In the wake of the financial and refugee crisis, economic and social insecurity, Brexit, the current coronavirus pandemic and its attendant economic and social upheavals, identitarian movements are gaining ground worldwide. Touting visions of impending doom and gloom, including overpopulation and social decline, they fan fears and peddle purportedly “common sense” solutions and promises that breed exclusion and intolerance. All of Europe is witnessing the political ascent of right-wing populist parties: UKIP in the UK, Dansk Folkeparti (DF) in Denmark, FPÖ in Austria, AfD in Germany, Vox in Spain and SVP in Switzerland, to name just a few.
Swiss photographer Christian Lutz has documented right-wing populist people, movements and hot spots all over Europe for his latest series, Citizens. A far cry from the usual polarized coverage in the mass media, Lutz’s multi-layered photographic approach involves noiseless pictorial expressions of deep seated despair in the form of candid portraits of party leaders and followers alike and shots of their rallies, post-industrial landscapes, bars and hangouts.