This Bittersweet Life – about the project – work in progress

Life in this remote corner of Europe is intriguing. Transnistria is the poorest country on the continent, but there is a lot hidden behind its poverty. Transnistria keeps on surprising me with its warmth, vitality, and hope.

People in the city and in villages have opened their doors for me, a stranger driven by curiosity and will to understand. I have made friends for life. Youngsters talk about future, a better future, that is. Children look with always the same question in their eyes: What will tomorrow bring? Many parents have emigrated and left their children with the grandparents, neighbours, aunts or uncles. The children grow up in circumstances that are far from the ideal, and still, hungry for knowledge, they are eager to learn, as education may bring them closer to a better life. Tomorrow.

Transnistria is a complex society.  European and Russian at the same time, the country has a lot common with Eastern European countries in the era of the Iron Curtain. Except that the curtain is missing here: people get out of the country if they wish. Many do.

This Bittersweet Life is a photo documentary about the life of these children and young adults; life as my camera has witnessed it during the journeys I made to the country. On the photos the journeys are made over and over again, and in the meanwhile, the future remains open.

project website: www.thisbittersweetlife.com