While studying during my junior semester abroad last spring at The Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague, I started working on a project to find relatives in Poland who I'd heard about from my grandfather but had never met. In inspiration of the legendary lesbian filmmaker Barbara Hammer's Film, My Babushka: Searching for Ukrainian Identities, I hitched a ride with a woman who miraculously knew someone who wound up living in an uncle’s summer house.
Finding them was a combination of determination and extraordinary luck. Through meeting my Uncle Zybcyk, I met more family members and came out as queer. Meeting these relations has helped me gain perspective on my own orientation and ancestors. And to understand the nature of the familial connection in a sustained structure.
The topic of family has been a theme that has played a role in my projects these past three years. Because I felt compelled to follow up photographically on my explorations on the notions of family and my Polish family in specific for my senior thesis at the School of Visual Arts, I persuaded the chair of the Department of Photography and Video to let me return for an unprecedented second semester.
The images and film I will continue to make will focus on the family in ways that go beyond language, geography, and sexuality. However, funding the project now that I am graduated is very difficult. So any assistance you can offer will be very much appreciated. Thank you for your support! Any donations will receive a 5x7 print or a portrait of themselves that can be included in the project.