Photography is my way of telling stories. Stories where place, time and memory merge together to be remembered and to prevent them from fading away.
I wanted to tell a story based on my personal family history about how immigrants feel connected to their home country for a long time. That even after several generations the connection to the homeland remains, and that it only slowly fades. It’s about the feeling of being at home in both places without completely belonging to either one of them. About the wish of holding on and the inevitability of needing to let go.
Why did you decide to give this project the form of a book?
The message I wanted to communicate is quite abstract, and in my project, I also made use of different kinds of photography. I combined old (family) photos with landscape photography. I used the form of a book because the edit, the sequence of the images in the book as well as the size and the positioning of the images on the pages allowed me to tell the story in the best possible way.
What do you expect the viewer experience when they look at your book?
I would like for the viewer to feel as if he is losing track of time and place. The places shown are interchangeable, have the same feeling and value. Time could be now, or the past. A sense of being pulled back and forth between different places over several periods of time. The viewer might feel a bit of melancholy and a sense of resignation.
As this is our first interview, can you introduce your work in general?
In my work, I’m interested in the relationship between time, place and memory. How one thing influences the other, how a certain place can evoke different feelings in different periods of time and for different people. My way of exploring this is by telling stories. Stories where place, time and memory merge together.
Can you say something about the editing of your book? Did you work alone? Did you work with an image editor and designer?
Because of the complexity of the message, combined with the use of different types of photography I decided early on to work with an editor and a designer. This has been a very important and useful collaboration. Working with both of them obliged me first of all to focus very well on the message I wanted to communicate. It was also very important and helpful in constructing the book by helping me selecting the images and defining the best sequence in order to communicate the message. I worked together with Nicole Segers as an image editor and with Asja Keeman from Studio Asja Keeman for the graphic design.