More than 180 people lost their lives in the flood of July 14–15, 2021. For numerous people, that night changed everything. In the aftermath of the flood, the general public became aware, perhaps for the first time, that climate change has arrived in Germany.
The members of the DOCKS Collective set out on a journey to the Ahr valley on the day after the disaster. Their aim was to photograph the local situation and talk to those affected by the flood. Owing to their collective structure, the five photographers were able to work in several places at the same time.
Over a period of two weeks, the five members took photos non-stop in the Ahr valley and in the regions hit by the waters. They documented their experience and people’s stories, the unbelievable destruction and the great solidarity of the helpers.
It rapidly became clear that the reconstruction of the destroyed areas would take a long time. When the media interest began to decline, the collective decided to continue visiting the region, the numerous helpers, firefighters, and victims. For a year, the members witnessed loss and immense grief, but also inspiring solidarity, an impressive willingness to help, and perseverance.