Iveta Vaivode

Somewhere on disappearing path
Biography: I grew up in Riga, Latvia. Having started my photographic career as a fashion photographer, for the past years I have turned my sight towards more personal projects. In 2008, I received a BA in photography from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth... read on
Public Story
Somewhere on disappearing path
Credits: iveta vaivode
Updated: 12/14/12

My grandmother's house had a slightly strange smell, something of musty sweets, household soap and an old chest of drawers. If I feel this smell in any house now, it immediately brings back countless childhood memories of the time I spent with my Ome, my grandma. From her almost fanatical religousness to the stories of Pilcene, her native village. Although Ome lived her last years in the city, every visit to Pilcene was a pilgrimage for her. It was only there she felt truly happy, cherished and awaited. But I myself was never given the chance to get to know the place and people my family's women called their own.
However this year I finally decided to see the village. Suddenly I felt  the "Ome's" scent in the people I met and homes I visited there, questioning them curiously on the days of my grandmother's youth, and getting to know her anew. However, my idealized rural landscape proved different, turning from a nostalgic photo album into a peculiarly dramatic portrait of perhaps the last inhabitants of a contemporary Latgale village.
My project addresses the idea of looking back as a framing device and a narrative mode. Searching for the last traces of my family in a certain place, I chase after the people who used to know my grandmother. Through their stories I see the life that has vanished, although most of the people still live the way their ancestors used to. In a way, this place has became their lifestyle, one which I feel is going to disappear soon.