Entanglements is a project in which I explore the trauma, guilt, and shame, that is passed on from generation to generation in my own family, and in society as a whole. Most Germans are descendants of people who were traumatized by World Wars I and II—displaced persons, victims of violence or of perpetrators and followers. Each experienced these horrors in their own way. This trauma is passed on through generations and recent research suggests that it stays in our genes. This is my story, but it is also a common German story.
Family entanglements arise whenever traumatic experiences have not been given enough space to be dealt with appropriately. It is often the children who suffer most. In this project, I use art as therapy to unravel my own entanglements, letting go of any guilt or shame, and rid myself of the need to fulfill the expectations of others.
I create collages from old photographs, in which I reassemble fragmented images of strangers and my own family to make them whole again. In these reconstructed narratives I question if we are at the mercy of the laws of chance, or do we hold our fate in our own hands? Who might we have been if we had been born into a different family, place, or time?
I am ending the cycle of trauma in my own family, guided by this silent whisper of hope that one day the light will find its way in again.