May 2021

Eleana Konstantellos

In 1998 my maternal grandmother, Esther, suffered a serious accident in a swimming pool when she slipped and hit the back of her neck. That accident led to several strokes that, after many years, began to affect her short and long-term memory, leading to moments of temporary, spatial, and emotional displacement.

I realized that her forgetfulness was not only physical but that she also experienced personal forgetfulness as an individual, and, as a woman.

When my grandfather Alfonso asked her to marry him, he told her that she had to choose between her career as an accountant and her love for him. When they got married my grandmother decided to quit her job and devoted herself full time to her home and family. However, for many years, she continued to struggle to return to work, which she eventually did. She studied a career again and for many years gave therapy to people in crisis.

Using photography and archival material I seek to create a personal language through which I can rethink gender.

I chose to follow my grandmother’s life documenting and interpreting it in this way because I could relate to what she lived. The way women were treated when she was my age has not changed a lot from what I live in my everyday life in Mexico. Her fight is now my fight.

This essay is my way of understanding my unconscious inheritance following the maternal lineage of my family. It is my way of breaking with the repetitive pattern of submission and macho love. It is my way of not forgetting myself as an individual and as a woman. This is my personal reminder.

Eleana Konstantellos

Eleana Konstantellos André (1995, Paris, France) is a French, Greek, and Mexican photographer. She studied at the Active School of Photography and then majored in the Gymnasium of Art and Culture. Member of the Production Circle organized by the photographer José Luis Cuevas, she majored in how to develop personal projects and artistic photography. Throughout this year, she developed and deepened her personal project "Double Forgetfulness". This project was selected to take part in the Portfolio Reviews of Descubrimientos de PhotoEspaña (2020), as a finalist in the Burn Emerging Photographer Fund (2019) and was shortlisted for the Athens International Photography Festival in Greece (2019). In 2018 she obtained a full scholarship to attend the fifth meeting of the Boreal Collective in San Luis Potosí. Her work is based on the exploration of the mechanisms of memory and the search for identity through the family archive, and photography itself. Among her most recent exhibitions are Utopías (U-Tópicas gallery, Mexico 2019) and Reveladas (DLonngi art gallery, Mexico 2019). Her work has been featured in different media such as Burn Magazine (2019), ViceVersa (2019), and Lento Magazine (2020).

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