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Cigarettes, Coffee, and my Cat

Sarah Goolishian | Orikum, Albania, Albania

I started language training today and just moved in with my host family - I'll be with this family for around three months before I get my final site placement. I've been so exhausted that I accidentally woke up late, but my host dad was really nice and offered me a ride to where we have classes.

I see my photographs in this series as intimately as I see the pages of the journal I kept while I was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Albania. I sought out to document my new environment without a clear path or direction and I kept telling myself to keep going despite how difficult it was starting to become.

The images are ordered chronologically following my year and a half spent living and working in my small rural town. The portraits are of my Peace Corps Volunteer friends and of the Albanians I came to know and became close and often reliant on.  In this series I’m attempting to put together an honest, raw introspective of serving Peace Corps Volunteers from, my group and the groups before me, A21, A20, A19.

Working within the confines of Albania’s cultural post communist climate, it was often difficult to photograph Albanians for fear of using their picture for government purposes. It took an immense amount of trust to be able to compile the portraits of my Albanian friends and each one of them is special to me. My fellow Peace Corps Volunteers were less weary but still not enthusiastic.

Email - sarahgoolishian@gmail.com

Website - sarahgoolishian.myportfolio.com

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