By: Siw Aldershvile Nielsen, Fotografisk Center
Biography: Sofie Amalie Klougart (b. 1987) is an independent photographer currently living in Copenhagen, Denmark. She studied a BA in photojournalism at the Danish School of Media and Journalism from 2009-2013. As part of her education she worked as a photographer for the Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information. She won prizes in the Danish Press Photo of the Year contest in 2011 and 2013. In 2012 she was chosen to take part in the prestigious workshop Joop Swart Masterclass, which is arranged by the World Press Photo organisation. She also took part in Young Danish Photography 2013 at Fotografisk Center. In 2014 she started working as photography teacher at Krabbesholm Folk High School for a year. She has since worked with her own long-term projects focusing on for example the european refugee crisis and as freelance photograher for The New York Times among others.
Reaching Europe was made in collaboration with journalist Marie Louise Albers and they have continuously documented their work when travelling around. Sofie Amalie travelled to Lampedusa in October 2013 after 366 people had died during a huge shipwreck. In 2014 they received Doctors Without Borders Journalism Scholarship and then decided to visit a group of young men from Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Ghana, and Guinea-Bissau living in a ‘Reception Center’ in the Italian costal town of Pozzallo. This part of the project took place in beginning of April 2015 and is meant to show what actually happens to those of the immigrants that are entering Europe by boats across the Mediterranean Sea. On March 20th, 167 immigrants arrive to be hold back in this temporary institution for a maximum of three days. But the Italian migration system has broken down caused by the struggle to cope with the many immigrants so these portrayed refugees have at the documented time been detained for 13 days with very limited resources and nothing to do other than wait.
In 2015 Sofie Amalie Klougart won Lensculture Emergent Talent Award 2015 with Reaching Europe. She is with one of her photos from this project also among the photographers in the exhibition STATUS:15 (until 30th of October), which is a collaboration between DJ:Fotograferne, Fotografisk Center and Banja Rathnov at Museumsbygningen.
Amalie Klougart and Marie Louise Albers are letting us into a world we only hear about in the medias with a distance but they are with this project putting faces, photographs and words onto Europes biggest refugee crisis. Sofie Amalie Klougart work very directly with reality because of her background as a photojournalist, still it’s not possible to overlook the artistic value of the photographs. A recurring element is especially the natural but scenic light that plays a part as spotlights on the men in the portraits. It’s thereby obvious that the distance have been reduced in their wish to convey the stories of these people.