Photographer: Hugo Estrela
Aljirca Marjanovic is a five year old little girl coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has four sisters and one brother. The older one is twelve years old and they live all together in Berlin with their parents.
I photographed Aljirca aside from a project (also photography) of social integration which is still in progress and evolves in many different forms, but the base of it is the simple interaction with people. She was part of many children who were curious about our project, developed in the street, open to everyone.
Apart from our goal, I have made a couple of portraits. This one is my favourite. Aljirca, always calm and curious, contrasted with her older sister protective figure, regarding my presence with the camera. It is difficult for me to imagine how complicated will be for a child to cope with the circumstances of emigration. The difference between a five year old child and, for example, a graduated student searching for opportunities, is the fact that the child will not distinguish a first from a second home.
An adult is always more or less prepared to face realities such as segregation, discrimination or intolerance. These are words which a child does not comprehend and those will become even more incomprehensive through the time when the child realizes she grew up on the same place where she is being rejected. I don’t know which one is Aljirca's second home, she will decide.