Beyond the Iron Curtain: Lithuania

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
, 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
. 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.

@ortizarenas |

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