1. The act of dispersing or the condition of being dispersed

2. (Biology) the spread of animals, plants, or seeds to new areas

3. Also an act or instance of dispersing or a state of being dispersed.

This Project is an attempt to create an artistic situation which is similar to the circumstances of the term Diaspora. Departure, transfer and arrival are accompanied by personal impressions. The condition of the diaspora is bonded to the act of movement and to a strong urge of narrating a story. Something complete, something a whole - like a nation, or in this project a puzzle, is something that is created from details. These details can be seen as individuals or components that are made from different shapes, colors and patterns that contain belief, language, culture and the desire of belonging and social cohesion. Initially the word diaspora refers to the jewish dispersed population, and its cultural development. Nevertheless the 20th century encounters much more than just one diaspora. Nationalism, War, Racism, Hunger, Poverty, Dispersal through slavery and through voluntary migration are just a few reasons for the wide range of dispersions.

Albanians, Syrians, Armenians, Indians
Assyrians Ethiopians, Bosnians, Bulgarians
Eritreans, Greeks, Hutu, Iranians, Nigerians
Irish, Yazidis, Jews, Cubans, Lebanese
Palestinians, Afghans, Pakistanis
Poles, Romany, Serbs, Tamils
Turks, Tutsi, Kurds
Overseas Chinese
Iraqis, Chechens

In this art work I divided a complete picture into 500 puzzle pieces. These pieces will be scattered around the globe. Each an every piece will find a new companionship that brings it from Berlin to a different place. A place that is different from its origin. The companion who travels with his unique art piece to its hometown or home country should be in in the awareness, that this unique part is complete by itself but is at the same time a part of a bigger structure, a complete picture. Each part is a detail, an individual with different shape, pattern and colors and each will be roaming around in different directions. Like in an archive, each piece has an individual code, an assignment which is part of its identity. By the simple act of typing in the above-written code of the piece, as well as the city and the country of its owner, into the project site (the-dispersal-project.com), the chaperon can reveal its piece on the screen. The picture is growing with every piece that has been activated. This process of setting the whole picture interactively together shows the process of gathering, settling and relocating. In the end it is a picture that has been broken down to 500 pieces, spread out to the world with the hope to find a new place to stay in. Shared by a global community of families, friends, individuals with different shapes, patterns, colors, religions, genders, languages and beliefs. Not only each piece belongs to each and another, it also creates a bond between the community that inherits one of the 500 hundred pieces. This is the process of inclusion…

Maja Gratzfeld


Maja Gratzfeld
Lens based artist
currently living in Berlin