Hinterland roams throughout rural Lithuania navigating a journey amidst once thriving communities, discovering villages that hold a way of life all but vanished save for a handful of inhabitants. Chance encounters lead to a discovery of a complex and colorful past, political upheavals, post Soviet farm collectives, lifetimes of soil toiled by hand, alcoholism, poverty, joy, laughter and love—all colors that dominate this canvas.
Roaming this landscape one discovers an increasing number of those whose existence defies belief. At times one can be mistaken for considering a dilapidated old cottage abandoned and uninhabitable and yet as night falls one can witness a solitary glow emanate from within, evidence that this structure and the life inside have yet to yield to the past. Villages that once flourished sometimes have but a single aging inhabitant eking out a subsistence living completely alone save for a small collection of livestock. In a world constantly in flux and a country in transition, this is a story of life on the fringes and of what gets left behind.
In many respects Hinterland is a journey of lasts, The very last time a portrait of a person is taken, the very last image to be captured in this village, of that house before surrendering to the past, a photographic record that encapsulates life in its twilight hours, a final glimpse into a sometimes forgotten world and it’s inhabitants before vanishing completely. In many instances it will be the last photograph.
All images and text © Matt Wilson
By Matt Wilson