A guide to the New East
Photography

Going home: a photographic journey into the past

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Memories of a childhood walking barefoot over green hills, of clothes and hair blowing in the wind. Of pausing at an imaginary border, a little too far from home, at the threshold of an unknown world. Watching grandmother looking out of the window – deep in thought, the sun tracing her wrinkles.

The photographer Irina Ruppert set out to find the images of her memories; images that she had carried in her mind since the age of seven, when she moved with her family from Kazakhstan to Germany. The vibrant red blood of a slaughtered chicken; an aeroplane stranded in a residential area; mourners in a meadow around a lace-lined coffin. On an autobiographical journey through Eastern Europe, she traced the paths of her ancestors and unearthed her roots.

Each photograph in Rodina (Motherland) stands by itself, an intense fragment of a patchy biography. Each reflects the distant land of her childhood from a melancholic, poetic distance – a country of fluid transitions, vivid colours and the interplay of light and shadow. Ruppert's creative essence lies in a confrontation with the past, in a search to find expression for inner impressions. By doing so, she makes a lost home tangible again.

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