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In her new series ‘Von Mensch zu Mensch’, German photographer Sylvie Bendel challenges stereotypes of homeless people and celebrates our common humanity.

'With my photos I try to give people the courage to really look. Not only to capture misery, but to capture the beautiful moments too.

'There is a wholly unique style of existence and happiness in this [homeless] community,' she says. 'A unique kind of seeking and longing. You find yourself far outside convention, joined with another brotherhood.

'Because I believe that only "seeing" helps, you need to become absorbed. My wish is that my perception draws people in, makes them curious – human being to human being.'

Bendel also takes beautiful photographs of older people.

‘I worked with old people for many, many years and so I got a certain sense of what they are like.

'I hate the fact that most of them don’t like to look in the mirror although they are so beautiful. I love their character. I love their history or the history their wrinkles tell us.

'And most of all I hate the fact that they are lost in our society.’ she says.

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