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Where we belong

The concept of “Heimat” fascinates me because of all the poetry that it entails: it remains open to personal interpretation, which links this term to personal feelings and perception. Heimat is the place where we feel at home, the term home is understood as an emotional place, a refuge where one can find the best of oneself. In my opinion, Heimat represents an internal space rather than a physical one, that is to say, it is rooted in our memories and in the deepest part of us. It brings together all those feelings that connect you with your memories, the essence of your being. It is everything that remains with us beyond the limits of time. In addition, Heimat is a term that is always changing its meaning.  The importance of time is an indubitable agent in our existence being one of the most studied subjects in history. 

Great philosophers such as Aristotle highlighted the uncertainty that this term hides. At the time of the ancient greeks, the concept of time was already linked to other concepts such as movement, transition, existence, change...

The future is entirely unpredictable for us. Changes in the perception of time are clearly noticeable in just a family’s generation. The future seems hazy and our vital plans give way to the motto: “nothing is long-term”. We live in an eternal uncertainty. We know neither what will happen tomorrow nor where we will be in a year's time.

The uncertainty is no longer a fear but an element baked into our lives. The attitude we have adopted accepts ambiguity more and more, changes and insecurity entail a new personality struggle. Modern Culture is characterized by its predisposition to risk, since the lack of movement is understood as a synonym of failure, and stability is conceived as death in life. In case this new paradigm is accepted and assumed, the disorientation that this new scenery means to us, that strongly maintains imaginaries from the past, would be a problem.

For this new photographic series, I have chosen the abandoned Tempelhof airport (Berlin) since it reflects a great part of the changes that we have witnessed without noticing. I portray myself with someone that belongs to my deepest Heimat, my refuge and my original place and the most important people to me, rather than a territory, that in a way are part of us: our family, our friends that are still there. I relate to Sennet when he says: “those aspects of the character that link human beings offer each one of them the feeling of a sustainable me”. He really draws me in when he questions these aspects characteristic from human personality at the moment: “Is it possible to mold and compose our own story once we have assumed that the new capitalism possesses us and leaves us adrift?”

One of Ulysses’ best-known quotes, representing the creation of himself, is the one that makes reference to the present: “There is neither past nor future, everything flows in an eternal present”.

We can create our own history, but the one we create will be composed of fragments which rose from crucial moments in our progression of change, in our flight, in being more and more detached from one territory, as a consequence, we are turning ourselves in people in continuous adaptation.


Irene Cruz




Heimat - Where we belong



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