Sharing Stories – Shifting Identities

Shifting Identities is the working title for a project that started summer 2019. The idea is to provide a framework to share stories and to focus contentwise on the intersections between the West and the Orient.

How much do we know about the Middle-East and how much do people from the Middle-East know about our way of living? What is connecting us and what pushes us further apart?

Although I was visiting student at Bezalel Academy and I visited Gaza and Palestinian territories, I recognized how little I know about Arab countries. Within the project, different aspects of cultural narratives and the culture of remembrance will be investigated. The collaboration between artists and local people is a key issue. The concept of the project is based on the idea, that for many people, parts of their identities and the way they understand themselves come from the struggles and challenges they have endured. Existential life experiences such as illness, poverty, or exodus become the guiding star of their existence and their actions. 

The project allows people to share and tell the stories of their lives in different ways. As human beings, we are wired to connect to others and to be recognized and understood by others. This is a basic human need. It makes visible what is invisible. The project weaves together many different aspects of life – and cultural concepts – into a multifaceted story. The project is intended to show a larger picture of who we are.


Christine Saalfeld, Collage with old family photos

Tekenen in het AZC Rotterdam

A man from Bagdad tells about his desire to see and smell the streets of Bagdad once again.

When he was 3 years old he left Bagdad. Meanwhile he is living since 17 jears in refugy camps. (Rotterdam 2020)


Getting advice. (Rotterdam, 2020)

A man from Syria tells about his home city. Sinds 7 years he is waiting for his residence permission. (Rotterdam, 2020)

Woman from Syria got her residence permission and knows that she will live in Dordrecht. (Rotterdam, 2020)

A young woman from Damascus describes the most beautiful places in Syria. She is waiting for her residence permission. She deeply misses her two children. (Rotterdam, 2020)

A girl tells why she would like to have one of my drawings. (Rotterdam, 2020)

Getting more advice. (Rotterdam, 2020)