Who are you?

Zaklina Anderson

2017 - Ongoing

My new series "Who are you" is a continuation of my exploration of the past, more precisely, how my identity has been shaped by growing up in a country which no longer exists, Yugoslavia.

The project took shape as I was photographing my mother's crochet doilies. They are a connection between her Serbian roots and my present life. I wanted to photograph the doilies as a way of preserving them, to keep them forever in the way that speaks most to me, through photography.

I use double exposure and image collages when I produce these works, because memory is ephemeral and transient, hard to define. It can be very much influenced by subconscious triggers in the environment. I employ a mix of digital and analog techniques, again to enforce the importance of the past (analog) and the present/future (digital).

As I started to create these images, the doilies looked like a map, an outline of a country. Along with the doilies, I photographed different objects and surfaces, looking for a way to capture the feelings that form my memory and the elements in the surroundings that trigger them. Some pictures represent thoughts of Yugoslavian identity. Others of my personal experiences of the nation's collapse. For example, the image of caged animals in the Zoo represents the sense of anger, repression, and fear, feelings which were very real just before the war in Yugoslavia broke out. The photograph of the train leaving a station represents the memory of leaving my country to study in the US, having to do so by train because of the fear of land mines at the airport. Comforting my younger sister is depicted in the image entitled "Cherish".

My project is work in progress and so far consists of 20 images. They are ink-jet prints in floating frames of size either 40x60cm or 60x80cm, either landscape or portrait orientation.

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