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In June 2005, I was commissioned by Ymere- housing cooperation, The House of Anna Frank Foundation and Amsterdam Escape town Foundation to make a photographic series. It will be published in a book for with an exhibition of Anna Frank’s letters in Amsterdam Historical Museum, in April 2006. The book will be published in commemoration of making the apartment where the Frank family lived in Amsterdam between the years 1933-1942 a historical monument. This was the aparment where they stayed as refugees from Germany, before they start to hide in from the Nazi regime.
The apartment was in use since the end of the Second World War by several persons and was purchased in 2003 by housing corporation Ymere in order to make it a historical monument. There was an extensive historical research made, about how it looked like in the time when the Frank family lived there and a thorough process of renovation was done to bring it to the ‘original look’. In the end of the renovation process it was given for Stichting Vluchtstad Amsterdam (Amsterdam Escape Town Foundation). This foundation, annually invites a writer from ‘difficult’ background (countries where the freedom of speech of the writer might put him/her in danger) to write in a ‘secure’ place. The apartment of the Frank family is used for this residency.
My work consists of two parts: The first part is a series of interiors of apartments from people I know in Amsterdam (they are all immigrants), the second part is a series from the Anna Frank apartment monument.
The subject of this work is to deal with the complex process of identity transformation. It is a series of photographs from interiors of apartments of friends of mine. The photographs telling different stories upon the way, my friends create their ‘feeling at home’ for themselves.
Among the people I photographed their home, there are in a rough way three different attitudes:
  • The home as a shelter: this is about people who live in temporary places and mostly they accumulate only the necessary every day objects. The banality of the objects and the ‘all equal’ approach to interior arrangement create almost a non personal atmosphere.
  • The home as a temple to the personal past, than the living place represents ideas about who is the person and what for cultural background he/she is coming from. A symbolic order of the objects can be found which represents the personality.
  • The home as a fairy: the home tells, directing the image and the objects in it to create an idea of an imaginary future.
The actuality of the work lies in the fact that immigration is the common thread in both parts of this series. I do not wish to create a comparison between the regimes people come from, but rather point towards the fragile situation of immigrants in all times.

Ilya Rabinovich