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“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

— Aaron Siskind

Documenting Life

During one of our holidays I documented my parents packing our blue VW for the trip home. Leaving behind a great summer holiday in Croatia spent on an island in the Adriatic Sea. It was my way of trying to freeze time, of not having to leave. The images convey a strange sadness.

Leaving a happy place, ca. 1982-1984, Croatia

I loved our holidays despite them not always being fun. Tragedy was with us as well. We had an accident with our family car on a very curvy downhill road in Croatia. Thanks to these images I still remember the moment it tipped to the side and how we had to climb out of the roof window. It was a very strange incident that we all survived pretty much unscathed, thanks to this old Mercedes being built like a tank.

Accident, ca. 1983, Croatia

It is strikingly obvious how, compared to the previous set, all four images are really blurry. Maybe my camera was damaged, but more likely I was still shaking from the accident. Why we had hit a wall on the inside lane going downhill I don’t know for sure, but was told an oncoming vehicle was in our lane and coming straight at us. So my Dad must have had literally a split second to decide whether to go right and straight over the unsecured edge and down the mountain or left and into the mountain.

In the last frame my parents are standing near our car and a red tow truck, though I don’t think we needed it. The only impairing damage was the shattered passenger window on my Mum’s side my Dad “fixed” by taping a black plastic bin bag to the frame that would rattle and be terrifyingly noisy later on the Autobahn on our way home.

But there are countless other summer holidays that, in retrospect, were weird and wonderful. One summer (and I don’t know exactly what year) my family and my best friend’s family spent a holiday in Croatia together.

Paper Girl, ca. 1982-1984, Croatia

One afternoon when we were wondering what to do, I had this idea. I asked my friend to draw a picture and I wanted document this creative process with pictures. Why we did this, I have no clue. I think we just thought it would be fun – and it was! Only shame is, that I don’t know what it was that she drew on that paper.