Great reportage Tufta, you show the different aspects of life, history, the streets of Vilnius with great sense and attention for detail and composition. Wino has a nice atmosphere. It is great that you had the courage to take the images of all these Lithuanian people. Ofcourse I liked the wonderful legs of the young women at the doorstep. But I also liked the the image of the painter, the boy with the cigarette reading a book (reminds me of young Parisians reading Sartre or Camus in Paris during the sixtees), the junkies preparing heroine on the street, people with dogs, the old alleys, wonderful churches, and the country side on the first posting with the lakes, the Lithuanian village, the cemetery and the boy scout camp (which reminds me of my own scouting experiace in scouting Camps in Luxemburg and the Brabant woods in the Southern part of my country. We had to built the same wooden structures using our knotting skills using various sorts of knots)
The atmosphere of the images reminds me of my Polish holidays and travels in the seventees with my parents as a little child, in the eightees as a teenager (14 years old in 1984 and 17 years old in 1987), and partly Krakow in 2004 and my Czech holiday to South Bohemia in 1997, to the towns of Český Krumlov and České Budějovice, where we stayed in a small Bohemian vacation resort at a small lake in a wooden holiday house with a veranda. On the way back we stayed in Prague for a weekend.
The atmosphere of the images reminds me of my Polish holidays and travels in the seventees with my parents as a little child, in the eightees as a teenager (14 years old in 1984 and 17 years old in 1987), and partly Krakow in 2004
Pieter, that's how Lithuania 'feels' a bit, outside Wilno. It feels a tiny bit like Poland of the 80-ties. What hits also is that in the Northern and Western parts the excellent roads lead for kilometers and kilometers through empty lands, probably effect of soviet colletivization.
Approaching LT from the North – Latvian-Lithuanian border
Klaipeda (Memel) is the third largest city in Lithuania. The city has a complex recorded history, partially due to the combined regional importance of the Port of Klaipėda, a usually ice-free port on the Baltic Sea. It has been controlled by Lithuania as a result of the 1923 Klaipėda Revolt, and the Third Reich following the 1939 German ultimatum to Lithuania. The city was incorporated into Lithuania during its tenure as a Soviet Socialist Republic and has remained within Lithuania following its re-establishment as an independent state. Popular seaside resorts found close to Klaipėda are Nida to the south on the Curonian Spit - where Polish president Bronis³aw Komorowski likes to rest www.fakt.pl/Komorowski-wzial-po-cichu-urlop,artykuly,80345,1.html - and Palanga to the north, visited by your dutiful reporter – see below
Lithuania IV Palanga (Po³±ga, Polangen) is a seaside resort town in western Lithuania, on the shore of the Baltic Sea. It is the busiest summer resort in Lithuania and has beaches of sand (18 km long and up to 300 m wide) and beautiful sand dunes.
P.S. I know I've more than over-saturated your vision with Lithuania. I did make a strict selection, though
You have really done an exellent job there. Wonderful images of the country Lithuania and it's people. My reply will surprise you possibly, but these images reminds me of some European travels I made. First the fourth image reminds me of Poznań in the eightees. The street looks like streets next to the street where my babcia lived, Ulica Mickiewicza w Poznaniu.
My deepest memories and most time in Poland I have spend in Poznań in the seventees (numerous trips) and eightees. So that is maybe why a lot of the Lithuanian images remind me of that Poznań. Especially the street on the fourth image with the umber/ochre grey houses of that street. The next image with the modern building in the back reminds me more of the Modern Warszawa I knew from August 2006. It looks like the periphery of the embassy area where the appartment blocks and streets under the hill (downwards) start to grow. (The embassy area is in a park like green area)
Next to this observation the rest of the images give me a sort of Pan-European flashback or emotions due to the associations I get with them. It will surprise you but the images lay links in my head with the Czech, Southern Bohemia area (the villages and towns there), 'old' sections of West- and East Berlin which kept their old charm, due to the fact that they were a little bit shabby, not modern and clearly left marks of the old DDR and West-Germany of the Cold war.
And finally they remind me of parts of Wallonia and Flanders in Belgium. Belgium has poorer area's which kept their charm of the old coalmine and Industrial heritage. Some parts of Wallonia, especially in the Liège (Dutch/Flemish: Luik, German: Lüttich) city and province and in the Borinage area in the Walloon province of Hainaut.
In his mid-twenties, the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh spent several years living in the Borinage area, ca. 1878-1880. First he preached to and lived with the coal miners. Then he had a breakdown and decided to become an artist, while living there. His first masterpiece, The Potato Eaters (Oil on Canvas, 1885), of Dutch land peasants, was indirectly inspired by the bad conditions for miners and families in the Borinage, but was not painted there. Dutch-born Belgian painter Henry Luyten resided in the Borinage during 1886 and 1887. He witnessed the great strike and its bloody suppression. In response, he painted the triptych "The Strike" on which he worked until 1893.
Maybe the Wallon-Liège connection is not so strange, because next to the Wallon and Flemish workers and miners there were a lot of Polish and Italian miners working there. And count to that the Algerians and Moroccans that live there, made Liège a very multi-cultural and multi-ethnic French speaking city. A city with grandeur too, due to the bourgeoisie and the Wallon elite that lived there too. Lithuania is multi-ethnic, with the Lithuanians (tall and blond Baltic people according to Jaga), Poles, Russians and Belarussians that live there. The atmosphere and the people on the images remind me really of some of these Belgian regions, city neighbourhoods and area's.
I grew up in a harbour town with a commercial and a fisherharbour, so the second image is close to my heart and first 20 years. I will always keep a soft spot for harbour towns, ports and the sea due to that. I love ports. The funny and strange thing is that the more shabby and pitoresque and romantic images I connect to Berlin, Liège, Bohemia and the more sophisticated, arhcitecture, clean streets, parks, flowers and squares remind me of Poland (Poznań, Kraków and Warszawa).
Again I loved the images you took of all these people, standing, walking, cycling. And a variety of types of people. Old, young, poor, middle class and well to do. By the way not all the images are of poor, remote area's. Some of the images could be of old Dutch or Flemish towns with little harbours or market squares. The communist era has done some damage to some of these buildings, because they are shabby. Other images show well kept wonderful houses and buildings, nice parks, streets and spcial scenes. I like the atmosphere and the variety of people. Every society and nation seems to have a variety of people. You are a good phototgrapher. I hope that my words weren't degrading, because I like this reportage, photo documentary very much. This is what I like to do when I travel.
Keep doing this great work, because making a photoproject of a vacation or journey is a very good thing. In these images we learn the other country, the way people are and how they behave, move and organise their society (seeing the images of the streets, boulevards, squares, parks, alley's, bridges and public spaces)
I am not surprise by your anwswer and your associations, Pieter. I didn't find your comments degrading, on the opposite. And I was glad to learn that some part of our internal way of seeing the world overlaps. Thanks!
You are welcome Tufta, I really enjoyed these images. I am a great photography and photographer enthousiast. I have a sort of photography book library at home. I love photojournalism and art photography next to painting, drawing, graphical art and cinema. (Art house cinema)