Lonely are all the Bridges

Robin Hinsch

OPENING: May 16 2024, at Rifugio Digitale

May 16 – June 2, 2024 | Wed.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

On cover: ©Robin Hinsch, St. George’s Skete of Svyatogirsk Holy Dormition Lavra, Kowitsch, 2023.

From May 16 to June 1, 2024 Rifugio Digitale presents the exhibition Kowitsch by photographer Robin Hinsch, which is the fourth stage of the exhibition cycle dedicated to contemporary photography Homecoming, conceived by Irene Alison and curated by Irene Alison and Paolo Cagnacci. The event is organized in collaboration with Forma Edizioni and the Infoto Firenze Association and thanks to the support of Gruppo AF and Banca Ifigest. The opening will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. in the presence of the artist and curators.
In conjunction with the exhibition, also on May 16, Kalpesh Lathigra will give a lecture – in dialogue with Irene Alison and curated by Paolo Cagnacci – at Bottega InFoto space on Leonardo Bruni Street from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

From the day of the opening, it will also be possible to consult the catalog of available works by Robin Hinsch on the Forma Edizioni website.

Robin Hinsch, Child in a Kostume, Kowitsch, 2018.

Meet the artist


Robin Hinsch is an Artist, Photographer and Professor based in Hamburg and Berlin, Germany. In his artistic, photographic practice, he focuses mainly on social-economic and political issues. In his research-based subjective sometimes intuitive storytelling approach, he combines photography with film collages and installation techniques.His work has seen him travel to various countries like Iraq, Ukraine, Syria, Nigeria, China, Russia, India, Uganda and a lot of other countries. He studied photography in Karlsruhe, Hannover and Hamburg in the Classes of Prof. Ute Mahler, Prof. Elger Esser and Prof. Vincent Kohlbecher. He holds a Master Degree in Photography.

His work has been awarded with the World Photography Award, the International Photography Award, the European Photo Exhibition Award and the Georg Koppmann Prize, has been shortlisted for the Leica Oskar Barnack Prize and the Lucie Awards and has been nominated for the Prix Pictet and the Henri Nennen Prize, to name a few. His work is widely nationally and internationally published. Since 2016 he is an elected member of the German Photographic Academy. Since 2017 he is the founder of “Format“ a vital laboratory for contemporary photography in Hamburg. Besides his own practice he is teaching and holding lectures at various occasions and since 2024 he is the appointed Professor for artistic Photography at the University of Arts in Darmstadt, Germany.


On cover: Robin Hinsch

Curatorial text by Irene Alison

Is there still a possible way to photograph war? Is there a language to visually return trauma, violence, conflict, in a world saturated with images for whose complexity traditional photojournalism no longer seems to be an effective tool of interpretation? Is there a duty of photography to continue to question how to tell the story of pain? But most importantly: do images of horror make us more aware of the horrors we are capable of generating? And is this awareness in any way helpful to us in avoiding them? With KowitschLonely Are All The Bridges, German photographer Robin Hinsch discloses to our eyes the devastation of a theater of war in which only rubble remains, with the rigor of one who has chosen a side – on the side of the vanquished – and the discretion of one who has no truth to reveal, but knows how to put himself in a listening position.

In his pictures, which are part of a long investigation of Ukraine’s conflicts going back to 2010, war has the face of an exhausted soldier collapsed on a bench, surrounded by a haunting landscape lying hushed beneath the snow. It has the irregular outlines of a bombed-out cathedral. With his personal exhibition, the voyage around the idea of home undertaken with the Homecoming cycle turns into a bitter reflection on the absence of a home to which to return: destroyed, reduced to rubble, abandoned. The houses of KowitschLonely Are All The Bridges are inhabited only by ghosts.

Yet, the frescos that Hinsch creates have a hypnotic vitality and beauty that goes beyond the contemplation of disaster, where we seem to hear, in the almost surreal silence of the scenes, all the echoes of the insanity of war and the hope of a future that can sprout new green shoots even where “home” is no more than a heap of dust.

Such images, then, we need. More than fifty years later, John Berger’s 1972 analysis of the “photography of agony,” which, as the shock of the reader/viewer wanes, “completely loses its political significance and becomes an indictment of everyone and no one,” still sounds quite convincing. So is Susan Sontag’s famous argument that the spectacle of other people’s pain produces habituation and that “the huge photographic catalog of misery has given everyone a certain familiarity with atrocity, making the horrific seem more normal, making it familiar, distant and inevitable.” But, far from the (often) suffocating immediacy of photojournalism, Hinsch’s images open instead a space for thought and understanding: they are no less painful than those that dwell on the most unwatchable atrocities of conflicts, but in their slower pace, in their apparent detachment, they show how awareness is a long process and how History, often, can teach us something only when looked at in perspective. Looking at them, we are stunned by the destruction they witness but, precisely because they do not leave us breathless with horror, we have the breath to find within them useful clues to understanding the world we live in, and the wars we still fight.


  • May 16, 12 noon: press conference with Robin Hinsch and curators Irene Alison and Paolo Cagnacci
    free entrance

  • May 16 from 4,00 p.m. to 5,30 p.m. at La Bottega di Infoto at 4 Leonardo Bruni Street: lecture with Robin Hinsch in dialogue with curator Irene Alison
    free entrance subject to availability

  • May 16, 6:30 p.m.: exhibition opening with Robin Hinsch and curators Irene Alison and Paolo Cagnacci
    free entrance

  • May 16 – June 2, 2024, Wed.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.: tours of the exhibition
    free entrance; reservation required for guided tours

Useful Materials


ARTRIBUNE, 15.05.2024

LA NAZIONE, 17.05.2024

FRENZE TODAY, 13.05.2024

EXIBART, 14.05.2024

LA REPUBBLICA, 26.05.2024

FUL MAGAZINE, 27.05.2024

Interview with Robin Hinsch by Irene Alison 

Learn about our reality and that of our partners

Rifugio Digitale is an exhibition space inside an anti-aircraft tunnel that aims to be a place dedicated to the promotion of digital art, where architecture, design, photography, cinema, literature and all the other multiple artistic and expressive forms also find their own dimension by dialoguing with each other. The cultural proposals and events that we welcome in our space are the result of a great work of collaboration and research between subjects and realities of the territory with which we share perspectives and objectives.

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