heimat. this is the title of my photography project for uni.
you could translate it as „home“, although the exact meaning cannot be transferred into english.
it’s not only the house you live in. it’s about the relationship between a human being and the place where he or she makes the first life experiences which are imprinting.
i had some difficulties with the theme at first. i rejected my initial idea of visualizing the feeling of homesickness and began to concentrate on what home/heimat really means to me.
at first i wanted to take photographs of my home, e.g. the house i live in, because i thought that the place and surrounding area never were so important to me. but soon i began to understand that i had been so wrong. that was when the more i thought about „heimat“, the more memories from when i was a child came to my mind. and most of them didn’t take place in our house, but rather in places which i often still visit today. all these places have become a part of me, of my story. an old tree standing on a meadow, a stream we waded trough as children, the natural reserve that somehow still feels eerie when i am alone there. and of course, our garden with the little wooden playhouse my father built, where i could spent whole days playing with my siblings. the greenhouse that exists almost 17 years now and where it smells of ripe tomatoes and dry soil in summer. the big yew tree where we always wanted to build a tree house in, and whose branches have never been cut much since i can remember. until last autumn. that was when i realized that with the branches childhood memories were taken away. it’s odd how much weight you suddenly give to a normally rather trivial happening when something changes that much.
„heimat“ is always connected to childhood, longing for a place and its imperfections. my project approaches this theme in a series of self portraits which is small, but which describes me and my home best. there are more photos i’ve taken for the project. however, i cannot show them all, because they are in a way displaying my deepest feelings and too personal. through the photographs i chose for the series i want the viewer to imagine he was the one climbing on that tree or being wind-swept with the reed.
all photographs have been taken with a nikon f60 on either kodak portra or fuji superia.