There are moments that divide life into a before and after. For Irene, one such moment happened when suddenly everything changed. Her daughter, Gabriele, was 27 when she was intercepted and strangled to death by a stranger after a party. The only thing that followed were questions and still to this day, no answers have been found. Since that night, the family lives with an unimaginable pain and uncertainty. They still have hope that one day they can look the perpetrator in the eyes and find out why Gabriele had to die. Their biggest fear is to realize it was someone they know.
The story of Gabriele is told in fragments with her absence noticeable in the pictures. She left a gap that still exists even after nearly 25 years and it’s a gap that will always exist. Like puzzle pieces, the used archive material merges with the new photographs and past and present start to communicate. However, there is a void that can not be filled. The questions can not be answered, but Gabriele’s story must continue to be told. She must not be forgotten. As long as this is the case there is hope.
Hope to get answers.
Ilka is a photographer based in Berlin.
© Ilka Pappenscheller