In 2012, the now multi-award winner photographer Carla Kogelman was commissioned by Szene Bunte Wähne, a youth theatre festival in Austria, to make a documentary about the rural Waldviertel region. She ended up in Merkenbrechts, a small bio village of 170 inhabitants, where she met Hannah and Alena, two sisters who spend much of their time together in a carefree life of swimming, playing outdoors, engrossed in games around the house. Kogelman decides to follow the family and returns regularly. Her original, superb and right on the skin black & white photography of the children and everyone and everything surrounding them in their daily lives resulted in many prestigious national and international awards like the 2018 World Press Photo 1st prize long-term project, the 2017 Alfred Fried Photography Award (winner), the 2014 World Press Photo 1st Prize People – Observed Portraits Stories and the 2014 Cortona On The Move Happiness Award.
In the spring of 2017, Schilt Publishing started discussing a book publication with Carla Kogelman. This has resulted in the book I Am Waldviertel, printed in October 2018 and released about a month later.