Birgit Weyhe

© Vera Drebusch

Laudatio by Andrea Heinze:

The way Birgit Weyhe draws birds alone is an art in itself: some soar into the air as if they were the embodiment of freedom. Others cower on the ground as if they had not yet discovered their potential. And still others are so tattered and torn that it is clear: violence has been done to this being. 

Metaphors like these make Birgit Weyhe's comics tremendously dense. And they are always human. Because Birgit Weyhe is interested in what drives people, how they became what they are - no matter what culture they come from, what color their skin is or how old they are. This is unique in the German comic landscape.

It is about the living and working conditions of Mozambican contract workers in the GDR or Birgit Weyhe's own family history. In her current comic, "Rude Girl," she tells the story of Priscilla Layne, a black American woman from a humble background who becomes a professor of German. Birgit Weyhe researches this biography with a curiosity that has already made her previous works strong. And, as usual, she finds her own sophisticated dramaturgy for it. In this way, she portrays people with all their facets and does not use stereotypes.

Birgit Weyhe was born in Munich in 1969, spent her childhood in East Africa and came to comics late in life. She began studying illustration at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg in 2002 - the fact that she also took an interest in the liberal arts during her studies is still evident in her comics today.

Birgit Weyhe designs patterns that seem to come from different cultural contexts - and which in her more recent comics increasingly become abstract structures, such as dark clouds that she lays over her protagonists. Birgit Weyhe combines text and image in her comics in such a way that they become universal materials.