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Based in Oslo, Norway

THINGS COME APART

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    Daugapils, Latvia. Alina, 17, wants to stay. She is happy to living in Daugapils, even though many of her friends left for other countries.
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    Kraslava, Latvia. Despite the struggles this generation encounters, there is still a deep connection to national identity, especially the rich and lush nature in the countryside.
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    Kraslava, Latvia. Despite the struggles this generation encounters, there is still a deep connection to national identity, especially the rich and lush nature in the countryside.
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    Daugapils, Latvia. Jelena quit her job at McDonalds, after working and studying art and computer design at the same time, the long hours away from has resulted in conflicts with her boyfriend.
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    Kraslavaa, Latvia.
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    Daugapils, Latvia. Alexander's only wish is to quit doing drugs and beat addiction.
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    Daugapils, Latvia. Alexander is addicted to amphetamines.
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    Daugapils, Latvia. Alexander, 25, and his girlfriend are two out of many in the region with serious drug problems.
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    Kraslava, Latvia. Victoria has a new life in Riga, but often travels back to Kraslava, where she lives in her grandmother's apartment.
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    Kraslava, Latvia. There are many teenage mothers in Kraslavaa. Lana, 18, is a single mother who received a condemned apartment from social service. After struggling with mold in the new apartment, she visits her foster mother frequently to escape the depressing confines of her home.
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    Kraslava, Latvia. It is 12:30 in the afternoon and Denis, 21, and Ainar, 19, are already drinking. After the financial crisis they are both unemployed. They occasionally work low-paying day jobs, but mostly have empty days to fill.
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    Kraslava, Latvia. Victoria loves the fertile nature in Kraslava.
Things Come Apart

The Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, once hailed as economic powerhouses after they broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991, have shrunk economically since the 2008 global financial crisis. Latvia, along with the rest of the former Eastern bloc, adopted neo-liberal economic policies from the IMF and World Bank, where local elites made a fortune as their countries were integrated into the capitalist market. For a young adult in Latvia today, life is increasingly insecure, with job prospects harshly disproportionate with educational levels and economic expectations. Only one-third of young adults in Latvia are employed, and it is common to find youths with university degrees working entry-level jobs at fast food restaurants. The working age and able-bodied population of Latvia often decide to leave the shrinking economies of their homeland in search of employment and financial security in other countries. Over 200,000 of the population of 2.2 million have left in the past decade; the majority between the ages of 20 and 30. Friendships and relationships are easily fragmented by this increase in emigration, and alcohol and drug problems are on the rise. However, despite the struggles facing this generation, there remains a deep connection to the national identity, especially to the rich and fertile nature of the countryside, accompanied by a drive to create a better future from the relationships and resources they are left to work with. The photographs were made in Krāslava and Davgapils in the Latgales region in Latvia.

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