Cod with Garlic Sauce

By Vasilia Sofroniou

Cod With Garlic Sauce is a piece about migration, transnational families and memory.

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-Where are you from and how long have you lived in Berlin?

I am from Athens and I have lived in Berlin for almost two years now.

-Was there a certain moment when you decided Berlin is your home?

It was a bit after my first year; when returning to Berlin from Athens I had this feeling that someone was waiting for me here and I was happy to be back and see my friends again.

– Has your creative practice changed at all as a result of living in a different place? How do you move between these two cities?

To be honest, my creative practice almost doesn’t exist since I moved here, as I have no free time and I try to adjust to my new life.

The themes that I am working on have changed, though. I am interested in subjects that I used to take for granted: for example, what it means to have a home, etc. At the same time because I am away from the restrictions of an academic environment—when I was living in Athens I was a resident at the Fine Art University there—I feel I can be more open and experimental when working on projects and that I am able to discuss them with people that I trust from different backgrounds. 

My mobility between Athens and Berlin has changed as well. I used to visit Athens more regularly which is not the case anymore. When I do I still see friends and family but I have the constant feeling that I am a visitor. After a while I feel nostalgic for this place which indicates that the time has come for me to get back. In Berlin, I have a daily routine but I still have the excitement of discovering a new city. Even though there are places and people that i feel comfortable with, I am still a stranger. 

My main inspirations are overground trains and overcrowded rides. Those spaces/non-spaces  (trains, platforms etc.) serve as places for the observation of “everyday people”.  I feel that, when studying them, I try and understand more about the society that I live in .  

– Where is home?

The housing situation in Berlin doesn’t allow you to stay in one place for long. Especially if you have a part-time job, you don’t speak German and you don’t have a guarantor, it is highly unlikely to find a permanent house. I grew up with this feeling of security and permanence and now I have to deal with the temporality of life. Home used to be the spaces that I put some effort to organize and decorate. During the past two years, I have changed so many flats and I have reduced the number of my belongings to a bare minimum, because I know I will  move again and  I have no time to dedicate to decorating one space. So my standards have changed and home for me is any place that I sleep more than once.

Vasilia is an expat from Greece residing in Berlin. In her practice she draws a connection between food and memory by placing a traditional Greek recipe on photographs of her childhood Vasilia is a graduate visual artist from the Athens School of Fine Arts. She is currently studying film editing at FilmArche Berlin. You can find more of her work here.