The circle of life doesn’t work without dynamic, our environment changes, humans adjust. Our whole existence is a process and it is most definitely influenced by certain times and everything that comes with them.
The current period might be called the age of uncertainty, challenging or even critical because there is no denying that there is a cloud of pain floating through various parts of the world and affecting people in different ways. Sometimes, we’d like to believe, there has to be a big storm before the sun comes up and while rain is pouring, mother earth can get clean again.
Enough with the metaphors. Plain-talking it means that for us as individuals and as a society it is about opportunities, questioning old patterns, further development and taking the initiative – in the most diverse areas of life. While change might bring the bloom of the 21st century, we all get the freedom to grow. Therefore, GASH asked different creatives based in Germany what they hope and wish for during this you may call it „historical“ era.
SAEEDA SHABBIR (photographer)
„I wish and hope for our society to be more open-minded, welcoming, appreciative and loving. Because life is already so hard – why should we be so hard to each other? As humans, we all live together and if we helped each other in life, life would be way easier. In the end, we are all human beings and it’s better to be helpful and loving to each other than toxic.
As a person, I want to show the world and the people how easy it is to be a kind and good person because in the end, everyone is struggling with something. I want to live my life the right way. It’s pretty cheesy but my dream has always been to be happy and have no regrets. That is my goal until I die. And it’s also being around the people I love. After the challenging year 2020, I’ve learned to stay away from toxic people. My goal for the coming years is being thankful for every single thing and the freedom I have because this year has taught me that freedom is not free.“
SVEN MARQUARDT (photographer & bouncer)
„I can’t say that I was able to gain a lot of positive things from 2020. Lockdown, isolation – the last months a pandemic is dominating the world. How lucky I am to live in this welfare state, though it breaks my heart over and over to see the number of infections worldwide, from places and continents where I felt I had the best time of my life. We humans need perspectives and these have just completely broken away for millions of people.
I’m working on new projects since a few weeks and in autumn, I will start working as a guest lecturer at the ‚Ostkreuzschule für Fotografie‘. The plans for the remaining year are different because everything has a question mark and is accompanied by new rules and conditions. But this concerns all of us and only together we can make it.
In the best case, this time will be a lesson in humility. I believe that at my age (over 50) and because of the many stages of life I experienced, one is perhaps a bit more grateful than at the beginning of 20!? The biological clock is ticking and one does not feel as invulnerable as 20 years ago. If humility is accompanied by gratitude and appreciation, then there should be room for it in every period of time.“
ABEL ARON (model)
„Since our society consists of individuals and these individuals then again form our society, I would like to say what I wish for each individual. Namely, that he or she tries to present the best possible self to the world. Although I do not have any specific hopes that drive me in particular, it would be great if many people became aware through the pandemic but also in general through the year 2020, that it can be good and nice to occupy oneself with oneself and that one can certainly come to rest.
Although it was a challenging year, I have to say that my perspectives have not changed, but I feel confirmed in what I live for anyway: For me, time is one of the most precious things in the world and I want to value it even more than I already do.“
MINH2 (dancer & athlete)
„I wish every single person more self-love and courage for change. This sounds very simple at first, but I believe that many people do not love themselves and the process of self-love needs courage and time. You have to be courageous to be able to reflect yourself. To reflect your character and your actions. Because once you get to the point of analyzing yourself, you will recognize beautiful and of course also ugly facets of the character. Not everyone is brave enough to admit their ugly sides and mistakes. I am not talking about external aspects but inner values like laziness, superficiality, insincerity, ruthlessness etc.
If you really have reflected and know where you stand in life, you need courage again to get out of the comfort zone to be able to let go of your old habits and create new habits and goals. Of course this does not happen overnight but when you actually reach a point where you can say that you feel comfortable in your own body, just love yourself the way you are and are satisfied with your life, then you’ll see the world with different eyes.
I know it is not easy for everyone to leave the comfort zone because it means change, but I wish that more people would understand that change is good and that we should constantly change. Everything around us changes, our circle of friends changes over time, jobs change because of digitalization, the economy changes because of our consumption or the pandemic and nature changes because of our actions. For me changes are natural processes. I welcome them and push myself to leave the comfort zone every time. So I wish for more self-love and courage to change.“
FLORIAN HIRNHACK (tattoo artist)
„When I think about our society, I wish people would reflect more, think about themselves and our environment and learn to communicate their feelings better. That they are more honest, more open, simply a little nicer and gentler to themselves. I believe that if you are a little kinder with yourself, you can pass this on to the environment.
But self-reflection can only happen if you have a little time for yourself and focus on resting phases. We live in an achievement-oriented society, everything has to go fast, we have to function and sometimes we don’t even have time to pay attention to our own needs and wishes. As a result, unfortunately, we neglect ourselves far too often and a period of rest, in which a development of one’s personality can happen, does not take place. That’s why I see the pandemic as a challenge for us humans to think about ourselves and give ourselves space for rest.
But I am not a person who likes to hope, because in my opinion this means that people give up responsibility for their own actions and thus have no influence on their environment. But it is important for me to have influence. I wish that I can pass on certain values that I find desirable – for example when it comes to veganism or awareness of our environment.“
„I really hope that there is a better genuine level of respect between people in all aspects of our lives. Through the pandemic, the lockdown and isolation, it’s been hard to deny the injustices that have been going on in the world. Social media has been a huge help in allowing people to wake up to this, and I hope with this knowledge, people can harness their empathy and use respect when communicating or interacting with others in social situations in their society.
I just try to be a positive light wherever I am. My own ambition drives me and if the outcome is a positive ripple effect on others, well that’s positive news.
I don’t necessarily think my dreams and goals have changed, maybe just the way I approach them. When it comes to achieving my goals, I definitely have a tunnel vision mentality, where I put 110% in and that’s the only thing i’m focused on. In 2020, everything was on pause and actually I was still able to focus on my dreams, but it was like the blinders opened. I found other creative outlets that still fed my soul. I was able to reapply the „let go let god“ approach. Hard work is very important, but I learned that reflection and to be still is also a very important part of achieving success.“
„I deeply hope and wish for a future where everyone has the right to education and basic living conditions. Also where we can recognize and respect each other and all living things.
What drives me the most in life is my belief that we are ALL able. In my case, my passion is dance and I’m so grateful I can live a life pursuing my passion. This helps me to hopefully inspire others to trust their intuition and follows their dreams/desires as well.
I don’t really think my dreams and goals have changed much. Only now it reinforces the importance of understanding one another as well as actually caring about this home we all live in and that we as people actually grow and rise by lifting and supporting others.“
ZOEY LEE (filmmaker & model)
„I’ve always been someone who embraces discomfort because I think it brings real growth. I think that the shift of everything in 2020 has been quite insightful because, in many ways, it has made many people uncomfortable and perhaps forced them to face certain things that with the regular bustle of life, they have managed to put away or overlooked. This includes not only looking into yourself for a personal change but also into a lot of the issues that are being highlighted right now on society which also needs to be examined. My wish for society is that we all keep questioning ourselves, to become more self-aware, to understand why we have or do not have certain mechanisms and to continue to develop new ones consistently.
The thing that drives me the most is realizing that I can re-train my brain to better deal with things that happen and to think in new ways and perspectives than what I was taught to by nurture or nature. Knowing that if I want to, ultimately, I am in control of how i behave and hold myself makes me very excited to strive to live my best life and a life that can lift others up. I hope that more people will start to learn this and be able to do deep work within themselves that will fulfill certain things that no job or amount of money could ever fulfill.
The biggest thing I learned this year is a way to help manage my perspective on my dreams and goals, if that makes sense. I’ve learned that it is okay if it takes time to get to where you want. I’ve learned that time can be carved out for anything if you only organize yourself well, but also that with resistance, you could have two free months and not get a single thing done. I think at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that we need to truly find what our passion is and go for it against all resistance. I think that’s what will feed our souls and the fulfilling of dreams will come slowly but surely.“
Photographer: Sebastian Pielles
Stylist: Tianyang Li
Hair & Make-up: Deniz Mourat Oglou
Production: Carina Parke & Katharina Schneider
Creative Direction: Katharina Schneider & Deniz Mourat Oglou
Editor: Carina Parke
Director: Katharina Schneider
Videographer & Video Editor: Alexander Thal
Special thanks for the support @AMANO Group