Eva Leitolf, Postcards from Europe

Work from the ongoing archive, since 2006


Eva Leitolf’s long-term project shows a strong engagement with the way migrants and refugees are treated in Europe and forms a radical departure from the style of visual and hurried reporting we have become accustomed to. Her main interests lie in how the European Union relates to the suffering of migrants and refugees, the organisation of the administering of undocumented migrants, and plans dedicated to tightening control of its external borders.


To provide this wider framework, Leitolf’s research is based on different sources—apart from media accounts, on police files, press releases, or data gathered by NGOs—and constitutes the starting point for her itineraries. On extensive field trips, she depicts scenes where incidents of exclusion, xenophobia, or violence have occurred. While travelling, she also speaks to people who relate to the event: migrants, refugees, seasonal workers, activists, trade unionists, local politicians, border guards, to name but a few. The collected voices and sources form the basis of the texts on the postcards that are presented next to her photographs.


Since 2006, Leitolf has created an ongoing, open-ended archive, based on her visits to border areas in Spain, the enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta in Morocco, southern Italy, Greece, Hungary, the Channel ports of Dover and Calais, and specific sites in Germany and Austria. By juxtaposing images with texts, she invites the viewer to reflect on consequences of today’s policies in Europe, and the European Union in particular. As well as addressing the phenomenon of migration, the interplay of words and images in Postcards from Europe explores aspects of individual perception and questions our own formation of meaning.



Eva Leitolf (b. 1966) studied photography at University GH Essen. She earned her MFA at CalArts and now teaches regularly at international art schools and universities.

Critical examination of the practices of image production and contextualisation is a central thread running through all of Leitolf’s work, which explores contested societal phenomena such as colonialism, racism, and migration.

Her works have been shown at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, the Frankfurter Kunstverein, the Sprengel Museum Hannover, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands Photomuseum in Rotterdam, the KunstHausWien and the National Gallery of Kosovo in Pristina. Her publications include Postcards from Europe 03/13 (2013), Deutsche Bilder—eineSpurensuche (2008), and Rostock Ritz (2004).


The Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Krakow
ul. Krakowska 46

Exhibition open:

Tue–Sun 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
31.05 closed


6 PLN / 9 PLN

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