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Courtesy of 

Jakob Eckstein

Unity and Diversity

Jakob Eckstein

Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie


Jakob Eckstein is a German-American photographer and writer. After completing a BA in American Studies at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, he moved to Berlin in 2019 to study photography at Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie. He is set to graduate from Ostkreuzschule in 2023. Eckstein views his photographic practice as a methodology of poetic expression, that is nonetheless deeply rooted in a daily engagement with the physical world. His projects often occupy an ambiguous space between documentary and fine art, and revolve around the themes of subjectivity, belonging, alienation and communication.

Stranger at Home

Germany/ USA


I grew up in the USA with German parents, live in Germany today, and regularly return to the USA to visit friends and family. I am of both of these countries, but also perpetually split between them, never fully belonging to one or the other. While I have always felt at home in both places, I have also always felt alienated from them. “Stranger at Home” is a photographic project that seeks to capture, examine and communicate this tension between familiarity and strangeness, belonging and alienation.

In its current form, “Stranger at Home” is a collection of photographs that I have been consistently adding to since the summer of 2021. I carry a small digital camera with me at all times to act upon the impulse to photograph whenever it strikes. Like someone examining their own thoughts, I am drawn to things that seem intimately familiar, and yet still inscrutable and even ominous. As a result, “Stranger at Home” is an amalgamation of a wide range of subjects, including street scenes, detail shots, friends and family, and rural and urban landscapes. Despite their variety, my photographs are bound together by aesthetic tendencies like dense, meticulous compositions, juxtapositions of movement and stillness. But above all, these images are unified by the feeling of persistent, familiar strangeness they all exude.

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