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Michaela Nagyidaiová

By the Creek, Opposite of a Meadow


For Michaela Nagyidaiová, childhood memories shape the core of her work, as she is seeking out connections between her parents’ and her own recollections of youth. She explored the historical and political climate of Slovakia through their contrasting youth-hoods, experienced against the backdrop of two political systems - communism and democracy. Through reconnecting with her roots and analysing her relationship with the native land that she left as a young woman, the intention of By the Creek, Opposite of a Meadow (2020) is to portray a trans-generational connection to the photographer’s native environment.



Michaela Nagyidaiová, By the Creek, Opposite of a Meadow, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Michaela Nagyidaiová, By the Creek, Opposite of a Meadow, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.


“My parents once said that the chill of crossing borders and feeling like “an escapee” had stayed with them since communism. Instead of focusing specifically on borders, I wanted to pay attention to what’s within - the places where my parents were seeking “a sanctuary, an escape” throughout the past system in Slovakia. Occasionally, my parents tell me stories about illegally tuning into Radio Free Europe or how they couldn’t cross the border and visit Austria even for a day, as we have been doing since I was born. The stories bring me back to times I cannot possibly know, times before 1989 when the freedom of movement was extremely restricted. That’s why, my project serves as a “map of utopias”, examining locations tied to my parents’ youth and memories of vacationing within Slovakia and returning to places ingrained as my own childhood sites.”


https://www.michaelanagyidaiova.com


Michaela Nagyidaiová, By the Creek, Opposite of a Meadow, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.
Michaela Nagyidaiová, By the Creek, Opposite of a Meadow, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Michaela Nagyidaiová, By the Creek, Opposite of a Meadow, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.


Michaela Nagyidaiová (1996) is a Slovak documentary photographer based in Bratislava. She graduated from MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication in 2019. Since 2021, she has been a member of Women Photograph platform. Her works have been presented in journals such The Calvert Journal, Blind Magazine, Blok Magazine, Canon Europe, and exhibited at group exhibitions in Galerie Huit Arles, the Photon Gallery in Ljubljana, Austrian Cultural Forum in London and Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai. Her work analyses the connection between landscape and memory, the aftermath of socialism in Slovakia and Eastern and Central Europe, as well as identity, and ancestral heritage. Her projects examine historically significant landscapes that have over time become forgotten or hidden in our contemporary society.