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Birgit Winkler

Interviewed by Johanna & Mireta Valentaviciute

Johanna & Mireta: How long have you lived in the area?
Birgit: 54 years.

Johanna & Mireta: What’s a fond memory you have of living here?
Birgit: The birth of my first child. It was so emotional and amazing to see a new life beginning for the first time.

Johanna & Mireta: Have you seen this community come back from hard times before?
Birgit: The transition from the DDR to the BRD. To live in the DDR was very hard for me and my family and a lot of people. After the peaceful evolution, we were free.

Johanna & Mireta: What are some things that have helped you through lockdown and what brings you joy?
Birgit: I had zoom meetings and I baked a lot with yeast. I made some albums from past postcards. I helped my grandchildren with their online school. I also went cycling to different lakes close to me. I was so grateful for my community at this time.

Johanna & Mireta: What does community mean to you? What sort of things are you doing now to stay connected to your community and family?
Birgit: Community for me is doing things together like sports, church and helping others that need it. Every Sunday, I meet with my family to have dinner and also to celebrate special occasions.

Johanna & Mireta: What message do you want to share for yourself and this community in 10 years time?
Birgit: Be relaxed and enjoy. Be happy about the nice things in life and be glad of what you have. Don’t overrate things and don’t worry about things that aren’t important to you. It’s just nice to live.

Johanna & Mireta’s experience with the project: “We loved taking time to talk and have a nice conversation. Sometimes the simple things like that really make you appreciate all those in your life.”

Pictured below is the creative response from Johanna & Mireta’s interview with Birgit – art representing the fall of the Berlin Wall and the freedom that it ushered in.

Birgit Winkler