Tadas Kazakevičius
Soon to be Gone

Since leaving the Soviet Union in 1990, and above all since joining the European Union in 2004, Lithuania has become a land of emigration. Over the past ten years, the population of this Baltic country has shrunk by nearly one-sixth. But there is migration inside the country as well: cities lure young people from the rural areas, a phenomenon which is inexorably changing the country. How long will farming estates and villages be places with a completely different concept of time and proximity? How long will every passer-by be greeted here? In a subjective and nostalgic way, these photos capture daily life in the villages of Lithuania, which are slowly disappearing. In his work, Tadas Kazakevičius is inspired by the American photographers of the Great Depression, such as Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans. As he does now, they attempted to use their photography to preserve the memory of a time and of things whose disappearance could be foreseen.

  • Everyday Life
  • Homeland
  • Lithuania
  • Village
3 Questions
1. The door opener: Can you describe a formative moment in your career as a visual journalist?

I believe that it was the first time I picked up my medium format camera and photographed someone whom I did not know and had a chat with that person. At this moment I understood that it might become my way of telling stories and creating my own voice. You are free to come up with a theme and to analyse it from your own point of view. And if you are lucky you will convince everyone you portray to tell your story as well but through your pictures. It is a truly magical experience.

2. The decisive moment: When did you first encounter your topic and why did you decide to cover it photographically?

I came up with the real concept for my “Soon to be Gone” series much later than I started to photograph it. From the early days of my photography, I was truly interested in the early American Documentary work and especially its history of covering the Great Depression era. I was amazed by the strength of the FSA’s work on farmers and I straight away understood that I wanted to do something in that manner. Later I understood that similar migration is happening in Lithuania and I had to document it. What I did later became the “Soon to be Gone” series.

3. The future: What could the visual journalism of the future be like?

Essential things will never change. It might change in form, might change in voice but it is always about the human and their living conditions. I suppose that photography will change its forms but we will always crave the strong imagery – portraiture, things, locations. I see it growing like a tree – the core will stay, it will just have a lot of branches. At least I hope so, I just love photography as it is.

»You always get the best stories if you turn out of the main roads.«

Tadas Kazakevičius

Photographer Tadas Kazakevičius speaking about his project Soon to be Gone. (Interview: Eyad Abou Kasem)

Found in Research

Projektwebsite Soon to be Gone

Curated by Eyad Abou Kasem

© for all photos by the photographers
© for all videos Lumix Festival Hanover, if not indicated otherwise.

*1984 in Lithuania
Tadas Kazakevičius lived in Great Britain before returning to his homeland, where he now works as a documentary and portrait photographer. He prefers to work with analog medium- and large-format cameras. He was a finalist at the 2018 LensCulture Emerging Talent Award and at the Leica Oskar Barnack Award in 2019. 2020 he won the 3rd Prize of the World Press Photo Story in the category “Portraits”.


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