Karl Schulze


Calling Home, 2023

My mom makes lots of phone calls! Twenty-one years ago, my family and I moved from Benin in West Africa to Germany in Europe. Even though I was just four years old at the time, I remember how tough it was for my mom. Her phone was her only connection to her home country, making her new life in a foreign place a bit easier. With my design, I want to pay homage to everyone whose primary connection to Africa is through a phone. My visual inspiration comes from Dutch Wax-Prints, which hold deep cultural meaning in West Africa and are familiar to many people in the diaspora. The design has three parts: The background displays a pattern of Africa, signifying that the continent is always with us. The second part features phones arranged in a checkerboard pattern over the African background. These phones symbolize connection, I used the classic home telephone my mom always used for my design. The third layer consists of playful, colorful lines connecting the phones, resembling phone calls.