photography / documentary: generation exile / berlin refugee youths: KHei_BER_Fahim-Susanne_02

Fahim meets with his legal guardian, Susanne, every couple of weeks. The two enjoy the outdoors, exploring the city by bike, or playing table tennis in the park. Being active is important to Fahim, who is athletic and recently signed up for parkour classes; he is also learning to skateboard. Getting to know each other across the language barrier is an ongoing process, and Susanne recalls that her group of volunteers, who were trained over a series of workshops, was cautioned repeatedly that it might take patience for a relationship to build. For the first few months, just establishing a regular presence in the life of someone who has experienced loss after loss is crucial, as is creating a space for playfulness and feeling carefree. Still, in hindsight Susanne feels that her expectations were a bit naive: “I expected more communication, initially, but am learning that over time, we are both opening up and sharing more. Last month, Fahim for the very first time mentioned one of the experiences he had when fleeing to Germany.”

Fahim meets with his legal guardian, Susanne, every couple of weeks. The two enjoy the outdoors, exploring the city by bike, or playing table tennis in the park. Being active is important to Fahim, who is athletic and recently signed up for parkour classes; he is also learning to skateboard.  

Getting to know each other across the language barrier is an ongoing process, and Susanne recalls that her group of volunteers, who were trained over a series of workshops, was cautioned repeatedly that it might take patience for a relationship to build. For the first few months, just establishing a regular presence in the life of someone who has experienced loss after loss is crucial, as is creating a space for playfulness and feeling carefree. Still, in hindsight Susanne feels that her expectations were a bit naive: “I expected more communication, initially, but am learning that over time, we are both opening up and sharing more. Last month, Fahim for the very first time mentioned one of the experiences he had when fleeing to Germany.”