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30 April 2007


The house where I was born and raised was knocked down when I was nine years old. Right now I live in a typical post-war house in what we call a forensic town. All the houses in such a town look the same and have the same kind of interior. This village of two thousand has grown to forty-three thousand, all commuters to jobs in distant cities. This house, and this town, no longer supports the atmosphere that my project is about.

Rosa’s did. Rosa lived all alone about 50 meters across the Austrian border. We were sent to her by a guy who used to deliver bread in that area. She was happy with our visit; since her dog died, she felt quite alone. She still had the warning sign for the dog in the garden. It served to keep intruders away. Last winter she had so much snow on her roof that it almost collapsed. You can still see some of the beams her son put in, which help the fragile structure hold together.

I keep a diary with all the places that I photographed: notes about things that I’ve seen, heard, and don't want to forget. I also put in the 4x5' Polaroid that I always make to check the angle and the equipment before taking the actual photograph.

My daughter Sophie can be seen in the top frame, next to Rosa. She learned how to recognize good places from a distance, and she looked carefully inside when we were welcomed. She also took pictures, like the one of me next to Rosa in the bottom frame (in it, I am writing down her address). I was struck by the beauty of them; the way she looked at different artifacts when she took the photographs. She has a sharp eye and she shows what drew her attention in those places.

We would talk afterwards about the homes we saw. I must say that she was in a strong way very involved in the project. As you can imagine, it made me feel very excited and proud.

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