Diverse and varied professional experiences and a (sometimes) tortuous life have made me a generalist. Learning by doing is my motto.
I grew up in an extended family on a smallholding in the Emmental (Switzerland). From very early on, I read everything I could find, particularly stories about other cultures.
After college, the Emmental became too narrow for me. Travels to Yugoslavia, Scandinavia and Israel/Palestine.
After a few terms at university studying Social Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology, I obtained a diploma to teach French and English at high-school level. I lived in Spain for a year, working as a language teacher and with NGOs before embarking on a tour of the American continent from Canada to Guatemala.
1980 saw the birth of my daughter, whom I raised as a single mother.
About 20 years ago I began to work as an independent interpreter/translator and author. I also founded a parents' association, organized a playground and lunch at school (as Swiss schools give pupils a long lunch break, which they usually spend at home) and initiated other improvements for single parents in the neighbourhood.
Recitals as the singer Vera Gabriel (covering Edith Piaf and Mercedes Sosa as well as many tangos); author of essays on social politics. My book «Steine im Weg» (Rocks in the Road) describes the many obstacles that still make it difficult for a single mother to combine her family and professional lives, and realize her artistic calling.
This kaleidoscope of multiple competences and rich life experiences has provided me with the tools for my work which focuses on people from other cultures, and their languages and songs.
My latest creative production is the documentary SPAGAT – Mütter und Töchter in der Migration (Spagat – Mothers and daughters in migration; in German and French). It allowed me to combine all my experiences and creative talents, including photography.