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Vilnius, Lithuania – December 2014. A backyard of Uzupis District.
Depopulation, photo essay by Daniel Depellegrin

The project investigates current and past infrastructure development in highly urbanized and rural areas of Eastern and South-Eastern Baltic States. Forms and horizons of urban development in cities around the Baltics envy the depopulation problem through the phenomena of urbanisation and land abandonment in rural areas. Since independence from Soviet Union in 1991, the Baltic Countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia suffered from a constant decline in population.

The phenomenon of depopulation is particularly significant in these countries leading to a series of social and economic problems, national authorities have to deal with. Lithuania has lost over 700,000 people in the last 20 years, which is a considerable number for such a small country.
The pictures presented were taken from the Lithuanian case study in highly urbanized areas of Vilnius and Klaipeda and in rural areas of Leonpolis and Smiltyne.

Vilnius, Lithuania August 2014. A backyard of the former Jewish Ghetto.
Vilnius, Lithuania – January 2015. A former hospital on Missionariu Sodas.
Smiltyne, Lithuania – October 2013. A former air defence facility on the UNESCO Heritage Site named Curonian Spit on the Lithuanian Baltic Sea Coast.
Klaipeda, Lithuania – July 2013. Abbandoned industrial facility.
Klaipeda, Lithuania – July 2013. Abbandoned industrial facility.
Vilnius, Lithuania – July 2014. Abbandoned swimming pool.
Klaipeda, Lithuania – October 2013. Abbandoned industrial area.
Vilnius, Lithuania – March 2014. Abbandoned cottage in rural area.
Vilnius, Lithuania – July 2014. Abbandoned leaure facility.
Vilnius, Lithuania – June 2014. Skyline of highly urbanized area.
Vilnius, Lithuania – June 2014. Skyline of urban perifery.

Q&A with Daniel Depellegrin

Photography is…
…a hard copy of the viewser’s sensitivity to its surrounding world.

Photography and writing…
…is a backup of the viewer’s sensitivity.

Who left the biggest impression on you?
Probably Maltese writer and philosopher Oliver Friggieri (1947) impressed me when he said: “We breathe also to understand. Temporary issues belong to our era, permanent ones to our nature. Answers beget questions. That makes our adventure a logical mystery, a smile of God, an invitation to crave for more.”

Tell us a little about yourself
I am researcher by profession and by attitude. By profession allows me to better understand our surrounding world, addressing social, economic and environmental problems and finding solutions. Photography is my way to escape from formal research practices: algorithms, axioms, methodologies, surveys, models and assessment techniques to a more intuitional, self-made research of reality, dictated its main actors, the human beings. My work is lead by the need to document places, persons and situations, and by the wish to inspire the viewer to crave for the truth, its own truth.


Daniel Depellegrin, 1982. I am Italian photographer settled in Vilnius, Lithuania. After becoming a researcher with main interest in socio – cultural evaluation of nature resources, I decided to deepen my skills in photography as a way to escape daily algorithms, concepts and assessment techniques. The Baltic Region, the place where I live allows to investigate loneliness and abandonment of people and infrastructure. Places of people, where no people lives, and people of places, where places do not exist anymore.

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