Interviews, Reviews, Writings

Metropolis  –  Relics of the Cold War  –  The Eyes of War  –  The Never-Ending War  –  Kabul Portraits  – Trabant


VPRO Radio, March 31, 2018
One hour interview with Martin Roemers in Nooit Meer Slapen (Dutch)

National Geographic Magazine (International Edition), March 2017
A Photographer’s Journal; Metropolis

Metropolis Video

Azu Nwagbogu
Introduction from the book  Metropolis
Capturing the Impossible. 
Capturing the essence of the world’s megacities – in all their transience and intangibility – is a daunting task. This is not the job of a documentary photographer; rather what is required is artistic intervention. Each image captured in Metropolis is a work of art and is as close as it gets to understanding the mystifying paradoxes of megacities.”

Ricky Burdett
Introduction from the book  Metropolis
Cities on the Move.
“His eye – and his camera’s long exposure time – engages with the dynamics of cities on the move, forcing us to literally slow down and dwell on the meaning of inhabiting the cities of the twenty- rst century. The visual process has an intrinsic social value that transcends the art of photography. It allows us to get beneath the skin of the vast scale and intense speed of the new urban context, which is so di cult to grasp ‘on the ground.’ The static images freeze the complex processes of urban dynamism and become hyper – real.”

National Public Radio (USA),  February 18, 2017
This Photographer Captures A Megacity’s Vibe In A Single Photo

NRC Handelsblad, January 19, 2016
“One is almost surprised that the photographs in the series Metropolis have no sound or smell, so intense is the experience they convey of what ‘global urbanisation’ actually means to those who are living it […] Every image is multi-layered: the longer you look, and the larger the print, the more you see.”
Article (Dutch)

Der Spiegel, March 2016
Der Flow der Megastädte
“Leben in Megastädten: Einer, der glänzend darüber erzählt in seinen Fotografien, ist der niederländische Fotokünstler Martin Roemers.”
Article (German)

The Independent on Sunday, January 10, 2016
“A study of the human condition”

France 2, Telematin, French public TV
, February 5, 2016
Interview about Metropolis

LensCulture, November 2015
Metropolis won the first prize in the LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2015.
Jim Casper speaks with Roemers about this series.

The New York Times, July 28, 2013
The Bustle and the Blur.
“An indelible image of New York.”

The New York Times, May 6, 2012
Living in the New Metropolis

The New Yorker, September 18, 2012
Martin Roemers’s Swirling Megacities
“Roemers created pictures that convey not only the mass and energy of megacities but also the humanity of the individuals living in them.”

Huis Marseille – Museum for Photography, 2015
Interview: Martin Roemers on ‘Metropolis’

La lettre de la photographie, April 10, 2012
“We are now at the center of the evolution of documentary, where the photographer is no longer a close witness but as a sociologically informed observer.”

The New Yorker, April 2, 2012
“A crush of citizens who appear as ghostly bits of fabric swirling around sidewalk venders’ displays like unharnessed energy.”

Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2011
The Beauty and Brutality of Images That Reach Far Beyond the Headlines
“Martin Roemers’s colorful shots of street life in Mumbai bring to life the theme of humanity’s increasing urbanization.”

The New York Photo Review, April 18, 2012
Urban Speed
“Abstract streams of vehicles and/or bodies flow sinuously around pockets of stasis, allowing the viewer to interpolate stories about these city dwellers–– that man standing so close to the train speeding past, all those vehicles stopped in the road surrounded by blurred bodies.”

Jury Statement Daylight / CDS Photo Awards 2010 (by Jamie Wellford)
“Roemers is in the process of visually addressing the relationships of humanity to and within inherently complex megacities, in which there is ever-changing organic development evolving in both astonishing and horrendous ways. I think Roemers begins to create tableaux of stage settings, each in its own way a passion play in which life unfolds in myriad ways. There is a harmony in the chaos of these settings. The inanimate becomes animate. The large scope of the images still allows detail to congeal as part of a pulsating whole. The pictures tell us that the world is in the round, perceptible and felt in 360 degrees. These photographs begin to take us to places outside the frame where lives continue and the metropolis slowly rises and recedes, rises and recedes.”

Newsweek, November 7, 2011
Hello, Seven Billion
“For all their chaos, big cities still have a sense of humanity. That’s what I want to reveal with these photographs – both the dynamic character of the city and the individual humans, the urban travelers, who call the metropolis home.”

Noorderlicht, 2011
Video Interview (Dutch)

The Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2013
“I have a Martin Roemers photograph of Mumbai—99% of the patients who walk through the door always have a comment about this photograph.”

Photonews, January 2016
Der Fotograf Martin Roemers
Article (German)

World Press Photo, 2011
Daily Life, first prize stories

European Photography, #98, 2015
Urbanics: The Contemporary City. Martin Roemers, Metropolis

Relics of the Cold War

Interview on Dutch Public Radio, Spraakmakers, Radio 1, January 20, 2020

Interview on German Public TV,
January 31, 2019
Artour TV, MDR.Portrait of Photographer Martin Roemers

Martin Roemers
Introduction from the book ‘Relics of the Cold War’.
Same Defenses, Same Fears

Nadine Barth

Introduction from the book ‘Relics of the Cold War’.
Archeology of Deterrence.
“An archeologist investigates. He investigates a specific epoch, cultural contexts, or the human activities of a given period. Based on his findings he is able to make statements about the daily life, the culture, or the existence of our ancestors. 
Thus, Martin Roemers is an archeologist.”  

German Historical Museum, 2016
Video interview (English/German)

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 12, 2016
Hallucinating images of a bygone era.”
Article (German)

Der Tagesspiegel, March 3, 2016
“Eine dunkle, klaustrophobische Gegenwelt.”
Article (German)

Deutsche Welle, March 2016
“A Disneyland of the Cold War’: How Martin Roemers photographed the war that never happened”

NRC Handelsblad, April 27, 2016
“An impressive exhibition”
Article (Dutch)

Photo District News, New York, November 2010
Notable Photo Books of 2010, Nov. 2010 
“His images make areas of both East and West Germany look like manufacturing towns that have been abandoned as the industry supporting them fell apart or relocated.”

Foto 8, March 2006
“”Precious few edifices mark the end of the Cold War but its relics – trashed bases, abandoned defences, deserted missile silos – become eloquent monuments.”

Conscientious, Joerg Colberg, July 2, 2010
“Relics of the Cold War feels like an archeological study.”

Der Spiegel, November 27, 2009
“Roemers found places where the Cold War is still alive.”

Neue Zuercher Zeitung, January 31, 2010
“The renowned photographer reveals where fears affect both sides and engender very similar forms of defence.”

NRC Handelsblad, November 6, 2009
“A dilapidated military underworld full of potential film sets.”
Article (Dutch)

PHOTO International, #6 2009
“A new, subjective documentary style.”

De Telegraaf, November 6, 2009
“Roemers is able to comment on the human condition and human behavior without words.”

Der Tages-Anzeiger, December 11, 2009
“An eerie gallery of 1960s mould, reek and rust.”

Kasseler Fotoforum, 2009
“A subtle monument in book form. The strikingly designed photos grab the eye and don’t let go.”

Kathy Ryan (The New York Times Magazine), 2009
“A terrific book. Surreal. The pictures are straight out of Dr. Strangelove.”

The Eyes of War

Cees Nooteboom
Introduction from the book The Eyes of War.
Seeing The Invisible. On the work of Martin Roemers. 
“This book is made up of inescapable stories and unforgettable faces (……).  Why that is, how it happened, is written in the stories that the photographer, Martin Roemers, has captured in his spare, pared-down prose, which hits you head on because there is nothing to hide behind. (……) Roemers, with the skill of the writer that he is, has stripped away everything that might distract from that essence.  (…….) because these are all frontal photographs of faces in merciless black and white, it seems as though you are walking through an endless gallery of statues in a museum of horrors, a classical antiquity where all suffering has been petrified as a lasting lament. “
Article (English / Dutch)
Audiofile (Dutch)

Conscientious, Joerg Colberg, June 26, 2012
It is to be hoped that books like The Eyes of War will now also be made for the wars we either brush aside or ignore or simply pretend they didn’t even happen.” 

Conscientious, Joerg Colberg, June 21, 2012
Meditations on Photographs: Frederick Lennart Bentley by Martin Roemers
“You think you know, and then you don’t. You find out why you don’t know and what you need to know instead. But once you look at the photograph again, you’re being thrown back to an earlier stage, almost to the moment when you first saw this portrait. The moment you try to clarify things, the moment you really try to nail the damn thing to the wall, a wall, anything that might give it stability, certainty… everything deflates.”

German Historical Museum, 2014
Video interview (English/German)

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, October 6, 2014
Blinde Blicke
“Der Schock, der sie versehrt hat, ist in ihre Züge eingegraben, als tiefe Narbe, als leere Augenhöhle, als verschleierter, nirgends Halt findender Blick. Und als Ausdruckskraft.”
Article (German)

Der Tagesspiegel, October 10, 2014
Der blinde Blick
“Martin Roemers macht die Schrecken des Krieges spürbar.”
Article (German)

The Huffington Post, July 21, 2012
“The striking images depict the physical residue of war and time.”

Stern, July 19, 2012
“Eine Galerie der tiefen Einblicke.”

PHOTO International, 2012
“Was Roemers stiftet, sind Gesichtslandschaften voll schockierender Wucht. Mit Sicherheit zählt sein Zyklus zum Besten, was in jüngerer Zeit als Buch gedruckt wurde.”

Financial Times Magazine, November 14, 2009
“Haunting images of people blinded in the second world war.”

The Never-Ending War

H.J.A. Hofland
Introduction from the book The Never-Ending War
“Memory takes possession of the face, the eyes focus for no more than a few seconds on in nity and an inaudible voice says: this is what it was like. Look at Martin Roemers’ photographs: for here are the faces of veterans listening to the voice of their memory.”

International Herald Tribune, May 9, 2005
“This is our collective history.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, May 8, 2005
“Look them in the eye and one senses what they have seen.”

PhotoQ, 2006
“Old soldiers never die, they just fade away’. Roemers’ book makes this process graphically clear.”

De Volkskrant, September 29, 2005
“Every tiny stain, hair, wrinkle and irregularity can be seen, but it’s mainly the eyes that stay with you.”

World Press Photo, 2006
Portraits, second prize stories

Eyemazing #8 2005
“The confrontation is unforgiving. The collection of portraits evokes the sensation of being cast into a room full of people we have inadvertently met in the dark and now someone has thrown on the lights.”

Kabul Portraits

De Volkskrant, May 23, 2011
“The Kabul Portraits take your breath away.”

NRC Handelsblad, September 12, 2003
“Roemers saw it. He has captured a strange, inhospitable country, its inhabitants full of suspicion toward the peacekeepers. There is no longer any sign of elation at the arrival of armed Western troops. This is an explosive atmosphere.”
Article (Dutch)

Trabant. The final days of Production

The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2009
“A bitter sweet exhibition There is a surreal sadness in these photos, as the resolutely old-fashioned Trabant, in various stages of production, slides along in scene after scene.”

Lesezeichen, #2 2008
Tatsächlich ist es dem Fotografen Martin Roemers mit seiner faszinierender Reportage gelungen, einen Epilog auf die sozialistische Industriekultur in Schwarz-Weiss Fotos zu giessen.”

Photoscala, November 28, 2007
“A brilliant example of the power social-documentary photography still can have today.”
Article (German)

Carola Jüllig, Head of Photography Department, Deutsches Historisches Museum
“Roemers eindrucks- volle Aufnahmen spiegeln den Übergangsprozess zwischen Planwirtschaft und kapitalistischer Wirtschaft wider. Da er Zugang zu allen Bereichen des Werks hatte, präsentieren die Aufnahmen ein unverfälschtes Bild der Arbeitsbedingungen. Ein Blick hinter die Kulissen, der neben einer Portion unterschwelligem Humor zeigt, dass die veralteten Produktionsbedingungen an ihr Ende angelangt sind. Mit seinem unbefangenen Blick als Außenstehender kreieren seine Fotos eine dichte Atmosphäre kurz vor dem Stillstand.“