Ego Eimai (I am)
My childhood was peppered with stories of my mother’s migration, tales of the ship that carried her parents and two of her siblings from Cyprus. The journey is central to her identity as an immigrant and she recounts it in vivid detail. Growing up, I knew little of her birthplace, except for one story of a turtle swimming out to sea as they left Cyprus to start a new life in Australia. As an adult, I asked my mother about the memory; “Morganna, there was no turtle, it was a picture on a chocolate box.”
Migration causes fracture; a disconnection with identity and place. Memory changes to myth as each retelling allows mistruths and secrets to reshape history. As stories are distilled through generations, questions arise over what is fact and what is fiction. The act of photographing forces contemplation of relationships and instills reverence for both the history we share and the one I never knew. Ego Eimai explores the myths of my family and of a heritage I have little connection with, as well as the intergenerational effects of living in the diaspora.
Images from this series have been exhibited at The Art Gallery of Ballarat and Bundoora Homestead.