SELF-PORTRAITS AT HOMELAND
A week after the war started, my family and I packed a few suitcases and left for Georgia. I was sure that I was leaving my home forever and did not expect to return. Three months later, when it became clear that a temporary return to Russia, although a gamble, was not as risky as we initially thought, we decided to return to finish our business here. For me, it was an opportunity to say goodbye. With hometown, friends, relatives, some teachers. By the time I returned, I was already actively experiencing the pain of loss. I began to take a series of self-portraits that capture my presence in significant places in my city and its environs, as well as moments with my loved ones. With the help of these photographs, I capture my state when I seem to not understand whether the reality around me is real, whether I am exactly here, and when this will end. However, this is how I feel for the last two months, being in Russia. I am waiting with fear for the moment when I will have to leave again and again it is not known for how long.
I wish we all had the opportunity to return. Not only for those who left, but also for those who stayed - to return to a relatively carefree past, which we are unlikely to ever have again.