I’m looking for roots in a forgotten region of a bandit Nikola Šuhaj, which once used to be the easternmost part of our country, and today is one of the most undeveloped places in Europe. I like to discover how the lives of their inhabitants have changed over the last hundred years. Not only because part of my family comes from here, but also because I am interested in migration of people and its impact on the next generations. Maybe just a few people know that over 30 million people emigrated from Europe to the USA between 1820 and 1934, of which 2 million left the Belgian port of Antwerp in the small district called Luchtball. Now it has become a place for marginalized people, emigrants and socially weak families. I was capturing Luchball the way I perceived it. The massive concrete buildings in the style of Eastern Europe’s architecture stand alone in half-empty streets, where there are only slight hints of greenery and traces of man. A man uprooted and detached from his country, culture, and often even a family looking for hope in his new place. Compared to Luchtwall, Sub-Carpathian Ukraine is a place with beautiful untouched nature, but many people have left and are still leaving for a new future. Those who have stayed are struggling with poverty, corruption and alcoholism. Both these series are part of my Movement project, which includes Liberec Sudeten where I was born and where my grandparents came after World War II. I also plan to go to Slovakia, where is another part of my roots. I am also attracted by the Banat in Romania, where many Czechs left in the middle of the 19th century. I am interested in many places across the world and the everyday life of their inhabitants. It touches me very personally, because also I’m looking for where I belong.
Photographs are authorized © Jana Hunterová.