Journey to the Sinking Lands

A witness to the world's first evacuation of an entire people due to climate change

A useful German word

Sebastian Lasse, a photojournalist from Dortmund who has travelled to the Carterets as part of a documentary team writes with news of a very useful German word… 

‘Heimat’ is one of those German words that plugs a gap in the English language, perfectly describing an idea that we just don’t have a word for. According to Mirko Drelling, the director working with Sebastian, Heimat is a word “filled with great melancholy,” that describes how our identity is bound up with our place in the world.  “‘Heimat’ offers security; preserves memories; creates relations with the rhythm of nature, the people, the language. Loss of the “Heimat” is one of the most traumatic experiences that a person can experience. They are confronted with the unknown, identifying opportunities to lose their secure harbour. ”

This, of course, is the prospect facing the Islanders. Seb and his team are planning to return to the Carterets this year, hopefully when I will be there.  I like Germans. Very practical.


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