Using the geographically longest coastal village in the country as a metaphor, “Homeland” is a constructed and multi-layered story of the birthplace of a human being, memories and the journey of a life. This is the story of a land and human connection with it; information preserved by the land over the years reveals the past, present and future, and is a reflection on how time affects and changes our sense of a place.
The story also encourages a critical look at contemporary issues – the visual narrative of life outside the city acts as a signal for dialogue on modernity and the political and economic processes affecting the emigration of the younger generations. In terms of geography, the project also serves as documentary evidence of the longest village in the country – Kaltene – through photography, recorded memories and interviews in two languages (Latvian and English) reflecting national identity, history and memory, as well as people’s relationship with their environment and their emotional connection to the sea, forest and stones. The story is not just about a specific homeland – Kaltene, where the author was born, but also about our nation as a whole – its values, rituals and traditions.The exhibition “Homeland” takes place within the framework of Latvia’s State Centenary programme.
Georgs Avetisjans graduated from the University of Brighton (UK) in 2016 with an MA in Photography. He has lived in the USA and the UK for seven years, and had several exhibitions in Latvia, Italy, China, Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, France, Denmark and the UK. Most recently selected for the Magnum Photos Graduate Photographers’ Award 2017 in partnership with Photo London and RBB Economics and won the 2nd Prize “Different Worlds 2017” at the Photon – Centre for Contemporary Photography in Ljubljana, Slovenia which showcased recent works of ten young and emerging contemporary photographers from the CEE region. In July 2018 the photobook “Homeland. The Longest Village in the Country” was published by Milda Books during the opening week of Les Rencontres d’Arles in France, and it will be launched officially together with a solo show at the Latvian Museum of Photography in Riga.