Photographer Jan Banning’s series entitled Bureaucratics focuses on civil servants stationed all over the world. He visited 8 countries over 5 continents and ended up with a set of 50 images of various individuals in their everyday work environments. His visits were unannounced to ensure that he would accurately capture what any normal citizen would encounter upon entering that office.
Bureaucratics is a project consisting of a book and exhibition containing 50 photographs, the product of an anarchist’s heart, a historian’s mind and an artist’s eye. It is a comparative photographic study of the culture, rituals and symbols of state civil administrations and it’s servants in eight countries on five continents, selected on the basis of political, historical and cultural considerations: Bolivia, China, France, India, Liberia, Russia, the United States, and Yemen.
Each office allows you a glimpse of their country’s culture, the person’s rank as well as their organizational skills. Some offices are cluttered with junk, papers and rusty typewriters, while others contain more interesting fixtures such as Bob Marley memorabilia, stuffed deer heads, etc. It’s quite interesting to match up the room to the subject.
In each country, I visited up to hundreds of offices of members of the executive in different services and at different levels. The visits were unannounced and the accompanying writer, Will Tinnemans. By interviewing, this kept the employees from tidying up or clearing the office. That way, the photos show what a local citizen would be confronted with when entering.
Click here to view all 50 photographs in the Bureaucratics series.