The Crying Handbook, 2024.

With The Crying Handbook, we — 51 authors from a dozen countries in 4 languages — present 68 glossary entries on the subject of crying. The handbook is arranged alphabetically and includes terms which unfold the field of crying. 

The Crying Handbook is a result of our research in the context of the seminar Crying Institute in the winter semester 2022/2023 at the Bauhaus University Weimar, Faculty of Art and Design, professorship of History and Theory of Art ( and has been published in cooperation with the follow-up project Crying Classroom (https//, led by Nadja Kracunovic and Rand Ibrahim, with support from Birte Kleine-Benne. 

The handbook brings together a multitude and diversity of thoughts, feelings and affects of students, designers and artists from all over the world who come together at the international Bauhaus University in Weimar.

You can purchase a numbered copy directly from the publisher for €20 – while stocks of the 100 copies last:

Mit dem Crying Handbook legen wir — 51 Autor*innen aus einem Dutzend Ländern in 4 Sprachen — 68 Glossareinträge zum Thema Crying vor. Das Handbuch ist alphabetisch geordnet und enthält Begriffe, die das Feld des Crying auffalten. 

Das Crying Handbook ist ein Resultat unserer Forschungen im Rahmen des Seminars Crying Institute im Wintersemester 2022/2023 an der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Fakultät Kunst und Gestaltung, Professur Geschichte und Theorie der Kunst ( und wird in Kooperation mit dem Nachfolgeprojekt Crying Classroom (https//, federführend von Nadja Kracunovic und Rand Ibrahim, unterstützt durch Birte Kleine-Benne, herausgegeben. 

In dem Handbuch begegnen sich eine Vielzahl und Vielfalt an Gedanken, Gefühlen und Affekten von Student*innen, Designer*innen und Künstler*innen aus der ganzen Welt, die an der internationalen Bauhaus-Universität in Weimar zusammenkommen.

Das Crying Handbook kann direkt beim Verlag für 20,- € erworben werden – solange der Vorrat der 100er Auflage reicht:


Crying Classroom program November 2023


to water stones

A performance by Paula Kiermaier in Athens (Athens School of Fine Arts), June 2023

Material I used:
plastic bag, my collection of stones and little metal objects, water and a nail

Sketch to explain, how the procedure was:


Crying Classroom program October & November 2023

Further information:


Performance by Martin Müller: I WILL MAKE 8 HOURS OF MY PAST UNDONE.

Am Dienstag, 4.7.2023, wird zwischen 10 und 18 Uhr die Performance 


von Marin Müller im Kiosk.6 (Sophienstiftsplatz, Weimar) stattfinden.


Next Tuesday, 4.7.2023, between 10 am and 6 pm, the performance 


by Marin Müller will take place at Kiosk.6 (Sophienstiftsplatz, Weimar) .



Workshop: Tears in Motion

Crying Classroom invites crying expert Laura Leal

We will delve into the meaning of crying as a tool of resistance through movement. Exploring the qualities and gestures of crying and related concepts, we will experiment with giving body and space to our tears, however, they present themselves. We will confront their inherent power as an instrument of strength.

Please bring shoes and clothes in which you can comfortably move, as well as a bottle of water.

Wednesday, 28th June 2023, 8 pm, 116 @ Van-de-Velde-Bau, Bauhaus University Weimar


gefährliche tränen

 ________ crying … 

… as restricted sign of sadness in ancient times, strong emotions were seen as dangerous, loss of control
… is still considered to be shameful, a sign of weakness
… can be done as an act of freedom

 _____________ idea

crying as a ritual

> raise awareness of own emotions, emotional wellbeing
> breaking with the stigma: crying = weakness


> soothing effect
> visual reminder of staying in touch with ourselveS

 object _____________________

installation ________ 

performance _____________


 _________ process

form of tears repeats itself endlessly when lighting it
> combination of old and new tears
> object that holds and visualizes emotions, companionship of emotional process

 candle, rapeseed wax _________

silicone moulding _____________

25×4,5 _________________



“Unlocking Fortitude,

Welcoming woes with a brave mind”




Diverse range of tear colors produced in response to different emotional states.

Yellow Teardrop:

The depths of sadness, a yellow teardrop is a sure sign of an individual’s ability to produce copious amounts of tears. This skill can be developed through years of intense emotional turmoil and is often seen in individuals who have been forced to endure countless romantic dramas. The yellow teardrop is characterized by its clear, almost transparent appearance, and is often accompanied by a sense of numbness or apathy.

Violet Teardrop:

The product of deep, all-consuming grief. This color is often seen in individuals who have suffered a significant loss, such as the death of a loved one or a divorce. Violet teardrops are thick, heavy, and often seem to cling to the skin. They contain a high concentration of stress hormones, indicating a state of emotional distress and great personal pain.

Orange and Red Teardrops:

The orange and red teardrops are a result of intensely passionate emotions, such as anger or intense frustration. These colors are rarely seen, as they require a level of emotional intensity that is difficult to sustain. The sharp, jagged edges of the red and orange teardrops are a testament to the raw power and uncontrollable nature of these emotional states.

Silver Teardrop:

The silver teardrop is a rare occurrence, seen only in those with a deep, reflective personality. These individuals often have a strong connection to themselves and their emotions and are acutely aware of their inner world. The silver teardrop is often reflective, catching and bending the light like a prism. It is a beautiful, fleeting remnant of the inner world that can sometimes be seen in a moment of emotional intimacy.

Golden Teardrop:

The golden teardrop is the pinnacle of emotional intensity. It is seen only in those who have experienced a state of emotional ecstasy, such as experiencing a sudden and life-altering realization or finding true love. The golden teardrop is characterized by its brilliant, luminous glow and is said to contain a high concentration of endorphins and other pleasure-inducing substances.

Pink Teardrop:

The pink teardrop is a rare and beautiful expression of love and joy. It is often seen in those who have experienced a deep, passionate love or who have been touched by a significant act of kindness. The pink teardrop is characterized by its soft, delicate appearance and is often accompanied by a deep sense of calm and contentment. It is a testament to the power of positive emotions and the ability of human beings to experience pure, unadulterated happiness.


I learned to play piano on the internet

The illusory world of self-optimization and self-realization
seems to have no limits on social media and burns itself
into our subconscious which increases inner insecurity. We bring the imparted half-knowledge into conversations, allow ourselves to be influenced by superficial opinions and thus become the robots of the data monopoly that is constantly outstripping itself.

The constant overflow of information results in overthinking. As if the head were constantly banging against the wall, it should reflect an almost painful movement of despair. To illustrate this desperation, i let a randomly moving “robot” roll on the ground like a crying child. The sounds of the engine reminds of a subtle screeching scream.

In order to visualize this chaotic overthinking i made use
of an mechanism i found in a cat toy. For the first experiment
i attached my hairs to one side of the hemisphere of
this exact toy to include a physical connection to my body. The placement on the grand piano creates this nonsense pattern of
sound, no control and no harmony.
The movement only comes to rest when the battery is
empty, while the battery symbolizes the battery of the devices themselves as well as our battery of stamina.

8,5 x 8,5 x 8,5 cm
Real hair, cat toy, acrylic lacquer, acrylic paint
grand piano


I want you because you make me cry


D, Displacement, the pain of being displaced…

Crying out of pain, the pain of being displaced…

The pain of displacement refers to the physical, emotional, and psychological distress experienced by individuals and communities who are forced to leave their homes, either voluntarily or involuntarily, due to a variety of reasons such as conflict, natural disasters, or economic hardships. Displacement can sometimes cause physical pain, particularly if people are forced to flee their homes abruptly or in dangerous conditions.

Moreover, the stress and trauma associated with displacement can also manifest in physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances. The physical pain experienced by those who are displaced can be compounded by the emotional and psychological pain of losing their homes, possessions, and social networks, as well as the uncertainty and insecurity of their future. Feeling displacement can certainly lead to crying as it is a natural human response to emotional pain and distress. The experience of being displaced can be incredibly overwhelming and distressing and can lead to a range of emotions such as sadness, fear, anger, and despair.

“To be torn from home and country, from dear friends, from all that has been familiar and beloved, to leave one’s own land and enter a strange and hostile land, – this is a great and bitter sorrow.”  Bertrand Russell, philosopher and writer.

Why “Home” is not happening?

Displacement and sense of place are closely related. Sense of place refers to the emotional and psychological attachment that individuals have to a particular location, which can be shaped by a variety of factors such as cultural, historical, and social connections. Displacement involves being forced to leave one’s home and community, which can lead to a loss of sense of place and identity. 

When people are displaced, they often experience a sense of disorientation and disconnection from the places and people they know and love. They may feel a sense of longing for their old home and community, and struggle to adapt to their new surroundings. This can be particularly difficult for individuals who have strong ties to their sense of place. 

“Homesickness is a kind of vertigo of the soul, an intense longing for a place or a time that may never have existed.” Sabrina Orah Mark

Let me cry a river…

We may cry when we do not feel at home because feeling a sense of home is often associated with feelings of comfort, safety, and familiarity. When we are in a place where we don’t feel like we belong or where we feel out of place, we may experience a range of emotions such as anxiety, stress, and loneliness. These emotions can be overwhelming and difficult to manage, and crying can be a way for us to release and express these feelings. Additionally, feeling like we don’t belong can be associated with a sense of loss or grief, particularly if we have recently experienced a major change or transition in our lives such as moving to a new city or country, or losing a loved one, OR sometimes, all of them at the same time!

When we experience emotional pain, our body and mind may respond in various ways. Physically, we may feel tension or discomfort in our muscles, changes in our breathing or heart rate, and other physical symptoms. Mentally, we may feel overwhelmed, anxious, or preoccupied with our thoughts and emotions. Crying can be a way to release this tension and express the emotions that we are experiencing.

“Home is where the heart is, but what if your heart is in pieces?” Emma Bleker

This quote captures the struggle of trying to make a place feel like home when you are going through emotional pain or difficult circumstances. It highlights the fact that feeling at home is not just about the physical space or surroundings, but also about the emotional and psychological connections we have with that place. If we are struggling with emotional pain or disconnection, it can be difficult to feel at home even in a familiar setting, and we may need to work on healing and rebuilding those emotional connections before we can truly feel at home again.


Veiled Tears: A Protrait of Sorrow II

“Veiled tears: A Portrait of Sorrow II”


Veiled tears: A Portrait of Sorrow

“Veiled tears: A Portrait of Sorrow”


AI’s Cry Babies

Experimentation with Midjourney on his perception on the tears of the babies, a dialogue between a human and desire through language.


A cemetery is a garden: on losing my grandparents

Throughout my life, both grandparents on my mother’s side lived just 10 minutes away from us, in their own house with a small garden and a chicken coop. They visited nearly every Sunday for dinner, took us on trips into the woods, walked us home from kindergarten, nursed us back to health when we were sick, let us watch TV shows that we weren’t allowed to watch at home, and generally spend so much time with us that it’s hard to compress every memory into a list of activities.

My grandfather passed away in 2018. His death was slow and somewhat foreseeable, he was diagnosed with cancer and spend the last weeks before his passing at the hospital in the palliative ward. My grandpa’s death was the first time in my life that I experienced genuine grief.

One of my strongest associations with my grandpa is his garden, which is also the ground on which my parents build our house on. He spent nearly every day, whether it was sunny, rainy, or snowy, in that garden while my grandma played with us on the terrace. I wanted to preserve his memory somehow, so I interviewed my grandma about him and recorded the conversation we had one sunny afternoon in July 2022.

My grandmother died on the 13th of February 2023. While her death was sudden and completely unexpected, the loss I felt was in a much calmer and quietly excepting way. I found my reaction to her death very confusing, my therapist told me that this can often occur when one had a good relationship with the person that passed. I remember my grandma as an open, friendly, and fundamentally good person, one you could talk about anything or nothing with, who accepted you as you are and that was just generally such a light in other people’s lives.

Editing the interview now was a sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and often slightly bizarre experience: normally, when I listen to interview recordings, it is pretty clear to me which oddities of a voice I can leave in to give the recording more character and which ones should be cut. But because I was so used to hearing my grandma’s voice, it became really challenging to decide what to cut and what not. I took the sound clips from the beginning and the end of the audio while walking to the cemetery where they are buried, the first one when I took the interview with my grandma and the second one a few weeks ago. While these audio bites sound extremely similar, a lot of tears were shed between the first and last recording.

in the bottom left: my grandparents, near the cemetery they are now buried in



30 x 20 cm, 24facher Druck auf Fine Art Papier

Auflage 1/1

Erinnerungen an traumatische Erfahrungen mischen sich mit Momenten von Demut, Freude und Erleichterung in paradoxem Weinen. Der 24fache Druck des Zeugnisses vermittelt einerseits das stetig im Alltag präsente Bewusstsein an das traumatisierende Ereignis, gleichzeitig vermittelt es auch die Unklarheiten traumatischer Erinnerung, sowie die Scham des Erzählens eigenen Erlebens, indem das Erlebte nur fragmentarisch zu lesen ist und Brüche beinhaltet. Die Spuren des Druckers, die einerseits aus einem Fehler im Versatz und anderseits aus Spuren am unteren Rand des Blattes bestehen, verweisen auf die Spuren des Ereignisses – auf all das, was unbekannt, ungesagt und ungezeigt ist.


Über 40 Jahre ohne eine Träne 

Bei einem Besuch bei meinem Onkel erzählte ich über meine Auseinandersetzung mit dem Thema Weinen. Wir sprachen über das Weinen im Generellen und unsere Erfahrungen mit dem Weinen.

Mein Onkel erzählte mir, dass er als Kind und Jungendlicher viel geweint hat. 

Alles, was nicht unterdrückt werden konnte, ist durch Tränen aus ihm herausgeflossen.

Wenn es einfach alles zu viel war, weinte er. 

Durch seine Tränen wusste er, wie man sieht. Augen voller Tränen sehen die Wahrheit.

Augen voller Tränen machen es möglich, die Schönheit des Lebens zu sehen.

Dieses Ventil funktionierte gut für meinen Onkel. 

Bis er mit 16 Jahren in der Schule geärgert wurde und anfing, stark zu weinen. 

Er weinte sehr stark, ja er heulte.

Doch das Weinen half nicht, seine Mitschüler machten sich nur noch mehr über ihn lustig und zogen über ihn her.

Mein Onkel sagte mir, dass er seit diesem Tag mit 16 Jahren nicht mehr geweint hat.

Doch auch, dass er Weinen für sehr Wichtig hält und man nicht Angst vor dem Weinen haben sollte.

Unsere sogenannte Gesellschaft hat uns Angst vor dem Weinen gemacht. 

Wenn Tränen unsere Wange runterlaufen, fangen wir an, uns zu schämen.

Was werden die anderen denken ?

Ich bin ein Mann und ich weine …

Es sieht so weiblich aus und kindlich.

Nein, so sollte es nicht sein!

Jedes mal, wenn du diese Tränen stoppst, dann stirbt etwas in dir, was in dir gewachsen ist.

Akzeptiere deine Tränen mit größter Freude, genieß sie, hege sie, heiße sie willkommen und durch die Tränen wirst du bei dir bleiben.


der Versuch das Unbeschreibare zu beschreiben

Gedicht 1:
keine Anleitung nötig, nur ein bisschen Fassungslosigkeit.

Sie erinnern uns daran, dass wir nicht allein sind.

Salz auf der Haut,
                                   auf dem Boden,
ohne Schall.

Sie fließen wie ein Fluss,
doch was sie bedeuten, bleibt                        Dunkel.

Sie sind mehr als nur Salz und Feuchtigkeit.
            Manchmal sind sie Tränen der Freude und des Glücks,
            manchmal des Schmerzes und des Verlusts,
 ein Akt des Vertrauens und des Mutes zugleich.

Sie erlauben es dir.

Doch jedes Mal, wenn sie fließen,
fühlt es sich an wie eine Reise ins                 Unbekannte,
vereint und in Bewegung.

Denn Tränen,
                      sie sind nicht nur Wasser und Salz,

Sie zeigen uns unsere Lebendigkeit an.

Sie sind das Echo einer inneren Welt,
            aber ihre Wirkung reicht oft weit über den Moment hinaus.

Gedicht 2:
Tränen sind ein Zeichen von Mut.

Tränen, stumme Boten,
fließen aus den Augen, ungebrochen.
Sie zeigen uns, was Worte nicht sagen,
und öffnen uns für das Unbekannte und das Verborgene.

Tränen, die stille Sprache,
sind ein Ausdruck der Seele, ein Ruf nach Verständnis und Wärme.
Sie zeigen uns Verletzlichkeit, aber auch Stärke und Menschlichkeit.
Tränen sind ein Zeichen von Mut.

Also weine, wenn Du musst,
denn Tränen sind keine Schwäche, sondern eine Kraft.
Sie helfen uns zu heilen und zu wachsen,
und erinnern uns daran, dass das Leben auch in Zeiten der Dunkelheit

Schönheit findet.

Gedicht 3:
wie ein Regentropfen

es tropft Tränen, meiner frustrierenden Hoffnung,
eine paradoxe Freude kommt, denn ich fühle,
das Tropfen ist beständig, das mich in meinen eigenen Armen wiegen lässt,
hin und her
hin und her
in meinem Kopf
eine fortwährende Pause, Stillstand
ich halte den Atem an,
es hält den Atem an,
um dann in einem erschreckenden Schwall der Überwältigung auf mich einzuregnen,
stocke ich, während sich die Realisation zu Worte formt
ich höre hier meiner eigenen Traurigkeit zu
wie Tränen, die den Schmerz wegwischen
die Tränen, wie glitzernde Perlen aus Sternhagel
eine schmerzende Schönheit, faszinierend und stechend zugleich.
In mir der innere Zwiespalt von Vorsicht und Genuss.

Gedicht 4:
Ein Freund

Was ein Freund mal zu mir sagte:

Das Weinen ist kein Zeichen von Schwäche, sondern ein Ausdruck von Stärke.

Schwäche zeigen, ist die größte Stärke.

Gedicht 5:
Anlässlich zur Anleitung

Schluchzen, ein Lied der Seele,
eine choreografierte Bewegung des Schmerzes.
Wie eine Flut, die uns erfasst,
ohne Vorwarnung, ohne Hinweise.

Schließe die Augen und atme tief ein,
fühle die Leere und den Schmerz, ohne Hemmungen zu sein.
Lass die Tränen wie ein Fluss fließen,
eine wilde Melodie der wellenförmigen Gefühle.

Beweg dich im Takt der Traurigkeit,
lass deine Seele frei und deine Gedanken befreien.
Lass die Tränen den Rhythmus bestimmen,
die Anleitung, die du brauchst, um zu beginnen.

Denn Tränen sind wie ein Tanz,
eine improvisierte Choreografie des Lebens.
Lass die Tränen dich führen
und auf eine Reise mitnehmen.


Crying Crying Book

A book I once held sobbed, its tears falling over my fingertips.
A tremendous sorrow that it was unable to bear left its pages soggy, resembling a ship of sailors.

The ink on the page began to stream like rain as the words inside had come to life.
It had thrived because of the stories that were told, but now it cried out in pain.

I questioned why the book was crying.
The pages then shifted to stories of loss and sad farewells.
Hearts still burned for unrequited love.

The book had lived a thousand lives and experienced every one of them with agony. It cried for everyone it had survived and for those it was unable to comfort.

Because even books must experience their fair share of grief in the lonely night, I wiped away its tears as I held it gently still and squeezed it tightly.

Then I lowered my voice and said to the book, “Hope, love, and all that is brilliant.” I added that even though the book was dripping with tears, the pages still gleamed in the light.

Books may cry, as can we all, but through their sorrow, we discover the truth: that although life is difficult, it is true that joy can arise from the depths of childhood.