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stay forever more

Stay Forever More is a reflection on my childhood and adolescence, delving into and confronting difficult memories. This is a project about identity, which speaks to my experience of emigrating from my home in Poland to county Mayo, Ireland when I was six. It's aim is to capture and contemplate the yearning for connection and a sense of home. While the project explores feelings of liminality and belonging, it is also a love letter to the complexities of my hometown, Castlebar, my upbringing, and what it means to be Irish. 

 

The idea of home has had a bittersweet resonance for me for most of my life. My family left Poland due to financial instability and we arrived in Ireland at the height of the Celtic Tiger economic boom, along with thousands of others in search of a new home. This mass immigration to a country which until then had not seen many foreigners wasn't always met with open arms. 

 

I left Castlebar five years ago, but returning to photograph the hometown I felt I had to run away from, feels completely different. The inertia of a small town that I thought would drag me down now calls as living costs of Dublin mount, forcing many to leave. Returning to Mayo with fresh eyes, I now return to photograph some of the important places and people in my life while also going down memory lane looking through my family archive and the images I made as a teenager. Returning to Mayo with fresh eyes, I wonder what it means to be Irish and what is gained and what is lost when moving from one place to another.

 

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