New East Digital Archive

Between the woods and the water: experience the sultry summer heat of Latvia’s Baltic coast

16 July 2019

Constanze Flamme is based in Berlin, but spends most of her time on the road, travelling for various assignments. She has photographed in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, various countries in Eastern Europe, Germany and the US among other places. She is interested in exploring complex social and economical circumstances in various communities, from the aftermath of an oil spill in Louisiana to deforestation in Paraguay. Blurry, dark, seemingly random, her images have qualities of film stills, drawing the viewer into the story.

Last summer Flamme travelled to the Latvian region of Kurzeme, located between deep forests and the Baltic Sea. On the course of a two-day road trip she photographed the landscapes and people she encountered on the road. “I was feverish and that made me more receptive than usual,” she remembers. “I wanted to create a portrait of Latvian summer, and make a broader homage to summer in the Baltics.”

Latvia is well known for its beautiful coastline which stretches for over 300 miles. Having grown up by the sea and drawn to the shore, Flamme documented the locals looking to escape the August heat. She also photographed the dense forests and cinematic roads, and made a series of portraits of people she met on the way. Altogether it makes a detailed and inspiring account of a summer escape in the Baltics.