All This Love
The aim of this series is to broaden the social discourse about old age. Today, we are so used to discussing complex sets of challenges concerning the security of the pension system, the dramatic rise of dementia diseases, and the nursing crisis. We even talk about leisure culture and educational opportunities for the so-called silver and golden ager - mostly through an economic lense though - whereas eroticism and sexuality in older and high age couples are utterly underrepresented or even tabooed in the public mind. But endless variations of love, desire and eroticism build a universal value that is lived, at its best, by humankind all over the world at all ages. All This Love highlights some beautiful love stories and intimate moments of older couples.
Irene, 80, and Günter, 79, are a catholic couple married for more than 60 years. Günter says: "God gave us the gift of sexuality". They are both art enthusiasts and painters who have a very loving connection to their own bodies and each other’s.
Nila met Engelbert in an amateur theatre in Berlin in 1978. She was 42 years old and a single mother of two sons. Originally she came from Thuringia. Engelbert was fourteen years younger than her. He had come from Bavaria to Berlin where he led an individual life. "None of our friends believed in this impossible love", Nila remembers. But since then, they have shared a free-spirited partnership that finally led to their marriage in 2001. Until now, aged 84 and 70, sensuality, eroticism and tenderness play an essential role for them. Nila authored their life story in a book and blogs about partnership and spirituality. Both have been dedicated Tantra practitioners and share a passion for music. They are proud to have mastered the challenges of mountain climbing, another mutual passion, and everyday life equally: "We just feel deeply grateful for our destiny that brought us together."
"Twelve years ago I fell in love with Waltraud, a scholar of German philology, who teached a creative writing class I attended", poet Lilly, 85, says. Since then they are a couple. Both were married before they met, Lilly has two children. Waltraud, 76, was born as Walter. In the 80s she received her sex reassignement surgery in Germany. Her mental and physical transition from her birth sex to her felt gender identity was a long and difficult journey which she documented in several autobiographical books and public lectures. About her partnership with Lilly she says: "I’ve never been so happy and fullfilled in my whole life!"
Selected Awards and exhibitions:
2023 Chelsea International Photography Competition, Agora Gallery, New York
2022 Trieste Photo Days "Wow: Worlds of Women", Italy
2021 2nd place (Open Theme single), 3rd place (people single), Hon. Mention (series), 16th Julia Margaret Cameron Award, US
2021 Focus on the Story Portrait Awards, first runner-up "Irene and Günter Part II", finalist "Nila and Engelbert Part I", US;
2021 Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards Winner, US;
2021 Portrait of Humanity Award/BJP 1854 Winner, UK;
2021 Tokyo International Foto Awards, Gold in People/Portrait;
2021 Exposure International Photo Festival, Int. Open Call Exhibition, Canada;
2020 Portrait of Humanity Award/BJP 1854 Winner, UK;
2020 BIFA Budapest International Foto Awards Silver, Bronze;
2020 Director’s Choice Award, Narratives, Int. Open Call, Praxis Gallery, US;
2020 Silver & Bronze Winner (2x), Honorable Mention Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3), France
2020 Photo Oxford International Open Call First-Place-Crowd-Vote-Winner, UK
Story & Interview for feature shoot, May 2021, by Sara Rosen (Miss Rosen): love-and-desire-among-elder-couples
Slate, France, 02/2021, All This Love: http://www.slate.fr/grand-format/intimite-couples-personnes-agees-197930