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In photos: Angela Merkel’s era

Angela Merkel: an era ends and with it a unique project in the world. Between 1991 and 2021, this remarkable politician was photographed year after year, with a short break, by Herlinde Koelbl.

Whenever they met, a head shot and a three-quarter-length shot were taken against a plain white background; images that authentically document the astonishing rise of a 37-year-old political outsider to become one of the most powerful politicians in the free world.

This long-term photographic study vividly shows how the traces of power changed Merkel, who at the start of this extraordinary photographic ritual was still almost 15 years away from becoming Germany’s first female Chancellor.

The renowned photo artist has managed to capture Merkel’s human side through other means than the lens of her camera. Usually extremely reserved, the politician responded to Koelbl’s questions with surprising openness and privacy. Herlinde Koelbl presents a documentary portrait in words and images, of a genre that does not exist for any other world leader. It travels through time, spanning Angela Merkel’s time – from first year to last.

It is the portrait of an extreme physical and psychological transformation, and the written record of a unique relationship.

(Herlinde Koelbl)

(Herlinde Koelbl)

(Herlinde Koelbl)

(Herlinde Koelbl)

Angela Merkel and Herlinde Koelbl, 2021

(Bundesregierung / Steffen Kugler)

Herlinde Koelbl. Angela Merkel

(Herlinde Koelbl)

You can buy ‘Herlinde Koelbl. Angela Merkel’ here

The Independent Gt

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