Paul Hansen

Swedish, 1964–present

For Hansen, photography is all about emotions, first and foremost it’s the language of the heart.

On one level visual storytelling, journalism carries the responsibility to inform and make it possible for people to form opinions and make rational decisions based on factual information. Failing that, the photography will at least inhabit a space in our collective consciousness where facts matter and no one can state that ”they didn’t know”.

On another, deeper level, it has the capacity to touch people’s souls, to make us emphasize with others, and in doing so point out a road ahead where we all adhere to the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Photographs, when you shoot them as well as view them, is about seeing. To view a still photo is to stop time and be in the now and permit the frozen slice of time in front of you to become a part of here and now.

Regardless of your personal parameters, religion, age, gender, education or background photographs are, for Hansen, windows that invite us to visit other people’s reality. We become a temporary, but privileged guest in past and present tense simultaneously.

Hansen’s documentary work is about trying to find, and visualize, the invisible thread that binds us all together, that connects us as human beings. It’s the challenging, almost impossible task to explain mankind, to mankind.