European Photo Project

European Homes: between proximity and isolation

, by Anja Meunier, Arnisa Halili

European Homes: between proximity and isolation

Solidarity in times of corona can be seen in silence. Due to the current physical distance, we would like to move together virtually, make ourselves cosy in Europe’s living rooms and take a look at contemporary life situations: How do people in Europe live and what do they need to feel comfortable? What role does the living room play in our culture and how has it changed over the years? A European Photo Project between proximity and isolation.

Currently, staying at home means protecting ourselves and others. This means that many people are spending time in the heart of their home: the living room. How we live is culturally determined: a simple object can have a completely different meaning in different living rooms in Europe.

Living rooms offer space for closeness, protection, exchange and hospitality. Usually, couches, a low table, a cupboard a TV are the distinguishing features of a living room. A fireplace used to be part of this characteristic interior, but in many areas this is no longer the case.

In the past, the living room was often reserved for special occasions. In times of crisis, such as the Second World War, many people in Germany did not even have a living room. It was only with increasing prosperity, e.g. in Germany in times of the economic miracle from the 1950s onwards, that more space was available for separate rooms such as the living room. As time has passed, less emphasis was placed on the representation of a home to the outside world, and more has been placed on the individual well-being aspect inside the home.

In today’s article, we would like to give you an insight into the similarities and differences of European living rooms. A big thank you to all the volunteers for being part of our project!

Click here to view this map in full screen mode or click on the house icons to zoom in and learn about each individual living room.

With the project “European Homes”, the authors have tried to present a diverse picture of Europe. Participation in the project was voluntary and took place on a digital platform. The quotes are of course not necessarily representative of the country; all statements are a personal contribution.

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