Everybody knows sand. The inconsistent feeling under your feet. Fine grains of sand, which are carried away by the wind or trickle through your fingers. I remember how we used to sift the sand over and over again to make it even finer. What I don’t know is how it feels like to be made out of sand myself. How is it to not feel your boundaries. How is it to be blown apart by every little blast of air. Only few know.

Veronika Raila knows this feeling. This feeling of inconsistency and uncertainty, the feeling of not having boundaries. She describes herself as Sandgirl. At one point everything is fine, at another a gust lets Veronika slowly fall in separate components. The following process of putting it back together is often very painful for her.

Veronika Raila is physically handicapped. She cannot talk or go to the refrigerator herself. However, her body, who denies her the easiest functions, houses a highly sensitive and intelligent soul.

Two days after her birth she was attested an IQ of 0. It was said that every form of communication would be impossible. A fatal conclusion. Together with her mother Veronika found a way to express her ideas and thoughts. If her mother puts some physical pressure on Veronika hand, she can draw and write.

Today Veronika studies new German literature and catholic theology.

I was impressed by her energy and willpower from the first moment on. After watching Mark Michel’s film Sandgirl at the premiere, where Veronika was also present, I was even more impressed. Through the beautiful pictures of sand, dunes and nature Veronika’s inner life becomes visible. The pictures are underlined by poetic texts which are read by Jana Wand and ground Veronika’s flying thoughts.

Written by Helene Fuchshuber

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