>Projects >2021 >Now is not the right time

Peter Pflügler

Now is not the right time

“I remember the car journey, yes. And the shock in my mum’s eyes when she asked me to roll up my shirt sleeves in the heat. My father was very calm. How on earth could they not decide to tell me at that moment, in that car, on that hot summer day, sleeves rolled up, my forearm a reflection of the secret? This grief that was so familiar to me was not my own. But because I didn’t know that, it became mine.”
This is an ongoing investigation into the dynamics of a family secret. I use my personal story as a case study of how the silenced trauma of a suicide attempt has shaped a family. My focus is on the grey area of knowledge and how silence and the act of hiding can transmit trauma to the next generation.
As I visit the sites, examine objects, question memories and interview family members, I try to sketch the fragile construct of a mystery.
How did your trauma become my own?


I am currently studying photography at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague.
As a photographer and filmmaker, I am mainly concerned with the dynamics of secrets, the act of hiding and transgenerational trauma.
I often focus on personal stories to tell about these universal themes. I believe that the friction between the known and the untold influences our own narrative. Secrets and silences are the main tools in the transmission of trauma: large and small. I pay special attention to this grey area of knowledge.
As a former dancer and performer, I am aware of the body as a medium of memory and expression and experiment with my own expressiveness and speechlessness.
I want to break the silence by using it in my work.