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I feel 'Heimat' whenever I can sleep in my own bed

Janette, a fashion and beauty photographer, has worked with us on the FW19 “Swirl” collection shooting. We talked with her about what ‘Heimat’ means to her. Janette was born to a Peruvian mother and a Swiss father in Peru and moved to Switzerland at the age of 10. We are grateful that she agreed to share her story.


Nina: What does "Heimat" mean for you, Janette?


‘Heimat’ is where my family is and where I can communicate perfectly in the language. Until the age of 10 this was Peru, after that Switzerland.


Are there things that make you feel home?


Whenever I can sleep in my own bed and have all my personal belongings around me.

Photo courtesy of Janette Gloor

Have you experienced stereotyping or discrimination based on your looks or gender?


When I was a child and just arrived in Switzerland there was a time when me and my sister were treated as people that have just arrived from an underdeveloped country. We were asked questions like if we slept in a house or had a bed [back in Peru] (laughs). It’s true, Peru is still a developing country, but not as poor as many may think. We were both very tanned and had long black hair… 40 years ago that was quite exotic in Switzerland! Generally I was always annoyed that people started to speak with me in high German – even before I was able to say anything. From time to time that even happens today.


What do you feel when you imagine your 'Heimat'?


I’m relieved that I didn’t grow up there [in Peru]. As a woman the life in Peru is still difficult as the society is dominated by men. The life I am living here would simply be impossible in Peru.


Are you well integrated into the society? Do you sometimes struggle?


I think I am well integrated into the society I live in.

Janette during the FW19 "Swirl" photoshoot in her studio in Zurich.

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