Skip to content →


2004 – ongoing

series of 65 photographs – from 4 continents
syria 2004, cuba 2006, spain 2007, morocco 2007
sri lanka 2017, zanzibar 2018
2023 peru and bolivia, supported with a travel grant from the stiftung kulturwerk

Counters are offers: what is on the table is on display and is sold. Wherever it is climatically possible, the counter marks the boundary between inside and outside. Inside are sellers, outside buyers, in between the goods. As an ensemble, counters are as old as they are fascinating in architecture – and when they are collected as stringently around the world as by Anja Schlamann, they are also a seductive offer to the eye.
She has photographed store counters around the world: Sri Lanka, Zanzibar, Spain and Damascus, the oldest city in the world, from Morocco and Cuba, the last stronghold of the communist shadow economy. Here the centuries-old displays of spices and delicacies, there the spontaneously discarded staple foods and spare parts: the tables are responsible for both daily survival and cultural added value.
And behind each table are the sellers, who see themselves in the picture, because Anja Schlamann draws their attention to herself, quite deliberately: once again, photography proves itself to be a machine of signs and myths.
The photographs are taken with a large-format analog camera, just as the prints are analog.
Four photographs from Syria received an award at the European Architectural Photography Prize 2005.
First photographs from the Ladentische series were purchased by the Rautenstrauch-Jost Museum for ethnology in Cologne.