This documentary photography project was about someone who lives in London but who grew up somewhere else. This was the first time I explored documentary photography, and it was interesting to go to a stranger's house and have an open and personal conversation with them about their life and experiences. The final photographs show Ivana playing her piano, a framed illustration of her family, her looking through photos from her childhood, and Beniko with a Slovakian book placed on the table next to him to represent his bilingualism.

"Ivana was born in Slovakia and moved to the Czech Republic with her parents and brother when she was ten. She fell in love with London when she was nineteen, and lives here with her British fiancé Matt and their 16-month-old son, Beniko. She works as a free-lance paper engineer. 

Ivana is raising Beniko as bilingual; she speaks to him in Slovak and reads him Slovakian children’s stories. As Matt is British, Ivana struggles to speak to Beniko in Slovak when he’s around, as he won’t understand what they’re talking about. 

Ivana has played the piano ever since she was little, and continues to do so now. When she came to London, Ivana was amazed at how friendly people were, and didn’t feel as though she was an outsider as it is very multi-cultural. 

Both Ivana’s parents were artists, so her creativity stems from them. Her and her brother used to go to their mum’s studio after school and that’s how she grew to love making things with paper. Ivana speaks Slovakian, Czech and English, and used to know German and Russian too. She and Matt are discussing whether to stay in London, move back to Czech or to move somewhere completely new."

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