Wulf Rössler: My Love!

Every time I leave my flat, the question of conscience arises: with or without my camera. I then briefly think through whether I would have something special to expect, leave my camera at home and … get annoyed every time I am on the road without it. It just looks like all senses are sharpened when I do not have a camera with me. This way I obviously already missed dozens of fantastic images, which would have won any photo contest in the world. This loss has to be weighed up against, if you come along like a tourist with a camera on your neck.

Long preface, because this time I had the camera with me. I was out for a walk in Zurich, when I saw this run-down house. There are not so many run-down houses in Zurich. Zurich is a rich city and loves to dress up. So it seemed pure irony to me to see a trailer in front of the house with the inscription “Amore mio”, my love! The house could hardly be meant by that. This was obviously an Italian ice cream trailer – proud with a small addition “since 1996”. So the proud owner of this trailer will soon be able to celebrate a 25th anniversary. The bouquet of flowers in front of the trailer seemed to indicate that there was something to celebrate. But why was the trailer parked on this lost property? Did the owner go bankrupt or were the temperatures end of August simply no longer suitable for eating ice cream?

But this picture also tells a story about migrants. Italians were among the first migrants in Switzerland. They have done great things for Switzerland, for example many Italians were involved in the construction of the internationally important Gotthard tunnel. But their life was no bed of roses. For example, they were not allowed to bring their families to Switzerland, when working here with a work permit and if a secretly smuggled-in partner became pregnant, this could cause a major drama, including deportation.

Today this is history. The descendants of the first Italians are well-liked in Switzerland – they are said to have a certain nonchalance, for which many Swiss probably envy them. Anyway, today we love their wines, their food, their cities, their landscapes, their culture, practically we love them for everything what we aren’t and don’t have. So this is a story of migration and what the migrants have brought to us and how they enriched our lives. Thus, one image can tell a whole story that would never have been told if I had left my camera at home.




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