The Gut-Knowing

Seven years ago, my body began to show signs of dysfunctionality. I was stiff, numb, always waking up feeling tired. Something was wrong. Every time I visited a doctor, measurable data was not able to explain the problem I had. Since then, I have tried to find out how to feel better by myself. In 2019 I was diagnosed with a chronical disease called the “irritable bowel syndrome.” This is how doctors word it when they do not have an explanation for anomalous gut conditions.


Last year I have then pushed my own health to a point where my system has finally collapsed. I took a forced break from my studies. After three months it seemed I eventually found the right nutrition. I started feeling sudden tingling, and as something was being transported out of my feet and hands. Apparently, probiotics accelerated this process. I began having more energy, but still there were periods when I was extremely tired.

When I tried to come back to my studies and work again, I started to feel worse another time. I did not understand why. This is where this work begins.


In my further research I learned how gut and brain are connected, in a bi-directional way.

The Gut-Knowing reflects my research on this complex connection. What are the traumas and misunderstandings that were affecting my wellbeing? As a guidance for my experimental research, I began to follow my “gut feeling.” I tried to find out what my body needs by listening to and reflecting on it. I began to work with analogue photography and switched to a physical diary. In so much uncertainty they helped me to make my experience more graspable, literally. The constant overworking of my notes, photographs and drawings in a form called “palimpsest” finally helped me to understand how to feel better.

I could identify how different ideologies of the Western industrialized society I grew up in influenced my health. Ideologies of separation, interminable growth and the technocratic myth are weaved into my mind and actions. Since they are enacted in the public and political realm, they affected me in the school system, the health-care system, as well as in my experiences with the European asylum system. By looking into different opposite concepts, I tried to understand how holistic healing could work. In the process “play” developed as the main method to face the uncertainty of the in-between. ­­


In collaboration with educational scientist Caro Junge I organized a workshop for refugee students. It was another way to holistically approach healing, by working through the traumas I identified from different systems in a way that empowers myself and others at the same time.