Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award

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Incredible photographs of Soviet Lithuania

The Guardian is calling Antanas Sutkus’ photo essay, Nostalgia for Bare Feet, “An ‘epic poem’ of Life in Soviet Lithuania.” The few pictures available now on the Guardian’s website are just stunning, glowing with life and weighed by tragedy. Some of them seem other-worldly, even ethereal, while others are brutally real.

The actual exhibition is currently in Moscow. Click here to see the Guardian’s coverage.  I’m spellbound, instantly addicted.

Toys in Vilnius

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What’s my heritage? (Links to essays)

The Summer Literary Seminars are in their fifth day—fourth day of classes and lectures and readings—and the event has been fantastic. It’s a privilege to attend once again (this time with my little girl).

I’ve noticed that a lot of traffic from the SLS website has found its way here to Liquid Ink, and students are perusing my photos and blog entries. Last night I got into conversations with some students who asked about my connection to Lithuania.

Here’s an essay I wrote about my grandparents’ flight from Lithuania in the 40’s. It’s titled Displacing Forces, and was originally published in Dialogo magazine out of DePaul University.

Here’s the blog post that has gotten the most traffic in the history of my blog. It also says something about my heritage. You will not need to remember what happened in the London summer Olympics to catch its drift.


Photo: Twilight in Vilnius



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Photo show coming soon

I took a big step toward finally organizing my first-ever gallery exhibition by test-printing a few photographs. I was pleased with one print but found the other rather sloppy. Still, it’s a great feeling to look at a photograph at the printer’s and to know how it was taken, to remember what made me want to point the camera, etc.

I had an interesting moment of mindfulness when I saw the first photograph. Waiting for the results, I had believed the photo would look awful. I don’t have expensive equipment and many of my old pictures were taken in such a way to make blowing them up a challenge. I had never actually imagined printing them. I only wanted to take them and look at them on the computer. While I thought maybe someone else would be interested in them, I didn’t have any real ambition and was only screwing around. So my printed picture would look awful.

But it didn’t look awful. It looked like one of my pictures, the exact ones that people have been asking me to show for years.

There’s always that voice, louder one day, quieter another, but always there. There’s no way your stuff will be good. Just give up. Don’t bother with it. You’ll be disappointed. You should spare yourself the feeling.

So there’s a bigger step, actually. I’m learned to ignore that voice regarding my writing. Now I’m learning to ignore it in my photography.

Expect an announcement of a showing before the end of the year, and in a cafe most Chicagoans love.