duncan aitken photography


an expat's conundrum

'Here' is my home, the Western Highlands of Guatemala. 'There' is the US, where I come from.

Anyone who has lived outside their country of origin for any length of time knows the comfortable pleasure of returning to their native land.

Yet going back is also oddly disconcerting. You never feel more the foreigner than that first moment of finding yourself reimmersed in your cultural roots.

At university I majored in anthropology, specifically ethnography. I also studied photography as art.

After forty years of living among the Maya, I finally bought a camera and became an ethnographic photographer with artistic aspirations.

Expats, be they here or there, are always outsiders looking in. That said, I like being an outsider. It's a role I assume by choice.

Here I photograph the Maya. There I take pictures of where I used to live.

The Maya of Guatemala

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