Stefan Arno Möhl

Stefan Arno Möhl (1984, Germany) studied Sociology and Media Studies in Bielefeld and Potsdam. He worked as a freelance researcher and editor for a Spanish and a German political foundation. Möhl conducted anthropological field studies in West Africa and published several academic articles. He recently finished his Masters Thesis, a photographic and philosophical project on the metropolis of Johannesburg, following the Soweto TV News team, His camera was always, as it is now, a constant companion. Möhl produced two short documentaries on African cities: Nag op die Strate (2011, Night on the Streets), where the camera traces the nightly path of the ‘neighbourhood watch’ of the Bo-Kaap in Cape Town. His second film Dahomey, Begegnungen in Benin (Dahomey, Encounters in Benin) was shot in the forgotten West African country of Benin. Here he portrays a partnership between two remote villages, one in Benin and one in Germany. For citybooks, Möhl made a portrait of Stellenbosch in 24 photos.


The photo series Nachtschwärmer // Nighthawks composes impressions from the nocturnal streets of Stellenbosch. Other then many South African cities, Stellenbosch is characterised by its street life. The old centre is populated with students sitting in street corner cafés or tourists, doing window shopping. In that regard, Stellenbosch is even considered a “European” town.
At the same time Stellenbosch, is often referred to as a “place in a bubble“, a sheltered place that excludes itself from the rest of the country. The visitor to Stellenbosch comes across various gated communities and private security cars, patrolling the town day and night.
Stefan Möhl joined a group of private security officers. He was interested in what happens on the nightly streets of Stellenbosch. Depicting their work on the streets, he shows something of the town’s everyday life and its seclusion and isolation. Strolling mostly at night trough the town, Möhl came across many people for whom the streets became a habitat, such as homeless people and car guards. Altogether, the pictures in “Nighthawks” shed light on the “every-night” of Stellenbosch.

 


 

Stefan Arno Möhl (1984, Saarbrücken, Duitsland) studeer sosiologie en Media Studies in Bielefeld en Potsdam. Hy werk as vryskut ondersoeker en redakteur vir ’n Spaanse en ’n Duitse politieke instituut. Hy doen antropologiese ondersoek in Wes-Afrika (Ghana) en publiseer artikels in ‘n verskeidenheid akademiese joernale. Stefan voltooi onlangs sy MA tesis. Deur die Soweto TV Nuus span te volg, voer hy ’n fotografiese en filosofiese projek uit, oor die metropool van Johannesburg. Sy kamera is in dié tyd, soos ook vandag, ’n konstante metgesel. Stefan maak twee kort dokumentêre oor stede in Afrika: in 2011 Nag op die strate, waar die kamera die nagtelike togte van die buurtwag in die Bo-Kaap in Kaapstad agtervolg. Stefan skiet sy volgende film Dahomey, Begenungen in Benin (Dahomey, ontmoetings in Benin) in die vergete Wes-Afrika land van Benin. Hy beeld ʼn vennootskap tussen twee klein dorpies uit, een in Benin en een in Duitsland.