I'm traveling through Estonia and Ukraine-using photography/audio as a way to explore the struggle in defining identity in newly independent countries
In July, my Hasselblad and I will be crossing Estonia and Ukraine by train, bike, and car.
At age 22, this summer marks the halfway point of my identity as an Estonian and my newly acquired American one.
I seem to be in a constant contradiction with myself and my identity as either an Estonian or an American. Conversations with my family are muddled in English and Estonian, and I hesitate to respond to the question “where are you from?” However, for the first time since my arrival in America, with my newly acquired green card, I have been able to save enough money to finally make the long awaited trip back “home.”
During my two-month stay in Estonia and Ukraine, I would like to make use of the visual language that I have learned in America and apply it to my journey through these two countries whose citizens also find themselves lost between two identities. I will be using photography/audio recordings as a medium to explore, understand and document the stories
When the trip is over, I will be creating a photo book that incorporates other documentation, including my own photography, illustrations, appropriated imagery, and an audio cd. I also hope to get some exhibits up at AS220 (Providence, RI), Firehouse 13, and other non-profit community arts space in the New England area.
The nationwide struggle for these two countries began in the 1990’s, when Estonia and Ukraine gained their independence. Decades later, millions of individuals living in Estonia and Ukraine are asking themselves what defines their homeland/identity. Is it their blood? Their tradition? Their language? Which language should parents of this generation teach their children first - the language they grew up with, or the modern language of that country?
For this project I estimate the cost of film (35mm, 120mm film and disposable cameras) and processing fees to equal approximately $500. I will be shooting with a Hasselblad, and Canon AE-1.
Thank you for your support
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One postcard sent from both Ukraine and Estonia.
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A personal thank you letter and 2 4X6 photographs sent in the mail.
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One signed print (8x10): photograph of your choice, and a postcard from both the Ukraine and Estonia
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signed copy and one (11X14 or larger) photograph of your choice as well as your name listed as a supporter of this project in the back of the book-and in any exhibits that this work may be included in.
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One signed print: a photograph of your choice, a copy of a book about this project which will include photographs and audio recordings (on cd), and your name listed as a supporter of this project in the back of the book and in any exhibits that this work may be included in.
- (49 days)