Retired Republic

Paulina Hildesheim


How could our environment look like if it is made by retirees? In face of the aging society the photographer Paulina Hildesheim is creating a visual microcosm. She dives deep into the world of old people, visits a retirement home, health resorts, a Danube cruise and tries to find out how it feels like to be old.

With her series she offers the viewer a new access to the topic of being old and questions the current visual representation of elderly in photography.

Due to technological and medical progress the life expectancy of people becomes higher, while the birth rates are staying constantly low.

This demographic change of the German society and the social and political challenges coming with the transformation of the general public are already part of daily life. The system of state retirement provision in Germany is based on a fictive contract between two generations which implies the current participants in the labor market to finance the pension of the current retirees with their social contributions. But this system will collapse soon when the number of retirees increases while the working population decreases. Facing this fact it becomes utopian that the generation born after 1989, who grew up in wealth and peace, ever get a state financed pension which will result in a social dilemma and a highly rising number of old age-poverty.

With the photographs of people, objects, public spaces and interiors this series approaches the microcosm of a ubiquitous phenomenon - the aging society.

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  • Cat

  • Untitled

  • Tulip

  • Selfportrait with Agesuit I

  • Selfportrait with Agesuit II

  • Danube Cruise

  • Jugglers

  • Athlon SL

  • Untitled

  • Bathroom

  • Retirement Home

  • Sunday

  • Golf

  • Health Resort

  • Untitled

  • Illnesses of Teeth

  • Digital Age

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