A guide to the New East
Photography

Take me back: Vilnius though the lens of nostalgia

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Amber Room by Lithuanian photographer Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte began as an attempt to explore what is what that made her miss Vilnius the most after moving to Glasgow, Scotland. “I wanted to pin down the places, colours, smells or light that made me physically sense the nostalgia. Wandering around Vilnius I searched for familiarity, for places, objects and scenarios that were part of my identity.” Yet rather than explore the triggers behind her homesickness, as she had done when photographing food stuffs in her project Away Home, Kotryna focussed on longing itself. Couched in a poetic, personal mode of photography, the resulting photo series reveals less about her hometown than the ways Kotryna remembers it. “Still making photographs of places that were crucial to me growing up in Vilnius, I was looking for a way to show them through a self-inflicted distance. I never came too close to the subjects or objects, I made pictures in the dark, or obscured by something, or flooded by light — this is how nostalgia felt to me.” Other locations in Lithuania as well as Scotland are included in the series. The project is a dreamy meditation on the difficulty of locating memories to a specific place and time, reflecting on the recent history of eastern Europe.

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