"Family" is beautiful. Exciting, enriching. But sometimes also problematic. "And it is precisely this aspect that I wanted to deal with," says Verena Laschinger, "with how this problem manifests itself (be it as a person affected by domestic violence, lack of parenting skills, homelessness, etc.) or as a pedagogical professional who 'takes the place of the family' and shows dysfunctional families ways to deal with it better. As a university lecturer, I myself learn from these non-academic encounters for my seminar content. And ideally, students will now become aware of the AWO through the exhibition in the 'Hilgenfeld' and the photo seminars, which always has internships available and would like to intensify contact with the University of Erfurt."
What can now be seen in the new exhibition is not the first collaboration between Verena Laschinger and Sylwia Mierzynska. The two have already designed several seminars and exhibitions – also together with students – including the façade gallery at the "Defensionskaserne" on the "Petersberg". "So far, I have also been photographically active in the projects myself, but in 'Family Photography' I am now participating conceptually and with texts," explains the university lecturer in American Literary Studies. The contact with the AWO came about after a panel discussion at the "Kunsthalle": "The AWO was looking for project partners to document integrated family assistance in Erfurt and I am always looking for projects in which I can connect the academic world with people from Erfurt and everyday practice on site to create added value for both sides. I think it's important to look at a cultural practice like photographing the family not only historically, theoretically and in the US cultural context."