Two Places on Earth is based on the idea of open society and interconnection of the world. This portrait series of global citizens is meant to acknowledge how beautiful the concept of open society can be, but not in a utopian sense. The five-year project, spanning from 2003-2007, consists of Greek Cypriot soldiers from the small island nation of Cyprus and 18 nation UN peacekeeping force who monitor the 111-mile buffer zone that separate Turkish North from Greek South. With them in the series are Peruvian inmates in Lima, and their foreign cellmates, incarcerated for smuggling cocaine out of South America into Europe, North America, and Asia. There are 15 nationalities represented in the series. These individual’s lives are shaped by personal choices as well as global forces.
The intent of the project is to blur the lines that outwardly define cultural differences. It was meant to reinforce the idea that when we connect, we move past nationality and toward humanity, albeit an imperfect one. The goal is to emphasize the subject’s dignity and make portraits with restraint and quiet tenor and present the subjects as individuals that viewers can relate with. This approach in making portraits is both respectful to the individuals and personal to me as an artist. A light touch represents an honest voice, and a quiet tone evokes consideration. My hope is to transport the viewers to a point of self-examination, on both a personal and global level.
Takoma Park, MD