Davor and Andela Rostuhar

LOVE Around the World

4. December 2021 20. February 2022

What is it actually, the thing we call love? What does it mean to us? Does love make it possible for us to overcome differences which divide us? Is love the most beautiful feeling in the world or is it a mere construct? Does love mean everlasting attachment, the fulfilment of material needs, time spent together, submission, protection – or does it mean disappointment, perhaps?

Croatian photographer Davor Rostuhar proposed to the love of his life, Andela, whilst on an expedition to Antarctica. Together, the adventurous couple decided not to embark on a romantic honeymoon, but instead to travel around the world for a year to explore the phenomenon of love.

On five continents and in 30 countries they conducted 120 interviews. They met people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, and travelled to both, big cities and the countryside. They visited remote tribes in the Amazon and nomads in the desert, spent time high up in the mountains and on South Sea Islands. They spoke with people who live together in all manner of different living arrangements, and ranging in age from five to 90. They asked all of them the same question: What is love, anyway? and recorded their stories.

During their research, they came across couples in the first throes of their romance and couples who had never expressed their emotions in 67 years of marriage. They came across queer love, forbidden love, polyamorous relationships, arranged marriages and strictly religious couples. Across people who defy convention, who transcend boundaries, or who have left everything behind in the name of love. Across love at first sight, love which is slow to bloom, and across unions which began with kidnapping.

In Love Around the World, people from all over the world give fascinating, intimate glimpses into their lives and show what relationships mean to people in different cultures. The collection turns some of our ideas about love on their head and expands our Western view of life in other parts of the world. In the end, this much becomes clear: love is an abstract concept. What people associate with it may be very different. In some languages, there is not even a word for love. However, as an opportunity love is universal.

Supported by: Engagement Global im Auftrag des BMZ
Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Wirtschaft, Energie und Betriebe, Landesstelle für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit

All Photographs: © Davor Rostuhar.