Book project about postmigrant stories. I interviewed immigrants of the first and subsequent generations about their lives in Germany, wrote down their experiences and illustrated them. I asked:
What does „Zuhause“ mean to you? Which paths did you choose? Who is the closest to you? What are differences between generations when you compare your situation with that of your parents? Which memory has shaped you? How did living in Germany change you? How do you react when somebody asks where you’re from?
The project attempts to open a room for discussion and encourages a depiction of non-white immigrants without stereotypical means in visual media. 14 people share their perspectives on migration, resistance, identity. Names changed for anonymity.
KEY DATAMedium: Book Size: 16 x 22 cm Scope: 80 pages, 30 full-colour illustrations
Rando told me: „After I arrived in Germany, I was put into Hauptschule and had to improve very slowly. […] There were many hurdles that others didn’t have. No one at my Hauptschule would have told me I could go to university. It always had to come from within myself.“
Salome told me: „I can’t hide: I am a black queer woman. But apart from these official self-designations, I like the concept of rhapsody: a musical piece that doesn’t follow any form. […] There’s a lot of beauty in what you can’t anticipate.“
Narges told me: „After my escape, we refugees were treated like wild animals. But I’ve always tried to defend myself and others.“
Ciwan told me: „I have walked difficult paths. But without them, I would not be the person I am today.[…] When I arrived here, I was not afraid. I think the most fearful people are those who have something to lose. I don’t want to mention country names… But when you come from certain countries, you are not afraid. It can’t get any worse.“
Kalyana told me: „Whenever I face obstacles, I think of water. It overcomes stones and always flows softly. This mentality has helped me to put my problems into perspective.“
Li told me: „The older I grow, the more I reflect on the past and the path back. Did I make the right decision to stay here?“
Alina told me: „In college, an everyday stressor is as soon as I realize I’m the only Afro-German person in the room. In order to have less stress, I sometimes try not to worry about it and to be more uncritical when I hear stupid comments. But you can’t really ignore it, it sticks with you.“
Alina told me: „Because of the Black Lives Matter protests, more people inform themselves about racism. Although I wonder: why only now? In fact, in academia I have the feeling that it only seems as if everyone is educated. But it’s difficult to break down structures and systems. I’ve been in several spaces, at several institutions, and I’ve always noticed the same patterns of favoritism and privilege. Many people lack horizons; they have a hard time putting themselves in my shoes. The more privileges you enjoy, the less you want to give away.“
Jianguo told me: „In the situation at that time, anything was better than staying in the country. People didn’t care where they went. […] At that time I wanted to come to Germany because I was not satisfied with my life. If I had stayed … Maybe my life would have been better. But there is no “what if” scenario.“
Isra told me: „The second, third, fourth generations have more freedom. It is important to compare these advances. Because now we can put something in front of the next generation and empower them. I discovered for myself: You can’t change the outside right away, so it has to start from the inside. Then you are stronger and can fight more effectively for the external circumstances to improve.“