Thomas Mann Fellows | 2023

Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan

Dr. Sophie-Charlotte Opitz | Curator and Media Studies Scholar

Sophie-Charlotte Opitz | Image: Niklas Wulff
Sophie-Charlotte Opitz | Image: Niklas Wulff

Sophie-Charlotte Opitz, born 1987 in Aachen, studied philosophy and art education at Goethe University Frankfurt from 2007-2012, and subsequently completed her doctorate. Since September 2022, she is Artistic Director of Museum Villa Rot in Burgrieden, following her former role as Director of The Walther Collection (Neu-Ulm/New York). She began her curatorial practice in 2019 as a fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. Afterwards, she worked in the fellowship programme „Museum Curators for Photography“ of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Foundation in Germany, Switzerland, and the UK. In addition to her monograph „Bilderregungen. Die Produktionsmechanismen zeitgenössischer Kriegsfotografie“, she regularly publishes in academic journals, exhibition catalogues, and photography books, especially on aspects of collective memory cultures and global image politics.

2022 | In Arcadia. In: Robin Hinsch. WAHALA. London: Gost Books
2022 | Das Bild im Wandel. Fotografische Praxis in gesellschaftlichen Umbrüchen. In: Führer, C. & Weixner, A. (eds.). Umbruch – Bild – Erinnerung. Beziehungsanalysen in nationalen und transnationalen Kontexten. Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht Verlag
2021 | Speaking in Silence / Making Waves / Light and Shadow / Under a Blue Sky. Four publications in: Damian Michał Heinisch. Erde, Feuer, Wind, Wasser. Heidelberg: Kehrer Verlag
2021 | Ebb and Flow. Female Interconnected Memories in Conceptual War Photography. In: Costa, H. & Zerwes, E. (eds.). Mulheres Fotógrafas / Mulheres Fotografadas: Fotografia e genero na América Latina. São Paulo: Intermeios
2021 | Timm Rautert: Annotated Biography. In: Museum Folkwang and Bomba Gens (eds.). Timm Rautert and the Lives of Photography. Göttingen: Steidl Verlag
2020 | Bilderregungen. Die Produktionsmechanismen zeitgenössischer Kriegsfotografie. Ilmtal-Weinstraße: Jonas Publishing House

Prizes / Awards
2019 | Fellowship for art coordination, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart
2019-2020 | Fellowship "Museum Curators for Photography", Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation
2016-2018 | SciMento Fellowship, mentoring programme for women in science and business, Hessia

Project description
Sophie-Charlotte Opitz wants to explore transnational image strategies that place hope as a democratic principle of action at their center. In doing so, she turns to protest movements such as Black Lives Matter and the current resistance movement against the war in Ukraine. While researching various visual media, from photography to posters to TikTok videos and memes, she will bring together their visual strategies with an eye toward continuities and ruptures. When hope as a principle of action is at the center of protest movements, hegemonic interpretive imperatives can be broken: Images can be used to connect people and make grievances visible. In the critical consideration of past visibility relations, they can have an influence on future social structures. The goal is to generate various essays from the transatlantic dialogue and research in Los Angeles/USA, which will result in a publication.