After ten years of absence, I returned to my home country to be beside my grandmother in her last moments of life. While on the plane, I imagined being back in that sacred space of childhood. Through her suffering and pain, my grandmother looked at me and smiled. The love radiating from her face triggered the comfort I was accustomed to, yet she often forgot who I was. Death impatiently waited for her, but she refused to leave. The first part of the series traces my journey through the places with which I have a strong connection. Some of the people photographed I have known since my youth, while others are strangers. I captured them in environments that represent their identities.
In contrast, in the second part of the series, I address the rapid social and cultural changes Romania undergoes as a result of globalization, as well as the exodus Romania experiences since its admittance into the European Union. The shift of the younger generation’s attitude towards consumerism pushes the peasants and their way of life to extinction. As older generations pass away, the rich cultural heritage of Romania slowly moves into museum space. The romanticized ideas of my identity were confronted with the realization that I, too, am part of the diaspora that is far removed from the old traditions. My grandmother would not let go until I left for a second time.