I live in Switzerland, a country where right-wing populists are the foremost political force in the government. I remember how angry I was the night I spent hours removing nauseating flyers they’d left on the windshields of cars all over my neighborhood in Geneva. That was back in 2013.
Not long after that nocturnal episode, I began taking photographs on the outskirts of Geneva, where the populists were garnering more and more support. Photography became my release, a response to my dread of what I felt was an attempt to take the people and their minds hostage. That’s how the “Citizens” project got started: I felt impelled to delve into these so-called “common sense parties” whose promises of a better life are based on lies and manipulation. I began crisscrossing Europe, making stops at populist strongholds and attending nationalist gatherings all over the continent.

The photographs of “Citizens” were shot in Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Denmark, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands between 2013 and 2020.

Bio: Between 2003 and 2012, Christian Lutz achieved a trilogy about power: first “Protokoll” about political power, then “Tropical Gift” about economic power, and finally “In Jesus’ Name” about religious power. Each of these three works became the subject of a book published by Lars Müller Publishers, while the trilogy has been exhibited on multiple occasions. In 2016, the book “Insert Coins” was released by André Frère Editions and in 2019, “The Pearl River” was published by Edition Patrick Frey. These two series were presented together under the title “Eldorado at the Rencontres d’Arles” in 2019. In 2021, Christian Lutz’s work “Citizens” was published by Edition Patrick Frey. This series is the result of several years of travels in European territories under populist influence.