Sunday, 15 August 2010

Up and Coming: Evi Lemberger

Transcarpathia is a region in the West of Ukraine, which is surrounded by the natural border of the Carpathian mountains and artificial borders of Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. Within the 20th century it used to belong to 7 different countries: until 1918 it belonged to Hungary, then for 20 years to Czech Slovakia, for two weeks it became an autonomous country. Then till 1944 it belonged to Hungary and to the Soviet Union and since 1991 to the new founded Ukraine. Nowadays the area is quite dismissed by the government. Statistically, it suffers from about 80 to 90 percent unemployment and most people have their own land and animals in order to get their food. Many different nationalities and religions are settling down in this region. The language and time is set to Ukrainian or Hungarian, which is one hour behind time, a situation that a lot of different countries are facing.

Above all, East European Countries such as Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia are dealing with this problem. These countries, which were part of the big Habsburg Kingdom, were split up and since then, it seems more than a game to ruling countries: borders were changed and countries were founded according to their geographical location and political interests rather than according to their history, language or culture. Thereby there has been no consideration for the society and culture of the people, who have to deal with the outcome.
As part of my photographic investigation I travelled to Transcarpathia. Talking to people from different national and religious backgrounds I tried to find answers on my search for identity.