lea bräuer




Where milk and honey flow


Where milk and honey flow

Germany has one of the most liberal prostitution laws in Europe. Prostitution is generally an emotional, societal as well as a politically controversial issue. The diverging positions in this regard are mainly due to personal moral concepts and experiences. Prostitution is also highly controversial in feminist discourses. While some in prostitution advocate the preservation of "sexual self-determination", others are more concerned with the "sexual" aspect as a "human right," other feminists consider prostitution to be the patriarchal system's takeover of power over women, by a gender-determined field*. Prostitution is, at least on paper, a recognized trade that is associated with revenue, expenditure, taxes and safeguards. The reality, however, is different in a remarkably large number of cases. Prostitution is often not carried out in a politically self-directed way, but in a way that is determined by others. Not least because of the difficulty of defining "free will", the boundaries between them seem fluid. Photographer Lea Bräuer deals with this area of so-called "misery or forced prostitution“ in her work "Where milk and honey flow".

Through her research on this topic, she found out that most of the women who work as prostitutes in Germany come from Eastern European countries, and work in miserable or coercive conditions. This circumstance prompted the photographer to travel the Balkan route. Dreamlike-looking images of Eastern European countries are broken by the realities of women's lives on the street. Found objects, which tell their everyday life on the street, break the imagery of this romantic landscape.

The photographer visited a street in Berlin’s unofficial Red-light District several times and found the legacy of misery and forced prostitution there. The photographs of these objects were taken in the studio, detached from the local context. They tell of the everyday life of women on the street and remind us of the object-like nature of police evidence. In contrast, quotations from direct contact with prostitutes appear. These statements stand in hard contrast to quotations by men from so-called punter forums. On these Internet platforms, clients share their experiences with prostitutes and evaluate them. The work plays with the break of the beautiful illusion and hard reality.

*Since prostitution in Germany is predominantly practiced by women (approx. 93%) - knowing full well that boys and men (approx. 4% men, approx. 3% transgender) also work occasionally in prostitution - this is also linguistically pointed by countering as follows: The author will only talk about the woman in prostitution.

Berlin, 2019

Lea Bräuer


1993 - Born in Kirchen, Germany

Resides in Berlin

B.A. of Arts: Communication Design


2018 — Politiken des Designs Kunstraum Potsdam,

Serie: Oh baby, it‘s a wild world.

2017 — Autos verkaufen, ON Berlin,

Serie: Oh baby, it‘s a wild world.

2017 — Neue Tradition, Objekte unserer Tage, Berlin

Serie: Oh baby, it‘s a wild world.

2017 — Schwäbische Alb, Interim Festival

Serie: TRAFO — Modelle für Kultur im Wandel, Saarpfalz, 2015

2016 — TRAFO

1 Leipziger Buchmesse, Leipzig

2 Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Halle

Serie: TRAFO — Modelle für Kultur im Wandel, Saarpfalz, 2015

2016 — Leipziger Buchmesse, Leipzig

Serie: Strömungswiderstand.

2016 — Weisswasser, Transformation Weisswasser

Serie: Turnus

2015 — Potsdam, FH Potsdam,

Serie: Die hundert Wege.


2019 — Sponsorship for CA 2019, Netherlands
2018 — Artist Talk „Schoen“ Konferenz, Augsburg
2017 — Scholarship: Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes