Where we belong

The concept of “Heimat” fascinates me because of all the poetry that it entails: it remains with its meaning opened 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 follows an internal space rather than a physic one, that is to say, it is settled in our memories and in the deepest part of us. It unites all those feelings that connect you with your memories, the essence of your being. It is everything that remains with us geting beyond time limits. 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. By the times of the Ancient Greek the concept of time was already being linked to others such as movement, transition, existence, change...

The future is totally 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 for a long time”. We live within an eternal uncertainty. We do not know either what is going to happen tomorrow or where we would be in a year.


The uncertainty is no longer a fear but an element that has introduced itself 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 being risky, since the lack of movement is taken as a synonymous of failure, and stability is conceived as living death. In case this new paradigm is accepted and assumed, the disorientation that means to us this new scenery, that  is still strongly keeping 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 represent myself along 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 refer to Sennet when he says: “those aspects of the character that link human beings between them offer to each one of them the feeling of a sustainable me”. He really catches my interest when he questions aspects characteristic from human personality at the moment: “Is it possible to mould and compose our own story once we have assumed that the new Capitalism posses us and leaves us adrift?”


One of Ulysses’ best known quotes, representing the creation of he 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 story, but that one is going to be composed by fragments which rose from crucial moments in our progression in change, in our flight, in being more and more rootless from one territory, as a consequence, we are turning ourselves in people in continuous adaptation.


Irene Cruz


(Translated by Sara Bounajm)



Heimat - Where we belong



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