In my new photo project “the journey” , I extend my family diaries to a larger and further scope, traveling back in time and to my Jewish ancestors’ country : Lithuania. Mixing the very few documents from the past and excerpts from literature*, with photos of the present, I revisit my family roots and history, and travel to an imaginary place, an introspective and biographic one. With needled landscapes, erased and dotted silhouettes, I explore the relationship between the visible and the non visible, the absence and the presence, and evoke the disappearance and remembrance of a lost community, either forced to flee away or exterminated.
Going back to the original land, along with my mother and my son, I look for traces, places, faces I could relate to today. I immerse myself in the nature, thinking a landscape history is intimately linked to the history of the people who inhabited and crossed them. What can those forests, fields and lakes tell about the past? Which memory do they convey ? Looking for a way to re-appropriate them, re-shape and transmit a lost memory, and celebrate the absent ones.
* With excerpt from Georges Perec, Récits d’Ellis Island: Histoires d’errance et d’espoir, (INA/Éditions du Sorbier, 1980) and excerpts from Jonas Mekas, There is No Ithaca, Black Thistle Press, 1996
All images ©Marilia Destot