Sonya Schönberger, born 1975, studied Social Anthropology in Berlin and Zürich, video art at the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and Experimental Media design at the University of Arts in Berlin, where she finished her studies as a fellow of Prof. Thomas Arslan.
In her current work, she is meeting eyewitnesses from the time of World War II and conducts personal interviews with them, exploring the cultural memory of the German society. She follows these witnesses and memory-keepers into the everyday life of the Third Reich: onto the battlefields, in prison camps, into devastated cities, on their escapes and into their after-lives.
In her older works, projects and films, Sonya Schönberger asked questions about the home (Heimat), identity, ancestry and tradition. Through her research with witnesses from World War II she has managed to consequently extend these topics. The impacts and traumas of the war on Germans transformed not only for the immediate affected generation the question of Heimat and national identity, but also tremendously for the following generation. By meeting victims and perpetrators, Sonya Schönberger tries to shed light into this neglected subject matter. Up to this point, the recorded reports have been collected, transcribed and archived.