Alena Kakhanovich

2016 - 2018

This project is about searching of internal freedom. We live within limits and boundaries, both physical and psychological. And the only way to liberation is to leave our own captivity, where we are the most severe jailers.

A few years ago I moved to live in Poland and took up residence in the former Warsaw Ghetto territory. I've always been concerned about this topic of the Second World War. How did people manage to find self-control, endure humiliation with clenched teeth and continue to fight, believe, love and live?

By the will of fate, I settled just at this place, where going out every day, I came across the signs carrying me through that terrible time and making me imagine the picture of what was happening one more time.

My first years in a new place were not easy. It's not just about social insecurity, getting used to a new cultural and language environment, resetting and rethinking my life. The biggest difficulty was to lose a sense of home. As if I left one and did not move into another. I was stuck between two worlds, and I had the full feeling that I was alone here. I stayed in my inner prison and physically lived in a territory which was a prison for an entire people.

In my photo project, I tried to explore this topic. I did portraits of people experiencing similar feelings – confusion, lostness, loneliness, imprisonment without physically existing barriers. Each of us has done own way to feel harmony and happiness again, to feel an internal freedom. Someone is still on the road.

To my mind not the walls fallen around us, not the system and power destruction, not money, but we ourselves make us feel free. Our house is always inside. And even if the body is weak, the spirit soars. We just need to want it, and life will go on.

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