„This is simply paradise. We have everything – and nearly for free, the sun is shining, many beautiful girls – and a beach, of course!“
That‘s what I heard it a lot when I was documenting the life of the „Villa Germania“-inhabitants.
The „Villa Germania“ sounds somewhat glamorous, but is actually a quite ugly 10-floor-high-riser in Pattaya/Thailand which could be found as well in the outskirts of a typical German city. German-speakings are among themselves. Beer and balconies, a typical German summer in Thailand. The management sells and rents the apartments predominantly to Germans, Austrians and Swiss. “An intercultural living project”, it is advertised on a website.
My photo project “Villa Germania” documents how the German-speaking retirees and expats live their life in their stronghold in the middle of a foreign culture. I lived in the „Villa Germania“ and accompanied the inhabitants for about 8 weeks in 2007 and 2009, and captured their daily life, followed them to the beach, on shopping trips, into bars and their apartments to get a deep look inside their life. My intention was not to judge as an outsider or to compromise the protagonists, my focus and main interest is to discover their own point of view. I think, although this documentary takes place in a quite bizarre place in Thailand, it could be taken as a symbol for our whole western society and self-conception.
Supported by VG Bild-Kunst