I grew up in the small industrial town of Sillamäe in Soviet Estonia. I have very few pictures of my childhood, mostly staged, taken during the moments I don’t remember nor care about.
So I created my own very personal version of childhood pictures with my kids, from bits and pieces I remember and find important. These are the moments that brought butterflies to my stomach or shivers on my back. All the struggles, urges, dreams and desires. Moments that have defined much of my later life and who I am now.
It’s strange to look back now and see how the dots connect, almost like there was some kind of grand narrative, a fate, if you will. But you can only understand it when looking back, never forward. It’s impossible to project the connections into the future.
I also realize that memories are not absolute, they’re being influenced by later experiences, they are changing with us whether we want it or not. This series does not pretend to be truthful in all aspects, but rather my best understanding and interpretation of what I remember.
In some awkward way making these photos might have influenced my memories they’re supposed to save. I’m okay with that, the circle is never round.
Karel Kravik is an award-winning Estonian photographer whose works have been exhibited internationally, most notably at Photoville, New York.