““Nothing is as bad as to know your way around in a house that isn’t there anymore”
“Don’t destroy the last thing, the memory”
I think that these two quotes pretty much sum up why I did this project.
It all started when I entered a space in which I had never been before but that felt like home to me. I went looking for more places like that and even though the spaces I visited were completely new and unknown to me, they all had the same effect on me.
At first it was all quite indefinable but later on it became clear to me that I was chasing a ghost from the past: my old place of birth that I lost when I was eight years of age.
That loss lit a spark in my photographers’ heart years after it occurred.
Now, after years of traveling, searching and photographing, I have assembled an archive of 790 images, shot in 25 European countries, that can be seen as a reconstruction of my youth but that also contains tons of information and insight into a Europe that was around for centuries but that is rapidly changing.
Meanwhile a multilayered strongbox is accessible for (culture) historians, ethnographers, anthropologists, architects, archivists, set designers, art directors, film directors, food researchers and photo lovers.
It all comes together where one can see and feel what happens when people turn a space into a home.
By allowing me inside their private space they not only gave me permission to drench myself in nostalgia but they also helped me build this treasure.