a young man growing up in South America, I felt that the
countries that made up the former
Soviet Union were shrouded in mystery. Thanks to US television
and movies, these places occupied a space in my mind that was
hostile and intimidating.
Yet one rainy afternoon in
Bogota, I came across a book published by Taschen called CCCP
(Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed). It was a discovery
which inspired me to take a look behind the Iron Curtain.
Last year I spent two weeks in
Lithuania. The reasons for this visit were more personal than
photographic. My partner is Lithuanian and the time for formal
introductions with her extended family had come.
As a photographer, however, one is almost never completely off
duty. I was a tourist, a stranger in a strange land trying to marry
what I was seeing first hand with what a backlog of media-created
stereotypes had told me I was supposed to be seeing. The following
series called “A Baltic Break” is a response to this.