Who is Susanne Middelberg? Susanne is a woman, mother, Minnaares, a dancer, photographer, actor, a yogi, chocoholic, late sleeper and a Blaudzun, Jaap Robben, Griet Op de Beeck, Anna Schudt, Ulrike Folkerts, Jörg Hartmann and Mads Mikkelsen fan.
Den Haag! You are so wonderful!?
Oh. Den Haag is not devoid of stiffness. It is the government’s flagship city but not that of the people. Still, Den Haag has the sea, theaters and “het Binnenhof”. Also, I have been living in Den Haag for almost 30 years.
Which three people very urgently belong indicted before the Court of Human Rights?
Klaus Schwab because of his plans for humanity. Hugo de Jonge because of all those lies he told. Mark Rutte for all the parents whose children were taken away from them because of the “toeslagen affair“.
A photograph is just a tiny slice of a subject. A piece of them in a moment. It seems presumptuous to think you can get more than that? (Annie Leibovitz)
True. And each photograph tells us as much about the photographer as about the person photographed.
Wonder Woman or Superman?
Wonder Woman of course 😉 !!! Wonder Woman is a multidimensional protagonist. This is not surprising, as her character was created by William Moulton Marston, a psychologist. Marston created Wonder Woman in 1941, in the time of the Pearl Harbor attack that caused America to join the second world war. For the women, who went out to work for the first time in their lives because their men were fighting in that war, Marston’s work represented a new sense of might and self-reliance. (The American flag is Wonder Woman’s costume.) He wanted to create a female character having the strength of Superman and the soft powerful qualities of a woman. He wished to encourage women and give them confidence. William Moulton Marston was a “Freidenker” for his time but for our times also, probably. He was living with his wife Elizabeth Holloway, a psychologist, too, and a lawyer, and Olive Byrne whose mother Ethel Byrne and aunt Margaret Sanger played a key role in early 20th century feminism, including the fight for contraception use and access. With both women, Marston had two children who were raised together. Both women inspired the character of Wonder Woman. And I love the background story of Wonder Woman’s origin: Amazonian warriors and Greek gods. I have been working on a series with Wonder Woman as the main character for 27 years. The first photo was taken in 1996. Besides the universal image of a woman being both a hero and an ordinary female, the series has gained a personal dimension to it. It narrates my own development as a woman, mother and human being in addition. In the Wonder Woman series, I photograph the comic heroine as an anti-heroine. The series is slightly mocking the American view of glory and perfection, but mainly expresses love for everything human and utters sympathy for the ideas and values behind the comic character Wonder Woman: honesty, justice, love and strength.
Which three superpowers do you wish you had?
Strength, humor and discipline.
Generally, we understand the portrait as just the face of someone!?
For me, a person’s portrait depicts a moment, a feeling, a thought. It does not necessarily have to be the face. You may see a face, a silhouette, a back or a shadow…
The sea is an underwater museum, but it would be better to ban visitors from it?
We are not visitors. We are part of the planet. So, we must behave in harmony with and with respect to every part of the planet.
As a child you were afraid of the dark?
I was not afraid of the dark but of my imagination, I guess.
There is a light that never goes out? (The Smiths)
„Immer wenn du meinst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein Lichtlein her…” That‘s what my great aunt used to tell me, whenever I needed it. I still listen to what she said.
Your biggest loss?
Belief in family.
What would you do on your last day on earth?
Be with my children and my partner.
You were unsure which pain is worse – the shock of what happened or the ache for what never will? (Simon Van Booy)
Depends on the person. For me, it’s the shock of what happened. I believe you never have to stop following your dreams.
The theater is a place where one has time for the problems of people to whom one would show the door if they came to one’s office for a job? (Tennessee Williams)
Yes, it can be that. It is just one of many aspects. The theater is the place for all things human. It mirrors all we feel but we are afraid to let show.
Bertolt Brecht or Molière?
Bertolt Brecht. I have a weakness for Brecht. „Ihr Herren, die ihr uns lehrt, wie man brav leben und Sünd und Missetat vermeiden kann, zuerst müsst ihr uns was zu fressen geben. Dann könnt ihr reden. Damit fängt es an.”
Our arms start from the back because they were once wings? (Martha Graham)
That is a nice one. Our arms literally start from our backs. One of our teachers always told me to broaden my back. It took me a long time to understand what she meant. It is about energy. Our back does not stop at our arms. Our arms do not stop anywhere. And of course, our arms were wings once. So, we still can fly if we dare.
Pina Bausch or Isadora Duncan?
Both were pioneers of dance. And they both deserve my admiration. Without them, dance never would have become what it is now. Both have elevated dance to more than form. But it’s Pina for me. More than anyone else, Pina has transformed dance into something about being human. I started my dance training at the Folkwanghochschule, where Pina was the artistic director. The whole school breathed her feeling and vision about dance. I still feel very much connected with her vision of dance and theater. I have a large photograph of her in my house. I see her every day.
Your goal in life? To be in a movie directed by Paul Verhoeven?
I would jump for joy if I played a nice part in a film by Paul Verhoeven or Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. And I am very happy when my photos are seen. But most important to me are the people I love.
_Uwe Buschmann (copy editing Silvia Strauch)