Claudia HezemansPhotography, Film & the Digital Breda
During the project Smaguryte, I started searching for my undiscovered Lithuanian culture.
To investigate my ‘bi-cultural struggle’, I traveled alone to Lithuania for the first time, where I photographed my grandmother’s apartment for the last time after she passed away earlier this year. I have combined these images with my family archive. This way, my story has become a family tale, portrayed by three female protagonists. The story starts with my beloved grandmother who passed on the culture to my mother, who later emigrated to the Netherlands when she became pregnant with me at the age of 21. Where exactly do I fit in between these two cultures?
In the process of making this project, I came across a letter that my mother wrote to me three years ago. The struggles of emigration, conflicted traumas and new mother love captures the difficulty of a new life in an unknown country. Now exactly 21 years later I asked myself the same things.