A Sense of Direction
A photographic exploration of a very sudden displacement from the homeland and re-connecting an individual with a familiar environment, where the person spent a significant amount of time growing up.
Due to the Greek Civil War, many individuals fled Greece from the affected areas. Thousands of children were placed behind the 'Iron Curtain' into former communist/socialist countries such as Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania or Eastern Germany.
My grandmother was forced to escape her native village in northern Greece. Arriving at former Czechoslovakia in 1948, she was immediately placed into a children’s home for war refugees. Until today, she shares a connection with one of the children’s homes where she had stayed as a young girl for a few years, located in a small town in the Czech Republic.This work focuses on the remembrance of her life there, her experiences of adapting to the (then) Czechoslovakian culture as well as how it feels to re-visit this place. It re-explores the current former children’s home, investigates her present-day feelings towards this place and explores how the past shaped her identity.
The work is accompanied by photograms and archival imagery from the children's home. The objects used for the photograms were collected by my grandmother and myself in the surroundings of the former children’s home, in order to turn her memories into a tangible object.
Czech Republic / April 2019 - Ongoing
A project Where the Wildflowers Grow is the second part of this story and can be found here...
Hand-made book of the project
Hard Cover, Perfect Binding, Square Format Book
Safehouse 1 & 2, Peckham / London, 14/06/2019
Installation photos by Sheng Zhang