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by Christopher Bangert
Photography / Latin American Studies / Travel
8 x 9.75 inches
150 four-color photographs
In 2002, with nothing but 2000 miles of ocean and 22,000 miles of ground between himself and New York, Christoph Bangert started the trip of his life.
Flying from Dortmund, Germany to Buenos Aires, Argentina was the first step in the six-month journey that took Bangert over two continents, across the borders of 14 countries, through numerous mountain ranges and over countless bodies of water, and finally to his new home in Brooklyn. He made this astounding trip with little more than a camera and a Land Rover, his wits and perseverance. The result, Travel Notes: 22 Thousand Miles Across the Americas, is an astounding compendium of visual and written documentation of his remarkable expedition.
We travel with Bangert through the political upheaval in Argentina’s capital, drive with him across the seemingly endless landscapes of Patagonia, spend a freezing cold night at the southern-most tip of the Americas on Tierra del Fuego, and climb the snowcapped Andes. After crossing the Atacama desert, we get stuck with him in the deep mud of a Bolivian salt flat, where after two days he is rescued from a hopeless situation by a freight train. We are at his side as he almost drowns inside his Land Rover while crossing Lake Titikaka on a wooden barge, and stand breathless with him in front of the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. In Peru and Ecuador, we follow him up the famed Pan-American Highway, doing what he loves to do the most: drive. We visit every single country in Central America, discovering great poverty and an equal amount of beauty. In Mexico we find Aztec ruins and American tourists. In the United States, we experience the shock of reentry into a developed economy and the majesty of the country’s vast landscape, and finally, after an exhausting journey, we feel the joy and triumph of arrival in New York City. Cataloging Bangert’s trials, tribulations, and wild successes, Travel Notes is the ultimate road trip.
Christoph Bangert, born in Daun, Germany in 1978, studied mechanical engineering at the Universität Karlsruhe, photo-graphy at the Fachhochschule Dortmund, and photojournalism at the International Center of Photography. He worked as a freelance photographer for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and, more recently, covered the war in Iraq for The New York Times and Polaris Images. His work has been published in Time, Newsweek, GEOlino, Züricher Tages-Anzeiger, Stern, Der Spiegel, and The Daily Telegraph. He is part of the reGeneration exhibition and book project created by the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland, and was chosen both as one of 50 young photographers worldwide, representing all genres of photography, to shape the future of the medium in the next 25 years and as one of Photo District News’ 30 Under 30. He currently lives in Brooklyn.