Art May 31, 2010 By Nika Knight

filler73 Malwine Rafalski

Photography by Malwine Rafalski

Photography by Malwine Rafalski (Click images to enlarge)

mallwine bs Malwine RafalskiMalwine Rafalski is a German photographer based in Cologne. She began studying photography only six years ago, and has worked as a freelance photographer since graduating last year. Her work focuses on the edges of society, the fringes of civilized communities. She has photographed gypsy populations outside of Bucharest; young, single mothers in their homes in Germany; and in her most recent project, Holon, she photographs forest-dwelling communities that have rejected today’s mechanized society for a utopian vision of communion with the natural world. She answered via email a few of our questions about her work and these mysterious off-grid lives.

What does “holon” mean?
The term holon describes something that is simultaneously a whole and a part. Each holon has two tendencies: to exist as an autonomous, self-reliant unit and to be also an integral and dependent part in sub-ordination to controls on higher levels. It is a system (or phenomenon) which is an evolving self-organizing dissipative structure, composed of other holons, whose structures exist at a balance point between chaos and order. It is more a scientific term, but it describes the people of my series perfectly.

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