Stefan Kleinowitz was born in Austria and grew up in Vienna. Before entering university, he decided to travel and explore the world, an experience that would have a profound effect upon his photography.
In a photographic genre that is often characterised by harsh realism, Stefan’s work stands out for its sense of curiosity and amazement. This is evident, for example, in his provocative photographs of the everyday lives of marginalised communities and the young musicians and artists they produce. His need to understand the communities he discovered on his travels, and what it meant to be human in both contemporary and earlier societies led him to a study of sociology and cultural anthropology. In 2013, he left Imperial College London with a Master's Degree in Public Health and Epidemiology.
In a world desensitised by a constant barrage of shocking images, Stefan’s photography offers people respite from an unrelenting exposure to misery and suffering. In his intimate portraits of street children and former juvenile prisoners in Sierra Leone, he provides a reason to linger. His photographs declare that we have more in common as human beings than the superficial differences in our circumstances would suggest. Stefan's work is a delicate mixture of candid photography and planned portraiture. It is a work of patience in which he waits to capture that intimate moment in the everyday lives of his subjects when they let down their guard and reveal their humanity.
BJP-online published his photo essays on the Calais refugee camp in France and former street children in Sierra Leone. It is Stefan’s intention that by bringing people into focus, places in Africa and elsewhere can move past a negative narrative and into a future filled with hope. He is based in Johannesburg where he continues to work on personal projects and commissions, taking photographs that remind us of our shared humanity.
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