from Fragments of Diaspora
“Fragments of Diaspora” centers around the theme of identity, migration, and the desire to uncover one’s roots. The lives of diaspora are filled with nostalgia, a deep yearning for home and the need to create a life away from it. By combining fragments of my photographs together with personal family imagery, I reassemble and rework a new collection of memories. My process is not planned or controlled and includes tearing apart prints then combining them again. These physical rips begin to resemble the splitting of families who fled from their homeland due to war or poverty. They depict symbols of cultural traditions and family bonds, while highlighting feelings of displacement and isolation.
The idea of post-memory; a term coined by Marianne Hirsch in her book “The Generation of Post-memory”, is a great inspiration to me. ‘Post-memory’ explains the relationship that the ‘generation after’ has to the collective and cultural trauma of those who preceded them. As a first-generation artist, I search for connections between my birthplace, New York City, and that of my ancestors, who originate in Greece and Asia Minor. These reconstructions illustrate a journey through inter-generational narratives, with hopes to keep custody and deep care of these personal inherited histories. This investigation and the need for an individualized story, act as a meditation between the realm of post-memory and realization.
01: “A Village Gathering”, Photo Collage, 11×14, March 2020
02: “Two Generations Ago”, Photo Collage, 8×10, March 2020
03: “At the Foothills of Mount Olympus”, 11×14, March 2020
04: “A Memory Relived”, Photo Collage, 8×10, November 2019
05: “Smoke Break”, Photo Collage, 8×10, November 2019
06: “Fragments of Diaspora”, Photo Collage, 11×14, January 2020
07: “A Moment in Between”, Photo Collage, 8×10, December 2019
08: “A Village Gathering”, Photo Collage, 11×14, March 2020
09: “Spring / Fall”, Photo Collage, 8×10, April 2020
10: “Under the Hell Gate”, Photo Collage, 11×14, December 2019
Anthoula Lelekidis is a Greek-American lens-based artist who utilizes photography, photographic collage, and mixed media in her practice. Her work navigates themes of personal memory, loss, migration, and the inability to create new memories. With a deep interest in the archive, she alters found family photos to interpret a deeper tie to and uncover ancestral roots within the blank spaces of her recollection. She holds a BFA in Photography from Parsons School of Design and received the Community Fellowship from the International Center of Photography. She was a resident at the Skopelos Foundation of the Arts. In 2008, she earned a scholarship from the Students On Ice Organization to travel to photograph Antarctica.