Im Pott back to overview
Yolanda vom Hagen, Herten, 2006-2016 (back to overview)
Since starting this project in 2005 I have visited 16 families on this street. Old, young, single mothers, unemployed, retired and ill people. Large, patchwork, German and immigrant families. Some of mining heritage stock, others not. When I first visited ten years ago, some flats felt like stepping into a time warp from the 1960s or 1970s, as if time had simply stopped there. Ten years on, four of my subjects had died from cancer, one is in prison and another had committed suicide; but also children have grown up, suc- cessfully completed their schooling, and there are stories of successful entrepreneurs.
When I returned in December 2015 I was again amazed by the residents openness towards me. They shared with me the events of the past decade; losses, how the community feels today compared to then, how their careers have changed, and how the families and neighbours are interwoven. In earlier times, the whole street was connected, and celebrated Turkish and German street festivals together. This pro- moted a sense of community and multiculturalism, which has since been lost. As the mines closed (and the work no longer connects these people), people drifted apart, and now have little to share. A few next- door neighbours help each other out and host summer barbecues, but these seems to be the exception now. Few people socialise beyond occasional interactions with their immediate neighbours; the radius of community and friendship on this street has shrunk.