For as long as I can remember, I have had a strong desire to travel. Nowhere was too far or exotic. After a stint working in the fashion industry, I was drawn to places less glamorous, more real. My first trip as a photographer took me to Latin America, a land that captivated me and where I have returned again and again.
My travels as a photographer in the Americas brought me to unfamiliar places, both geographically and psychologically, where I was forced to question everything that was familiar about myself. I often had doubts and nothing felt certain. It was there that I was confronted with the question: Why did I pursue a project in the Americas and not in my native Germany?
The answer was clear.Away from home, I was able to be anonymous. I was able to make mistakes without being judged. I was able to communicate with other people but rarely faced questions about myself. And when I did, I had a generic answer.
Until one moment not too long ago when I realized that only honesty – with others and with myself – would allow me to let go and move forward.
“My America” is a personal exploration of the Americas, a photographic journey where time and place are insignificant, but existence and recollection matter. Often I found my thoughts shifting to this past. When I talked to people and listened to their stories, I got lost in my own memories. The laughter of their children reminded me of my childhood. The homes I visited resembled what I had seen in photographs from my parents and grandparents who lived, for much of their life, in a country destroyed by war.
The images in “My America” reflect where I have traveled, what I have seen, and what I have experienced. They reveal important moments in my life during a time of change and loss that led to a transformation: my acceptance of myself and of the freedom I have found.