In my project 'aren't I supposed to look grim?!' I investigate how people integrate memories of the socialist past into their everyday lives two decades after the break of communism.
The images represent glimpses of individual memories as I perceived them from conversations during my journey through the former GDR in a time when the unification has become normalised, a whole generation has already grown up without personally having experienced a separated Germany; but also a time when traces of the former divide are still omnipresent in German media and everyday conversations.
My images focus on the visual surroundings of people – mainly places and objects – as well as the way people chose to present themselves in front of the camera.
The pictures convey a sense of nostalgia. This concept is often used to explain how people deal with assumed disorientation following political and economic changes in post-socialist realities. However, I found that memories of the socialist past appear as a normal human experience rather than as an indicator for deficiency or identity disorientation for the majority of East Germans, two decades after the reunification of Germany.