The interviews below were made by Dimitrina Sevova on 16 December 2002 in the common kitchen at Goldregenweg.
Interview with Mirjam
(PDF 195 KB )
Mirjam, how did you get involved in the project, and what does it mean to you on a personal level?
For each woman in the house you could write an entire story. The reasons that have led them to this project are quite different. Most of us were looking for a new form for their life, a means of compensating for their problems stemming from their situation as single mothers, in order to be able to better look after their children and themselves. This question is especially sensitive for those women with a single child, because in most cases it turns out that it grows up isolated and lonely. On the other hand, here in the project there are four children to three women, which makes it easier to deal with part of the multitude of our responsibilities as parents, as well as to find time for ourselves. In my concrete case, I didn’t want my daughter Luschka to grow up alone. This is a problem for most families with only one child. That’s how even before knowing about the project, I tried to find ways to compensate as far as possible for this situation my child was in. Led by this wish, some time ago I chose to live with a woman and her three children, from three different fathers. Then, this woman got married, which completely changed the situation for Luschka and me. We had to find a new place to move to, which had to fulfill my ideas with respect to raising my daughter. The project completely fulfills my criteria. Here it’s ideal also for me, since I have an apartment of my own and a private life, and at the same time also the community.
What do you mean? You were saying that at one point for you it became a problem when the woman you were living with got married. This probably meant that her husband would move in to live with you. Is it not in contradiction with the idea of the project to have a relationship, for instance with a man? I mean the situation in which he may stay here, when and however often he wishes?
Of course! Men are all welcome. It’s quite open, it’s a coming and going. Our friends are welcome. The project encompasses the entire building, that is both entrances. We are nine women, and each of us has an apartment of her own, but we also have this common apartment, where the social activities of the community take place. I have a friend, who at the moment is cooking up in my apartment. He’s surely waiting for me by now, and I need to put Luschka to bed. She has to go to school tomorrow, which means I cannot stay much longer.
How do the children feel as part of the project? This is a different situation from the average, at school, on the street?
From the beginning there have never been problems for the children, neither at school nor on the street. This is a center for children. In the house there are a lot of children. It’s fun, and there’s always something to eat. Only the neighbors have a slightly strange attitude. But I think there’s nothing to it, it’s just the usual curiosity. They’ll ask in a specific tone: “You’re from the women’s house?” Nothing more. Without comments. They do not ask superfluous questions, only this suggestive question… Perhaps because we are a minority and this tickles their curiosity. You know, the women’s house and what they may be associating us with. They’re afraid of witches, but even that is not true any longer, because the children from the neighboring houses now come regularly to play here, and apparently they find it a lot of fun, they like it.
And how do you deal with men, so they won’t settle here for good? I mean, it’s comfortable and there’s always something to eat.
This would completely change the situation, it’s out of the question! So far there has not been a man who expressed the wish to move in here. So we have not been forced to think about how to deal with the problem. For men it’s attractive, but from a distance. And then they, too, are afraid of witches…