“It’s all about traveling, no matter where I am or on which topic I work .”
For Maja, working with visual media means to travel, be it to explore new places, different ways of life, to explore the own boundaries, or to go on mental travels.
As a visual anthropologist she is mostly interested in people and how they create their lives and identities, which can be illustrated both with documentary and staged motifs.
Maja’s way to look at things is a.o. coined by Indian aesthetics. At a young age, she visited India for the first time to do social work and was fascinated by its rich culture. Later, while studying at Loyola College in Chennai she got into acting and practical photography, but also learned more about the classical Indian art theory, which is based on the concept of rasa. Art is understood as an emotional experience that virtually crosses the boundaries between sender and receiver. Similarly, Maja wants to convey emotions through intensive coloring, as well as through stylized posings and costumes. This can also be seen in documentary images: By aiming for an emic perspective she wants to convey emotions from it.
Also influenced by Indian aesthetics, Maja’s pictures are very dense and symbolic. Layering is a very common principle in her work, particularly obvious in her collages. Here, she deliberately mixes documentary and staged elements.
Another focus of her works evolves around the topic of photography’s influence on psychological well-being, both in relation to the photographer and those being photographed.
Maja is particularly concerned with the mediation of photography. She works as a professor and program leader for „New Media and Intercultural Communication“ at the University of Applied Sciences Landshut (Germany) and as professor for „Media and Photography“ at Ajeenkya DY Patil University (India). Furthermore, she is senior faculty member of the Indian Institute of Photography and regularly lectures at universities in Nigeria, Italy, Indonesia, and Jamaica.
As an artist, she has been giving presentations at events such as Photokina, Nikon Days, the Environmental Photography Festival Zingst, and Fotouni Birkenfeld, gave workshops for the Jamaica Photography Society, Fine Art Brazil, World Art Connects Gran Canaria, and the Masters Conference Grado. She was invited by the Ministries of Tourism of Costa Rica and Indonesia for photography and research. Her work has been widely exhibited and published in numerous books and she has written more than ten practical books about photography and several scientific books and articles. Maja is a Nikon Ambassador, featured in an international Nikon Ad, is Adobe Influencer, and sponsored by Richter Studio Equipment and Nanlite.
Magazines (a.o.): Pictures Magazine (Germany), The Photographic Journal (USA), Docma Magazine (Germany), Digital Photo Magazine (Germany), Hotel Mosaik(Germany), Vintage Flaneur (Germany), Szeroki Kadr (Poland), Nikon Magazin (Germany), Street Photography Magazine (USA), Eye Magazin (Austria), Revista Origama (Mexico), The Printed Blog (Russia), Dürener and Aachener Zeitung (Germany), Foto Hits (Germany)
Books: Waxmann, Springer, Berghahn, UTB, Rheinwerk, Ibidem, WiKu, DPunkt, Addison Wesley, China Photographic Publishing House, Humboldt, Franzis, Bildner
Videos: Adobe Live, Video2Brain, Foto.tv, Galileo, ZDF Springshow, WDR
Exhibitions (a.o.): Photokina for Nikon, Photokina for Sony, IIP Gallery Noida & Varanasi (India), Gallery 1717 Königswinter (Germany), Gallery Lichtbild Wiesbaden (Germany), Evolve Foundation Dehradun (India), Gallery Spazio Ginko Rome (Italy), Ginyuu Hamburg, Köln, and Stuttgart (Germany), Lopesan Gran Canaria (Spain), Fototage Pirmasens (Germany)
Students‘ Exhibitions: Gallery Kunst-und-So (Germany), Art RMX (Germany), Universität Trier Foyer (Germany), IIP Gallery Noida (India), Fotouni Trier/Birkenfeld (Germany)
Jury (a.o.): Urban Books Awards / Trieste Photo Days (Italy), Photo+Adventure (Germany), Deutsche Pop (Germany/ UK), Fotoakademie Köln (Germany), Bund Professioneller Porträtfotografen (Germany), World Art Connects (Spain)
Workshops and Lectures (a.o.): University of Nigeria (Nigeria), The Jamaica Photography Society (Jamaica), Fine Art Brazil (Brazil), Photo Summit Berlin (Germany), Photo Convention Hof (Austria), Fotouni Trier/Birkenfeld (Germany), Photography Masters Conference Grado (Italy), Umweltfotofestival Horizonte Zingst (Germany), Photo+Adventure (Germany), Indian Institute of Photography Tour (India), Fotoakademie Köln (Germany), Photographie-Workshops (Morocco and Italy), Tour Vital (Cuba, India, and China), University of Trier (Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and India)
Invitations from Tourism Ministries: Costa Rica, Indonesia
Sponsoring: Nikon, Sony, Adobe, WhiteWall, Richter Studiogeräte, Nanlite
Scholarships: IIP Travel Grant, DAAD, Erasmus, Journalistische Nachwuchsförderung, Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, e-fellows