Sunday, November 20, 2011

FROMquestions & answers

From Piteå
"In one way it is important. It doesnt matter where people come from, but it is maybe important where one self comes from. When you grow up in a place, you are colored by that place. For example, it is that place where you belong."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

questions & answers

From Hummelvik
"That is my roots. I grew up there.I have roots there and return there as quickly as I can. I have the homestead there still. It means very much to know where one comes from. Socially and ethnicly. Because then you know who you are."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FROMquestions & answers

Bernadette with daughters Grace and Jacqueline (left to right)

From Congo Kinshasa
"It is very important (where I am from). Because it is my homeland. My grandparents are born there. My heart is there."

Congo Kinshasa
"It is important. Because you have your identity there. To have origin is important, and also to have culture."

Congo Kinshasa
"It is important to know your origin. In everything...It is important to know the beginning and the end. (It is important to me) to know that I have my homeland."

Friday, November 11, 2011

FROMquestions & answers

From a coastal village near Lövånger
"In some way, I think all people...we need to have origin. Then you can move for many reasons, but I think it is important to have a starting point."

Monday, October 31, 2011

FROMquestions & answers

Aimée and sister Anitha (left to right)

From Congo
"I say that I am from Congo because I was born there. Yes (I do think it is important), because I moved from there when I was one or two years old. I grew up in Rwanda but I am born in Congo. I am from Congo."

From Congo
"My parents are from Congo but I was born in a refugee camp in Rwanda. I say I am from Congo, but I also say I was born in Rwanda. Sometimes it (where I'm from) feels important, I don't know... You know a little more about a person if you know where they come from. I don't know why, it just feels important to me."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

FROMquestions & answers

From Bredträsk in Bjurholm's Kommun (municipality)

"Can't say that it has great meaning (to me), but I am glad to be born in Bjurholm...It's pretty fun that there are a few (people) that come from Sweden's smallest municipality -right?"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

FROMquestions & answers

Edwin and Sebastian (left to right)

From Umeå, but I have lived in Germany
"It's nothing that you brag about, but I am a proud Norrlänning (Northerner). But its not that I would brag about it...It's just something you ask to open a conversation."

From Umeå
"Well, I am not a Southerner. I am from Norrland. From the cold parts. They (Northerners) are harder than Southerners. There is nothing wrong with Southerners, but what the hell, (I am a) Northerner."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

FROMquestions & answers

From Somalia
"Yes. I don't know why, but it is (important to me that I come from Somalia). I came here when I was little. I have never seen Somalia, but it is important anyhow."

FROMquestions & answers
"I was born in Skåne, but I sure don't say (I am from) Skåne. I came to Stockholm at 4 years old... Moved to Umeå at 26... I don't feel I come from anywhere. I come from there, and there, and there... I don't even understand the question, 'where are you from?' And I say that with a certain amount of disappointment -that I can't say where I am from."

Friday, October 7, 2011

FROMquestions & answers

Ani and daughter Cecilia
From Armenia
"For me its is incredibly important (where I come from). My background is the biggest part of me -my identity. It is who I am. I am Armenian. However long I live in Sweden, I am Armenian. One should never forget their roots. In addition, one should respect the traditions and religions of others. One should never be forced to assimilate. Respect (people) and take them for who they are."

FROMquestions & answers
From Gunnismark
"It has colored my childhood growing up in a village, in contrast to the majority of those I know now, who are from the city. I don't know if it is important. It has meaning (to me). I have a connection to the woods and nature, that perhaps others don't have...I am happier living outside of town."

FROMquestions & answers
From Kiruna
"(Where one comes from) is important for others to place a person. You associate it with something. You want to place people somewhere, Västerbotten or Norrbotten. When we first got here we were asked 'Where do you come from?' because we don't speak Västerbottenska."

FROMquestions & answers
Emma and Peter

From Villhelmina
"That's a difficult question. It influences your personality quite a bit. I notice that my experiences have been different -my childhood was different. I have more experiences in nature (than others from the city). The difference between Umeå and where I grew up is that people think differently. THere is more faith in the future here."

From Umeå
"I was born in Teg (Umeå) and raised in Yttersjö (near Umeå). When I moved from Umeå, I ended up moving back. Because I felt that no other place was home. I have roots in Umeå and know a lot of people (here) and know how things work."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

FROMquestions & answers

From Sundsvall
"It's important to me, (that I am from Sundsvall). I am very nostalgic, but for others it probably wouldn't matter to be from that city. A lot of it has to do with nature and surroundings. It's hard (for me) to thrive in cities that don't have very much greenery in them. It's about personally feeling safe and connecting to were I grew up. Like in Ålidhem which reminds me very much of where I grew up."

FROMquestions & answers
From Eritrea
"It's important to me that my nationality is Eritrea. Its good to know (a persons origin) for example, to share in one another's homeland or culture. But its not a problem to have contact with anyone."

FROMquestions & answers
Ibrahim and son Hassan
From Palestine
"It is the homeland one always longs for. Especially when one has never been there. I was born a refugee in Syria, and the boy is born in Sweden."

FROMquestions & answers
Erik and Johannes (from left)
From Umeå
"People should be accepted wherever they are from. If I had been from Stockholm, it wouldn't have made any difference. You shouldn't judge people because of where they come from."

From Vindeln
"Why should I care where someone comes from? If someone comes from South Korea, I wouldn't care. That person could be really friendly anyway."

FROMquestions & answers
Khayroollo and daughter MuniraFrom Uzbekistan
"Of course (it's important where you come from). It does matter. It's hard to explain. It's good to say I am from a certain country and everybody can know my nationality. I usually ask people, if they are not Swedish citizens. It's interesting to know where they are from, but it doesn't change my attitude towards them. It's just interesting to know."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

FROMquestions & answers

"I was born in Sweden but my parents are from Italy and Gambia, Africa. It's hard to answer such questions. (The answer) depends on where in the world one is. When I am in USA, I answer that I am from Sweden. When I am in Sweden, if someone asks, it is most often because I don't look 'Swedish'. That's when I say my mother is from Italy and my father is from Gambia."

From Skellefteå, Sweden
"People are defined by what they do, not what their origin is."

From Umeå, Sweden
"I usually say I am from Umeå, but to be honest, I come from Vindeln municipality. I have lived here for many years. For me, it doesn't matter at all where one is born."

Genet with Nemo
From Stockholm, Sweden
"When I first came to Umeå, someone asked me where I was from. I answered that my father is from Ethiopia and my mom is from Rwanda. But they meant 'What city (in Sweden) do you come from.' In Stockholm, if someone asks they mean what is the country of your origin."

From Ljungbyhed, Sweden
"Why would it be important where you come from?"

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

FROMquestions & answers

From Stensele, Sweden
It is a difficult question…In one way it is important (where you’re from). Seeing as this affects us to a certain extent. And, on the other hand, no. because we are all people. We are, fundamentally very much alike. I am often asked where I am from because I am Muslim and my answer is Sweden.

FROMquestions & answers

From Piteå, Sweden
"I am proud to be of Piteå. It (the question where are you from?) is just something you ask people to get an image of who they are, but you don’t judge them for it. It is only due to curiousity that you ask it."

FROMquestions & answers
Md Mazharul
From Bangladesh
“It doesn’t matter where you come from…He can be a Muslim. He can be a Christian – but honesty is the main thing for any human. This land, or America; it’s the same thing. Many people come from the around the whole world. The question after that is: ‘What are they doing (with their lives.)? Am I harmful to society, or am I helpful to society?'”

FROMquestions & answers
From Övertoreå, Sweden
Yes. I think it is (important where you come from) In some way you grow up with a kind of tradition and culture. I am from the farm country…It’s not important (to me) where others come from, but I think one should be proud their roots.

FROMquestions & answers
Ulla with granddaughter Signe
From Jönköping, Sweden
Where you come from, is where you long to be again. I think everyone does so. I have no desire to change where ‘home’ is. Lived there my entire life.” 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

FROMquestions & answers

From Umeå
"When people ask me where I come from it seems to me that they mean 'I am a foreigner.' It is the first question asked after greeting. Where do you come from? I don't think it is an interesting question... Home is where I live in Umeå. If I say (that home is) Iran, it's almost like I am lying to myself. I don't know what's going on in Iran. I have no contacts there. I have been here for 31 years."

FROMquestions & answers
From Dalsland
"It is important (where you come from), I do believe that. Now that I have met people from different parts of the world, I see that there is a distinction between people dependent upon how you've grown up. I grew up in a rural community, where everyone was interested in fishing and hunting. It is the country versus the city."

FROMquestions & answers

Maria with Kelvin
From Halstahammar
"It's important to know where you're from (for me). When it comes to others, in some ways it's good to know origin, but it's not crucial."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Welcome to the blog for "FROM: questions & answers" a documentary photography project by Linda Maria Thompson. I often hesitate to answer this question,“Where are you from?” Having been born in Sweden and raised in the United States, I have no clear answer.

Through documentary photography I strive to find resolution to questions about identity and place on both a personal and political scale. I am drawn to the inherent tensions between the concepts of viewer & subject, insider & outsider and native & immigrant. Each of my photographs is an attempt to find balance between individual and environment with regards to identity and place.

"FROM: questions & answers" explores the relationship between individual and place by examining the common conversation-starter "
So, where are you from?"

The project which is part of my masters studies at Mid-Sweden University and will also result in a collaborative exhibit with fellow VODA photographers in 2014. The project includes a crowd-sourced component. To contribute photographs to this project please visit the project page on Facebook.

To learn more about me, please visit