I will complete this project with an audio-visual assistant. The project has two phases. The first phase involves traveling the US and Canada, taking portraits and recording the oral histories of former Baltic DP’s who were housed in Germany after WWII. The second phase will be taking this work and the research I have already completed in Germany, documenting 47 former DP camps, on a European exhibition tour to Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Estonia and England. The travel across the US and Canada will take place from the end of May to the end of June. The work begins its European tour mid-July and continues traveling the EU until early winter 2021.
I recently began traveling the United States and Canada, photographing and recording the oral histories of former DPs who were in the DP camps that I have documented. I have been asked to present solo exhibitions of these works starting July 2020 in Riga’s Fotomuzejs, the Presidents Library gallery in Kaunas Lithuania, the National Museum in Vilnius Lithuania, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin Germany, Ehemalige Kirche in Eichstatt and talks of exhibitions in London and Tallinn. My goal is not only to preserve this history but also to widen its narrative. As I present this work in the US and abroad, I am always amazed at how few people know this story. I feel, especially given the refugee crisis today, that it is imperative to disseminate this history. A Latvian Foundation Grant would be instrumental to this project’s success. This documentation and record are critical as this generation is passing away and first hand witnesses of this historical time period are steadily vanishing.
Funding from the Latvian Foundation $6373 will be used for myself and my audio-visual assistant to execute this project in these ways: flights in the US, car rental in the US and accomodations in the US as well as for shipping of Artwork to Riga and other the EU countries.
Project submitted by Krista Svalbonas, BFA 2000 Syracuse University, MFA 2005 SUNY New Paltz, Assistant Professor of Photography at St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA.