Karolin Klüppel

Karolin Klüppel (*1985) studied at the School of Art and Design in Kassel and at the Faculdade de Belas Artes in Lisbon and holds a MFA in photography. Since 2012 she concentrates on personal projects and often spends months abroad.

She regularly exhibits in galleries, museums and festivals, including the “Voies Off” festival in Arles in 2012 and “Festival Circulation(s)“ in Paris in 2015. Her recent project „Mädchenland“ has won several awards such as the Canon Profifoto Award 2014 and the Bourse du Talent #62 Portrait Award and has been published in international magazines such as The New York Times, The Independent, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, etc. In her work she is concerned with gender relations and matrilineal or matriarchal societies.

Interview

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How did you hear about Mawlynnong? After I finished an artist-in-residency program in Goa, I decided to travel to Meghalaya to do a photo project on the Khasi. I stayed in Shillong for one week and decided for myself that it would probably easier to get in close contact with people in a small village. Then I read about Mawlynnong and thought it could be worth to see that place.

How does one get there?

From Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, it is very easy to get there. I decided for the cheapest opportunity: a shared sumo. Because there is no railway in Meghalaya and the roads are in bad condition, all the locals travel by those overpacked, yellow Jeeps. In Shillong, there is one big sumo stand at the market and you can find sumos to nearly every village in Meghalaya there. The ride to Mawlynnong usually takes three hours with one short stop in Pynursla.

Where did you stay while you were there?

I lived in Mawlynnong for six months and after a half year break back home, again for three months to finish the series. I was lucky and was able to stay both times with a Khasi family. Nowadays, several families in Mawlynnong have guesthouses or offer homestays for travelers. It was a great experience!