Where the Wildflowers Grow portrays a rural village, hidden in a mountainous area of northern Greece, in which the past continues to play a significant role in shaping its current state and atmosphere. A part of my family originated from this location and used to live there until they were forced to leave their home behind, and never returned. This is a journey through their homeland, documenting a landscape that was affected by the Greek Civil War in the past.
The Greek Civil War is marked by some as the beginning of the Cold War. It was a conflict between the communists and monarchists in Greece, which resolved in significant damages to the environment and displacements of many individuals. Until now, the aftermath of the civil war remains rooted in some of the country's landscapes and communities.
Due to the conflict, thousands of families were separated from each other and their homeland. Communist guerrilla forces operating under the Greek Communist Party sent many children aged three to fourteen to countries in Eastern Europe and Queen Frederica alongside the royal family had formed camps around Greece, where other young children from different villages were placed. Once the war was over, some children were never repatriated to their native environments.
My grandmother was placed to former Czechoslovakia by the communist guerrilla troops in the spring of 1948, and her family members became scattered around the world. A large number of migrations, both voluntary and forced, took place from the village of my family before, throughout and after the Civil War - causing the present-day site to be almost uninhabited. Delving into the history of the environment, showing the remnants of past conflicts, the work examines the complexity behind the notion of home.
It is said that the regions of Macedonia, Epirus and Thrace were the epicentre of the conflict, thus through this exploration, my intention was to familiarise myself with the land that used to be inhabited by my ancestors as well as to attempt to understand its history.
The archival imagery used for this project belongs to my family.
Greece / August 2019 - Ongoing
London College of Communication, Everything was Forever group show, 13 November 2019
Installation photos by Sheng Zhang