The history of the Suiti people goes back almost 400 years to a romantic story from 1623 when the ruler of the Alsunga region (Kurzeme, Latvia), Johan Ulrich von Schwerin, in order to marry a Polish court lady Barbara Konarska, agreed to re-convert to the Catholic faith. To distinguish residents of Alsunga from Protestants, Johan ordered them to wear specific costumes. These have become an important element of identity for the Suiti. Nowadays, protecting their identity, transferred by their ancestors through centuries is still important and makes this religious minority very special. Visiting Alsunga is a trip to a place where time passes slowly, people have a strong relation with nature and a romantic story from the past is still present.
Marta Berens was born in Warsaw, Poland. In 2012 – 2013 she took part in the Sputnik Mentorship Programme. These series were taken last summer when she participated in a workshop at the ISSP led by Simon Norfolk. Marta was shortlisted for LensCulture Emerging Talents 2014. Since October 2013 she is a student of the Institute of Creative Photography at Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic.