Mila Teshaieva
Families in Europe

I see my participation in the Goethe-Institut project as an unique opportunity to extend my long- term research on the construction of collective and personal memory in Europe also for Germany and Albania. For my part, in the project I will focus on small settlements, which in both countries are former industrial regions: Saxony-Anhalt in Germany and the Shkodër region in Albania. While these countries are radically different in terms of economic and social infrastructures and life quality, they have in common the inner struggle for people living there as well as particular historical circumstances. The break-up of the old system 30 years ago was not only a political fact, it turned people’s lives towards radically new horizons.
Apart from losing economic ground because of closed factories and mines, the whole life system, the goals and ideals have collapsed and, for most of the people living in these regions, the new "bright future" has never appeared on the horizon. In this bleak picture of forgotten places, absence of hope and misunderstanding of their own past, I want to find some personal moments, acts of solidarity and support among small groups, or the perception of the past and its presentation in the contemporary collective memory. While undertaking deep-reaching research into the past and present of the regions in both countries, I remain open to any opportunities which might come my way.


I was born in 1974 and grew up in Kiev. Currently I live in Berlin. My work focuses on the themes of constructed social identities and political manipulations of memory and history, combining a documentary approach with artistic interpretation. It has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, including recent exhibitions at the Museum of European Cultures in Berlin, the Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee, USA, the Alma Lov Museum in Sweden, and the Kunst der Westküste Museum in Germany. I have published two monographs up to now: "Promising Waters" from Kehrer Verlag 2013 and "InselWesen" Kehrer Verlag 2016, as well as "Faces and Stories of Entrepreneurs", which was commissioned and published by Swiss Development and Cooperation in 2015.  My work has been published in Time Magazine, Die Zeit, GEO and the Financial Times, and beside my own projects, I often work on commissioned projects for international development organizations such as GIZ, SDC, UNICEF and others. I am a member of the renewed German photo agency Ostkreuz.

Mila Teshaieva