distant relations:
one family, eight nations

This work in progress describes the dispersion of a single family - my own - from Lithuania in the late 1800s to North America, England, South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Israel, and Ukraine. It is about how, more than a century later, Grinkers began to reconnect and forge links between present and past.

The story of my family is one shared by many. The goal of this project is to engage audiences with the universal experience of diaspora; these images and interviews, of specific places, people, and relationships in the course of my family’s history, reflect common experiences of transience, estrangement, and, finally, rootedness. The Jewish diaspora inflects my family’s disparate paths; the struggles of maintaining tradition while adapting to new social environments are also familiar within a broad understanding of cultural migration.

Distant Relations is about how people make their own history. With texts written by anthropologist, Richard Grinker, this history of a single family's successes and failures-unique and yet representative of so many contemporary diasporic journeys–documents the uplifting and enduring struggle to live in the 21st century while never forgetting one's ancestors and homelands.

The images here were made in Lithuania in 2003, and South Africa in 2005. I am currently working at sites in the United States; and plan to work in Argentina and England in 2007, followed by trips to Australia, Israel, and Ukraine, and back to Lithuania.


NY Times Lens:

For more information please email: info@lorigrinker.com back