Life story; You are My Father by Angelika Kollin

You are my Father series was a natural evolution and expansion of the preceding You are my Mother series and started unfolding in the second half of 2020.

You are my Father series was a natural evolution and expansion of the preceding You are my Mother series and started unfolding in the second half of 2020.

Since the main focus of Angelika’s artistic exploration were always women, taking a look into the world of manhood/fatherhood was a step into uncharted territory. Not having a close relationship with her own father, having an intimate and revealing insight into somebody else’s Father/child connection, brought new insights and realizations, that turned out to be of great transforming power in her own life. As to the current date, all portraits for the series were taken in Cape Town, South Africa. Only like few other places, Cape Town offers one of the most unique melting pots, with people coming from a wide range of economic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. It was compelling to observe in this body of work how very same we all are in fundamental things of life: love for our children, the desire to give them a better life, and complete willingness to sacrifice your own for it.

Many questions arose in the process of creating this work and were mostly answered: Do we relate differently to our fathers? Is established emotional intimacy with the first male figure in our life what sets the course of our adult life in certain areas and aspects? Are their gifts to us of different nature, and if so what are they? Are our fathers in the year 2021 still the Heroes on the quest setting a living example for our own journey ahead?

And then of course, working with same sex couples brought up the gender related questions: Must the parent be a particular gender in order to take on the role of a Father/Mother in child’s life and what defines the ideal qualities for being a so called “good” or “right” parent?

Of Gods

disconnected
they are.
from each other.
the gods of my early days.
transfixed. by fate only.

disconnected
I am. from them.
can’t meet their eyes.
memory of rejection
always
outweighs
consuming desire to be seen.

I am just a child
at the mercy of gods.
the gods of my early days.

By Angelika Kollin 2017 (poem about my parents)

About Angelika Kollin

Angelika Kollin is a 44 year old Estonian photographer currently based in Tampa, Florida. She is married, a mother of 3 daughters, and is in the process of getting her degree in Psychology.

She is self-taught and engages with her passion for photography and art as a tool of exploration of interhuman connections, intimacy, and/or the absence of such. Angelika has spent the last 8 years living in African countries (Ghana, Namibia, South Africa), where she explored the same topic in a variety of different cultures and economic conditions. More and more it strengthens her belief that despite many circumstances in life, the one thing that shapes us the most is our relationship with our parents. Through intense artistic evolution she has arrived at her current and ongoing project You Are My Mother/Father.

As the covid pandemic rolled over the world, many of us found ourself going back to basics and spending more times with our families.
Angelika started photographing her project in April,
while still in complete lockdown in South Africa, because she wanted to document beautiful emotional healing she witnessed

between a mother and her adult daughter. She started exploring same “story” in other mother/child connections, examining the impact it had on her own family life and on her audience. Later the project expanded into a logical progression and the relationship between father and children and different dynamics within it became the focus of exploration.

According to Angelika, her project is not a groundbreaking story, and yet at least in her all life and the people she worked with, the understanding of the significance and value of connection to our family and how it shapes us for the rest of our life not only deepened significantly, but also created tangible results within the lives of people involved in this art project. [Official Website]

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