European Prospects
Exploring European Identity through Photography

Frederic Lezmi

Frederic Lezmi

Frederic Lezmi (b. 1978) studied visual communication with an emphasis on documentary photography and book design at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany, and Fine Arts at the Academie des Beaux Arts (ALBA) in Beirut, Lebanon.

Frederic Lezmi


Frederic Lezmi (b. 1978) studied visual communication with an emphasis on documentary photography and book design at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany, and Fine Arts at the Academie des Beaux Arts (ALBA) in Beirut, Lebanon. Since 2006, he has been working as personal assistant to Markus Schaden at the German publishing house and book shop and has been overseeing numerous book and exhibition projects. His series Beyond Borders has received the BFF-Promotion Award as well as the Reinhart-Wolf Prize. It was published in 2009 by German Publisher White Press and designed as an 11-meter accordion fold out. It was nominated by Garry Badger for the Photobook Award in Kassel and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

In 2011 he has founded the little imprint SUNDAY BOOKS, where he has already published highly acclaimed titles as Poor Politicians and Taksim Calling, that was selected as part of Martin Parr’s Protest Book exhibition at Paris Photo 2013. Since 2012 Frederic Lezmi lives and works as a freelance photographer and book designer in Istanbul. He regularly gives masterclasses and book workshops and since 2013 teaches book making in the photo department of Istanbul‘s Mimar Sinan Fine Art University.


He is represented by The Empire Project in Istanbul, Turkey and East Wing in Doha, Quatar. He also works as a photographer for the Laif Picture Agency in Cologne, Germany.


Portfolio Beyond Borders

 “Searching for the border between Europe and the Orient. From August to December 2008, I travelled between Vienna and Beirut. During my journey, I encountered people in different environments, inside or in front of architectural places, both real and artificial, public and private. My pictures reveal an ambivalent point of view beyond the current clichés. They exceed the very essence and value of architectural monuments and existing borderlines and are looking for new perspectives. In my photographs, the Orient and the Occident are being overlaid and interfused, in view of a regionally different but more and more growing and integrating globalism. Photography proves itself as a visual hinge and an interface between these multifaceted worlds where the space between East and West is either expanded or reduced.

Where is the end of the West and where does the Orient begin?”

Frederic Lezmi

Portfolio #Taksim Calling

"#TAKSIM CALLING is an unconventional poster book that contrasts spontaneously taken iPhone pictures of the Gezi protests with idealized and oversized vintage postcard images from Taksim Square in times of peace - mostly from the 1940’s,1960’s and 1970’s. Living in Istanbul I was there when people raised their voices on Taksim Square, one of the central places in Istanbul and a historical place for demonstrations since the early times of the Turkish Republic. In 2013 during peaceful demonstrations for saving the trees of Gezi Park, the police attacked the people with water cannons and pepper spray and with their excessive use of force fueled a uproar in the whole country.

The flexible presentation of the images allows you to view them either like in a newspaper or more separately as a set of five posters. Hanging it on the wall you can choose which sight of Taksim you prefer: the peaceful historic overview or the more detailed turbulent fragments of the Gezi reality. The book documents the kaleidoscope of Turkish activism in a unique way without interpreting/evaluating the events taken place in Mai and June 2013. In Istanbul #Taksim Calling is distributed for free."

Frederic Lezmi

Portfolio Complex Proeuropa

“In this photoessay commissioned by EPEA I had a close look at the European identity of a specific country at the fringes of the continent: Romania, in constant transition since 1989 and one of the newest members of the European Union.

On my way through Romania for my Beyond Borders project in 2008 I noticed strong transformations going on in all aspects of daily life. Huge billboards, shopping malls, construction sites and renovations can be seen at every corner. European brands obviously taking over new markets and Western banks flooding the country with loans.

Obviously the latest economical crisis has decelerated the speed of this unhealthy turbocapitalism. How does this country look like, after these first "Capitalist years", more than twenty years after Ceausescu's regime? How does a European identity feel and look like in Romanian

civil society? How does such a complex thing as an identity manifest itself? How are European values, norms and identities transported? My photo essay wants to find answers and ask new questions taking in account cultural, economical, social and historic levels.”

Frederic Lezmi



2013 #TAKSIM CALLING, Sunday Books

2011 Poor Politicians – Beirut, Sunday Books

2011 Poor Politicians – Prishtina, Sunday Books

2010 Beyond Borders - Arabic Edition, White Press

2009 Beyond Borders, White Press


2013 I See Europe!, Kunstbezirk, Fotosommer Stuttgart, Germany

2013 Bufferzone, Apartment Project, Polistar Gallery/DEPO, Istanbul, Turkey

2013 European Identities, EPEA, Peace Nobel Center, Oslo, Norway

2012 European Identities, EPEA, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany

2012 Des Méditerranéens, Festival Rencontres de la Photographie, Lyon, France

2012 Contemporary German Photography, Museum of Modern Art, Tbilisi, Georgia

Additional information: 
Lezmi's work has been featured on LensCulture and The NY Times.