentonville Prison, London, UK. 1967.
Bathhouse in The Gorbals, Glasgow, UK. 1968.
Lady crossing the Seine in Paris, France, 1978.
Tea for two, Glasgow, UK. 1968.
Elderly couple dancing to the Normandy jazz band at the Chateau in le Perche, France. 2011.
Summer fiesta in Gandia, Spain. 2012.
Dancing and celebrations during the festival of the Ugly in Piobbico, Italy. 1983.
Rickshaw taxi at Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany. 2012.
The animal blessing, Barx, Spain. 2014.
A health farm in west London, UK. 1978.
Song and dance man in a Scottish pub, Glasgow, UK. 1968.
Barx village fiesta, Barx, Spain. 2012.
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