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Belonging to a Former Time


Santa Fe

United States

This is from my Mid+West series.

This photo is a photomontage of Northern New Mexico with Southern Illinois.

(A visual essay on adaptation and acceptance in relocation/immigration and migration)

Some say we are all immigrants but many indigenous people have lived in one location for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. In this series I am addressing the more recent acts of relocation.

The place of one’s birth greatly influences who they are but through moving, new foods, cultures, languages and landscapes await to reshape their very being.

Acceptance and rejection play a part in this.

I was born in the Midwest, moved as a young adult to California, then back to the Midwest to help aging parents. After their passing, I headed west again, this time alighting in New Mexico. Even though I didn’t really encounter a great deal of differences in people there were subtle language differences, definitely food differences and some culture shifts that required adjustment on my part.

The most profound change for me was the landscape.

Here I am exploring how one’s landscape, whether rural, suburban or urban, can utterly reshape them and how through relocation they grow and flourish. They become, in essence, a blending of all former homelands with the present.

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Ellen Jantzen

Artist creating photo montages.

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