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When we took on the challenge of making this calendar, we had no idea that it would lead us on an extraordinary journey that made our cameras pass through America, Asia, and Europe for a whole year. It has become a collective group work of us – the photographers – and the people who have so generously shared their stories. It speaks of the hospitality of African Russians, of African music in Spain, and of achievements and dreams from Colombia to the United States to Germany and beyond. This work is the fruit of what the people who are portrayed here decided to express. In capturing moments of joy, resilience, and hope, we were cautious to let each person tell their own story without rules or script. Eventually, we were satisfied with a smile, a smile we encountered in many different forms across the various places we visited, and which says, “We are proud of who we are.“

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