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The Familiar Other
After living 12 years away from Lithuania, for my graduation project, I decided to finally reconnect with this side of my identity and explore it as a professional artist.
Where do I belong and why. I grew up in an international school environment in Belgium, and having no nationality was the norm. However, leaving this bubble made me question where I belong. When I introduce myself to new people in university, should I brand myself as an international nomad, a Lithuanian, a Belgian, maybe a European, or a citizen of the internet? ⚆ _ ⚆
Why do I feel this need to express the urge to belong to some community or subculture? These questions might have laid the foundations for my professional pursuit in fashion design. Garments are an underlying part of someone’s identity. One can easily play around with how they look and where they belong by dressing differently. Culture and the expression of self are so strongly linked to this medium.
To gain clarity on this topic, I researched a time frame of 1990s Lithuania. A period when the country was trying to re-establish, re-brand and re-position itself. It is a nostalgic period representing freedom and Lithuania’s “true” independence. With my work, I am trying to recapture the ethos of 90’s Lithuania. In a DIY approach to fashion, I am using only the limited resources available to me to create something cohesive.