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the search for identity

Updated: Apr 18

In this module I decided to examine and tackle my identity photographically and, as a result, my past as well. Born in the Czech Republic, raised in Germany, having lived in different countries, and, after 12 years in the USA, moving back to the Czech Republic, it was clear that the past would catch up with me.

It has become important for me to find answers about what identity actually means to me and how I want to portray it.

The intention is to find visual traces carrying information, characterizing my identity.

From my childhood there are only 2 pictures that my parents took before my third birthday, before they left. After that there were no more pictures.

Therefore, my memory is composed more of what can be read on the photograph and not of my actual memory.

Accordingly, this picture influences and formulates my view of my past.

The beginning of grasping the topic started with this one picture. I am on the left, the laughing child turning towards the camera.

Fig.1. Jana Bömer. Candy. (2023)

Following the example of Mari Mahr, who brings objects together with pictures in one of her projects, I tried to place a candy I loved as a child on the picture, connecting past memories and objects.

The encounter with Maria Mahr, whose works shape personal stories, sent me on a journey to encounter myself through photography.

Fig.2. Mari Mahr. Presents for Susana. (1985)

´´Susana was the daughter of a Brazilian friend of mine who lived opposite us. I would visit them and always take presents for her. One day my friend came to say that, having finished her studies, they would be moving back to Brazil. I very quickly took some portraits of Susana out in our garden, using a blanket as a backdrop. I wanted to carry on giving her presents, so I later placed objects that I knew Susana would like on top of the portrait I had made of her, like little offerings. ``


Fig.1. Jana Bömer. 2023. Bombon.

Fig.2. Mari Mahr.1985. Presents for Susana. [online image]

Available at:

[accessed 8. February 2023]


MAHR, M. 2014. Inventory of Ourselves and Other Works. The Telegraph. [online] Available at:

[accessed 8. February 2023]

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