Heimatbound: A conversation on the ambivalence of relocation

  • Ross Ferguson
  • Sanne van Delft
  • Hamza Beg
  • Jet Braas
  • Mark de Lange

Heimatbound is a joint project by Berlin-based Freunde von Freunden and Ace & Tate, that aims to prompt conversations on the notion of home, and why identity is always multidimensional.

Photography: Gene Glover

Mikey Woodbridge - Musician

Berlin might not have been Mikey Woodbridge’s first choice when it came to finding a home, but the two years spent living in the German capital have been transformative for the Australian-born musician.

“When I came to Berlin I didn’t need to prove myself to anyone anymore.”

“It wasn’t until I got more into makeup that I started living the person that I call me as my highest self,” Mikey recalls. “When I’m femme-presenting, no one fucks with me.”

Karin Fornander - Founder of Berlin Feminist Film Week

Karin originally moved to Berlin about ten years ago with dreams of becoming a diplomat. Her intention was to complete an internship at the Swedish Embassy and then head back to Sweden to apply for diplomat training. But Fornander’s carefully laid plans quickly came undone once she arrived.

“Berlin allows for a lot more personal freedom and expression than Sweden and it probably has taught me to dare to try things out.”

"Sweden has a long tradition of social democracy and focus on equal rights, so in terms of feminism, Sweden is more progressive when it comes to a lot of everyday things, such as work, family life and the presence of feminism in public and pop culture."

Nico Adomako - DJ, Curator & Founder of Einhundert

Nico Adomako has German and Ghanaian roots, the latter having led him to West Africa multiple times. When asked, the DJ and co-founder of music collective Einhundert states that Berlin and Ghana aren’t “comparable at all, besides the growing rate of gentrification and the influence of the outside world.”

"I think it’s important to shape Berlin’s music culture for the future, especially for kids who are born and raised here. I think it’s tougher for them; the people who move here create a lot of opportunities but they also take up a lot of space from local talents."

"Berlin is definitely the place where I love to express myself and see other people doing the same. When it comes to Münster, besides my mom and brother still living there, I hardly relate to it anymore. It barely feels like home when I visit, more like a place that I know really well. Home is more like a feeling to me rather than a specific place."

Ruohan Wang - Illustrator

It was a family trip to Europe that led Ruohan Wang to make the decision to uproot her life in Beijing and move over 7,000km away to study illustration in Berlin.

“I’m not sure in the future where I’ll be, but I think if I’m confused I’ll always find my way back to Berlin.”

“[In Beijing] to get a fancy style you have to pay for it, but in Berlin I think everyone finds his or her own style. I get a lot of stuff cheaply from second hand stores.”

Read the full interviews on the Ace & Tate Journal

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