They have to fend for themselves. And very often they even have to look after their little brothers and sisters. Some are lucky enough to live with their grandmother or even both grandparents. Nearly one in three children in the Republic of Moldova is living without its father or mother. Some of those left behind will not see their parents for whole months or even years. The money their parents earn abroad by working in elderly care or harvesting crops is not enough to visit their children at home. In addition, the parents also often have to pay a lot of money to their trafficking agencies. As a result, their only connection in many cases is a voice on the phone or a face on the computer screen during their Skype sessions. This leads to sorrow and solitude on both sides. German photographer Andrea Diefenbach documents these separate worlds in her 2012 book “Country without parents”.
In 2006, a study funded by UNICEF found that children who are left behind at home by their parents often suffer from this separation and create an emotional distance over time. The study also shows that it is particularly difficult for small children left behind to develop any kind of genuine social contact, even with other children their age.
Curriculum Vitae: Andrea Diefenbach
1974 born 19th April 1974 in Wiesbaden, Germany
1995–98 apprenticeship as photographer
1998–99 work as freelance photographer and photoassistant
2000–06 studied Photography at University of Applied Science, Bielefeld, Germany
since 2005 work as freelance photographer
Awards, scholarships, residences
2012 n-ost Reportagepreis 2012,Artist talk, University of Applied Sience, Mainz, Germany
2011 Artist talk ›Bielefelder Fotosymposium‹, Artist talk ›Literarisches Colloquium Berlin‹
2010 Moving Walls 18, OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE, New York, Finalist W. Eugene Smith Award, Goethe Institute Sarajevo, 10 days artist in residence in Sarajevo
2009 Grant ›Grenzgänger‹, Robert-Bosch-Stiftung (Moldova/Italy), Grant VG Bildkunst (Nepal), DAAD-Scholarship (Nepal), Goethe Institute Sarajevo, 3 weeks artist in residence in Banja Luka, Nominee Deutsche Börse Photography Prize
2007 Wüstenrot Award for Documentary Photography / Museum Folkwang
2006 DAAD-Scholarship for ›AIDS in Odessa‹
›Land ohne Eltern‹, Kehrer, Oktober 2012 (MONOGRAFIE)
›The Other Side Photography from Eastern Europe‹, Kehrer, 2012
›Spid. Aids in Odessa‹, Hatje Cantz, 2008 (MONOGRAFIE)
›Gibt es die Welt auch ohne mich‹, Kehrer, 2008
›Jüdisches‹, Nicolai, 2006
›Atemwege, Leben mit Mukoviszidose‹, Kerber, 2005
Stern, Spiegel, GEO, GEO special, GEO saison, GEO international, Geolino, Mare, Merian, Cicero, NEON, Nido, Brand Eins, DIE ZEIT, ZEIT Wissen, ZEIT Magazin, Chrismon, SZ Magazin, Brigitte, Brigitte Women, Freundin, Frankfurter Rundschau Magazin, ADAC Reisemagazin, MISSY Magazin,Vital, DU, Annabelle, NZZ, Le Monde, Ojode Pez, Nature, La Repubblica delle Donne, PDN, The Fader, Once Magazine, Foto Eight, Newsweek Japan.
Folkwang Museum, Essen
Jüdisches Museum, Berlin