Voices of Berlin is Berlin Untelevised‘s monthly Lives project. This project is to show the connection behind real lives within this both crazy and wonderful city by asking it’s many residents one question a month. Our ultimate goal is to curate a collection of accounts on many topics, ending each month with an abstract poem created through that month’s selection of responses and, thus, transform Berlin into a poet.  March/April‘s theme is Autonomy.

Seraphina, UK

“I think maybe I have a backwards view of autonomy because I’ve had very different stages of my life so the amount of autonomy I have had is pretty consistent it just varies in a way.

As a child, you live under your parents’ sway, so the autonomy in what is physically going to sustain you varies according to them, so you don’t really have autonomy over that. Then you have your creative autonomy, making up games or whatever.

Then you get a bit older, for me I went into the music industry, I had this sense of being incredibly autonomous I was just doing what I wanted to do, I just created and felt so autonomous but really you start to get disillusioned. You’re only autonomous as far as the people who are really paying for the studio or the experience. So that kind of stripped away and then I decided to go into my own business and started doing marketing and I felt very autonomous at the beginning of that as well, but then you become a slave to the pitches and the businesses that you’re trying to work with.

Now, I have a pretty boring stable job, but my level of autonomy is no different to when I was having huge creative bouts with money being thrown at my feet because the creative influences I could take in are anything. I can sit down and read a book, rather than justifying it to try and saying I’m going to listen to this record to try and create something out of it. I can just use my own commute to do what I like.

Then, at the same time, now that I’m outside of a very isolated industry, there are large varieties of people that want to spend their time with you. That’s also a constraint on my autonomy because I have a moral, or should I say, social obligation to fit all these different people in. My level of autonomy is the same, it’s just different as to how it’s expressed.”

Seraphina from the UK shares her thoghts on autonomy for Berlin Untelevised Voices of Berlin


Read Seraphina’s contribution to this month’s Voices of Berlin poem and its collection of other Berliner accounts in March/April’s Autonomy in the first week of May. If you’re a Berliner, find out how to add a contribution by emailing the editor of Lives lorathepoet(@)gmail.com.