Snezhana Von Buedingen

Born 1983, Russian nationality, lives in Cologne

Meeting Sofie

People with Down Syndrome are fewer and fewer of them. Not only in Germany. In Switzerland, according to the Federal Statistical Office, fewer than 90 people are born each year with trisomy 21. In 2015 there were about 10,000 abortions. In Denmark only 31 children with disabilities were born in 2015. That’s a terrifying statistic. Are we so afraid of imperfection? Are we afraid of what the child will be like?

In my series “Meeting Sofie” I depict the life of a 19 year old girl with down syndrome born into a German emigrant family in Denmark. For the last eight years Sofie has been living with her family on a small farm in east Germany. Since completing school Sofie spends most of her life on the farm. She enjoys being alone as well as with the few people with whom she had build close relationships – her family, the farm animals, and her boyfriend Andy. The series gives the viewer a glimpse into the lives Sofie and her family. I hope this series makes visible that people with down syndrome have the same emotional world, same desires for love and happiness, as we all do.