Giorgio Morra PHOTOGRAPHY
FROM THE SHADOW OF THE SUNFLOWER
32 years ago, the Berlin Wall fell and the inhabitants of the GDR gained many additional freedoms. The then Chancellor Helmut Kohl promised the East of Germany flourishing landscapes and overlooked the fact that the advent of capitalism also meant that many people lost their jobs, their status, their familiar home and often their future prospects overnight.
The resulting frustration has deep roots and even today the violence of these upheavals is difficult for outsiders to comprehend. A rapprochement is most likely to succeed on the spot. Curious about a village shop concept that students from the Technical University of Darmstadt are implementing together with the people of Golzow, I have been regularly travelling to the Oderbruch for the past two years, a cultural landscape rich in change in the east of Brandenburg, whose character is shaped by the clash between agriculture and nature conservation. Golzow is a village with a current population of just under 800 that gained international fame through the long-term documentary "The Children of Golzow".
In this large-scale film project, twelve children from the village are followed through their lives over a period of 40 years, from the time they started school in 1961. Most of the "children" no longer live in Golzow or have already passed away.
Many of today's residents were willing to share their experiences from the Wende years with me and give me an insight into their everyday lives. During the encounters on site, I learn a lot about the importance of gardening as a contribution to subsistence, the current developments in agriculture or about what they think is going wrong and why.
As different as the various encounters are, they are united by the search for order, which was one of the reasons why the AFD was so popular in the 2019 European elections. Golzow never gives up - the honorary mayor likes to emphasise. Can a village shop run in solidarity can a village shop run on the basis of solidarity be an impetus that helps people to turn the tide and to and together create prospects for the future?