In 2012, I decided to visit 15 places called Amerika, Americká or Ameryka in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Czech Republic.The name and history of the Amerykas speak of homesteading and yearning for a better future, of success and failed dreams, of hardship and the pursuit of happiness. The first immigrants arrived in places now known as Ameryka after the late 18th century, when political reforms made land ownership possible for serfs and leaseholders. Unclaimed land was only available in remote and barren areas. Settlers accepting the challenges compared themselves to the pioneers of the US American prairies. Ameryka signified remoteness and possibilities. Success was hard to achieve, and in many communities workers emigrated to the US. The residents who stayed behind called their villages Ameryka, thus arriving instantly at the destination of their dreams.
By repeating photographs of the villages that might only share their name with America, I wish to find out whether the history of these places, the common desires, needs and fears of their inhabitants are still visible.
Postcards from Ameryka is available as a softcover book, 105 pages, 21x21cm for the price of 25€ + 6€ postage to Europe.