Photography Lydia Toivanen’s From One Innocent Look
Photographydocumentary photography

Lydia Toivanen’s From One Innocent Look

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Collater.al Contributors

Lydia Toivanen, visual artist and photographer, presents her ongoing project From One Innocent Look at the 3rd edition of Fotografia Calabria Festival, to be held in San Lucido (CS) from 26 July to 25 August. This highly personal series explores her upbringing within a conservative Laestadian religious community and her experience as part of a large family with twelve children. Toivanen’s project captures the different realities that emerge for each individual despite a shared upbringing and environment. Although most of her siblings have left the religious community, the family still retains a strong sense of love and community spirit. The series also portrays the passage of time and the internal dynamics of her family, documenting almost two decades of family reunions.

Toivanen compares childhood photos from her grandmother’s albums with those she took herself, highlighting the changing family dynamics and how the domestic legacy of their childhood is passed on. Without children of her own, but as an aunt of teenagers, Toivanen is fascinated by their growth and the continuation of family traditions. Her project is a lifelong commitment, constantly evolving as the family grows. The title From One Innocent Look refers to the first meeting between her parents and a phrase her mother often says, symbolising the beginning of their journey together.

Courtesy Lydia Toivanen

Photographydocumentary photography
Written by Collater.al Contributors
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