Arne Wesenberg

Im [Un]Ruhestand

15. June 2019 18. August 2019

The political scientist Gesine Schwan, the photographer Walter Schels, the professor Jeanine Meerapfel, the toilet guard Werner Berlin, the writer Rafik Schami, the actor Michael Gwisdek, the social pedagogue Petra Peterich have all something in common: They work, even though they have reached the retirement age already long ago.

Their motivation is very different. Petra Peterich wants to give something back to society: “Why do I do it all? Because it is a social task – and because I can do it! “, Werner Berlin finances with his job the joint holidays with his wife, while the photographer Walter Schels simply says:” Life is too short to stop working.”

The number of older working people in Germany is increasing rapidly. The labor force participation of 60- to 64-year-olds has almost tripled in the last ten years. At the same time, fewer and fewer people will be available to the labor market in the coming years. A retirement age of 69 is currently being discussed.

For more than seven years Lübeck-based photographer Arne Wesenberg has been portraying the reality of life of those who –  voluntarily or out of economic necessity – have been working in their old age. Im [Un]Ruhestand provides in more than 200 portraits individual answers to questions about demographic aging, a functioning pension system and the importance of working in our society.

Photo: © Arne Wesenberg from the series Im [Un]Ruhestand