I was born in a refugee family that was forced
to leave their homeland, Ukraine, because
of their political and personal convictions. Nearly fifty years after my parents’ escape
I “returned” to the land
they still refer to as “home”.
For nearly a year I lived and photographed in the village Kryvorivnya, in Western Ukraine, the region my father is originally from. “Kryvo” means curved; “rivnya” means straight.
Although I had never been there before and the environment was very distinct from the one I am used to in the United States, the place did not feel unfamiliar to me.
In my childhood it had been described to me in great detail by my parents. In Kryvorivnya the clothing I wore and the photographic gear I used defined me as a stranger; yet surprisingly for the people in the village, I spoke the same language as they do, and even have the distinct accent of the region.
Through my photographs, I wanted
to confront the image built-up from
the recollections of my parents with one
of my own.
Throughout the yearlong stay and my continuing visits to Kryvorivnya, I have been photographing many of its nearly 2,000 inhabitants.
The photographic sessions are a meeting point between the people of the village and I.
The series “PEOPLE OF THE VILLAGE KRYVORIVNYA”, created by both the people in front of the camera and me behind it. It is my journal of these meetings.
The series is also a composite portrait of this rural community, created through individual portraits of its members.
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