Hover over the image for navigation and full screen controls
EPF 2014 – SHORTLIST
When I grew up I despised my village. I felt trapped by the dull normality, the narrow-minded people and the lack of amusements. I was depressed, bored and anxious to get out. Several years have passed and I’m now living in one of the largest cities in the world. Despite satisfying my adolescent desire to escape, I feel a longing to return to the place I so badly wanted to leave behind. When I’m far away and distanced from my past, I can value what I’m no longer part of. I return, and I see what before was hidden in the dark shadows of my youth. I admire the beauty of the landscape, the calm, the romantic light and the endless bright summer nights. But there are two sides of my present experience. The sound of the river’s flowing stream or the birds singing will never drown out the endlessly thoughts spinning in my head. I am still lost. I walk my old paths as I’m searching for answers for the scars in a childhood that formed who I am today. I photograph my brother growing up and my father who never will. I photograph the people that still live here and the animals I’ve always felt more close to. I use photography to help understand my surroundings and myself. “Left Behind” is a story about Sweden from my perspective today.
Isabella Stahl was born in northern Sweden in 1984 and now lives and works in New York City. She studied at one of Sweden’s most prestigious schools for photography at the island “Gotland,” and moved to New York in 2012 to continue her studies at the International Center of Photography. She graduated in 2013 and is now working on her own long-term photographic art projects. She has received the Helge Ax:son Johnson grant two years in a row, 2012 and 2013, and exhibited at galleries such as Visby Art Museum, Photoville and Greenpoint Gallery. She is represented by Kasher|Potamkin Gallery in Chelsea, New York.