A leprosy village at the Atlantic coast in West Afrika. Here leprosy belongs to everyday life. But the disease is not excluded. The patients are living together with their families. Most of them lose fingers and toes due to the disease and go blind at a later stage. These people live at the base of life. They try every day to cope with the present and to find a way into the future. In the beginning it was like exploring the past. Soon, however, the courage and the warmth of the people lead you on a journey that brings the important things in our life back into consciousness.
Franz G. Messenbaeck is a photographer and surgeon in Bischofshofen, Austria. He considers both professions as complementary. The precision of surgery influences photography, aesthetic sensibilities of photography bring advantages in surgery. His passion is landscape photography. He runs a small but fine portrait studio in the city of Bischofshofen near Salzburg in Austria. He travels a lot, mainly to the American West and to Northern Europe, where he enjoys the solitary landscapes full of structures and abstractions. These landscapes are a welcome counterpoint to the surgical work too.