Kai Wiedenhöfer was born in West Germany in 1966. Since early age he took an interest in the Middle East. He learnt arabic in Syria and then travelled the region extensively. He became the first winner of the Carmignac Photojournalism Award, whose 2009 theme was Gaza. Apart from this he received numerous awards and grants, including Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography, Leica Medal of Excellence, Alexia Grant for World Peace and Cutural Understanding, several World Press Photo Awards and more.
In 1989 Kai Wiedenhöfer photographed the fall of the Berlin Wall in his hometown, and was deeply moved by this experience of history unfolding. At the time, Wiedenhöfer, like many, believed this event would mark the end of walls being employed as political tools and dismissed them as anachronistic instruments of division. Over twenty years later, history has proved us wrong. Border barriers have been erected in the US, Europe, and the Middle East in the aftermath of political, economic, religious and ethnic conflicts. Wiedenhöfer has documented walls in Belfast, Ceuta and Melilla, Baghdad, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the American-Mexican border, Cyprus, Korea as well as the remains of the Iron Curtain. CONFRONTIER presents Wiedenhöfer’s comprehensive project and empasizes his conviction that walls are not solutions to today’s political and economic problems, but proof of human weakness, error and our inability to communicate with one another.