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EIPPROVA 19

 




This series is about life in a hidden courtyard in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I moved there in January 2007 and something struck me straight away about this place. As soon as you enter you forget where you’ve just come from, and it seems that life in the block surrounding this courtyard is somewhat different, as if time stopped there a while ago. It’s a small space amidst many other blocks and houses, but it seems that it is a little world of its own.  It is made up of a peculiar mix of days gone by and modern life, and people of all ages and backgrounds. Each front door with the various items outside allows a little glimpse of the people’s lives, each of which tells a little story of their own. But there were also other stories that spoke of a lack of community, social bonds and feelings of trust. I made a photo series about the building and the people who live there, with texts about the stories that they had told me about themselves and life in the block. The intention was to share all the work with the neighbours so that those you had not met or spoken before could meet their neighbours and get to know who lives in this block. My aim was to create a shared dialogue and more of a sense of familiarity and trust so that people would feel less apprehensive of each other. Before I left in May 2008, I brought it all together with an exhibition/neighbours’ get-together in the courtyard of Eipprova 19 to create an opportunity to meet, either face-to-face or through texts and images. The work stayed there for two weeks during which neighbours took their time seeing all the work, and taking the printed leaflets with them. The project was said to improve how people felt about each other and about living in the block. I went back to visit in September 2015 and the exhibition poster is still on the community information board in the courtyard.

The work has also been exhibited as part of the Eipprova Street Festival (Ljubljana, 2008), in the Café of the Slovene Ethnographic Museum (Ljubljana, 2008), and in the Fair Trade Shop Saalfelden (Austria) as part of the Festival ‘Galerie in der Zone’ (2009).