The incredibly intricate political battles that followed the 20th century's world wars are often overlooked in Europe's current era of porous borders. But merely decades ago, fortifications and roadblocks proliferated across the continent to delineate the differentiating ideological wars. These complexities are reawakened in the work of photographer Josef Schulz, whose project "Ubergang" (English: transition, or checkpoint ) simply documents abandoned checkpoints at national borders in Europe and illustrates the changes that have occurred since the foundation of the EU.
Each photograph contains one of these small structures that was used to check passports and perform customs checks. Some are small huts with just a small structure for an attendant, while some look like they could contain an entire immigration office. Others are more like tollbooths, with canopies and multiple booths strongly proclaiming "Stop!" There are even a few that appear like glorified lifeguard stands.
These singular buildings aren't just pretty pictures of haunting abandoned structures, partly because the structures aren't in particularly terrible shape like other ruin porn. Instead, the leftovers of pre-EU Europe represent a large network of borders and territorial distinctions, including national currencies, that now seem provincial.
Schulz treats the images, as he does most of his work, in post-production. The backgrounds are faded to enhance the buildings, which decontexualizes them, highlighting their nature as something anonymous and international. But it also shows their obsolescence, as they make the architecture, and the geopolitical context it reinforced, disconnected from the present.