Mermaid Diary - PhMuseum

Mermaid Diary

Ekaterina Plechinta

2020 - 2021

I died voluntarily seventeen years ago. The pain tore my memory into incoherent fragments, they got wet, heavy

with tears and slowly sank to the bottom of a new soul to hurt there. Over the years, I have not found the words to

speak and let go of everything that is painful. Wandering in the space of personal nightmares and terrible memories,

I discovered a world similar to mine. Mermaids live in it. The souls of deceased girls live in forests and water bodies

near the village of Levikha. They were killed for refusing to sell their body. In a few months, not far from the first

graves of the girls, mummified embryos will be thrown away, like the longing of mermaids for unborn children,

pulled the same dead babies to this place. Tears of tormented souls have turned the local mine into a permanent

wound, from which poisonous mine waters ooze, killing forests and poisoning water in rivers.

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  • In February 2007, a mass grave of girls aged 13 to 26 was discovered near the Ural village of Levikha. The
    investigation found out that they were raped and brutally killed by a gang of pimps. A total of 15 bodies were found.
    In the photo The place where the girls were lured under the pretext of a fun party by the water and killed.

  • In Slavic myths, mermaids did not have a tail, but were bipedal entities in white robes. Now the myth of the
    mermaids has become very romanticized, in reality it is a dark story about the physical and moral abuse of young
    bodies and souls. The world of mermaids is dangerous and sad, at the same time beautiful and musical. According to
    strange beliefs, mermaids often sit on branches.

  • Freud argued that a woman knows three ways to commit suicide: she goes out of a window, goes into the water,
    or takes poison. Throwing out the window means getting rid of the burden, going into the water - giving birth,
    poisoning - getting pregnant.

  • After attempting suicide, I ended up in the intensive care unit of a psychiatric hospital, and then in a general ward.
    Together with me lay a girl who suffered from memory loss after childbirth. Her image will forever be remembered
    to me, because shortly before the suicide attempt, I also lost my child in late pregnancy.

  • The male shadow became for me a symbol of fear of persecution, because the man with whom the relationship
    ended with a suicide attempt pursued me for a long time after, waiting for me to return from work in the evening.
    Such meetings always ended with beatings and death threats.

  • The point of entry into the world of mermaids is the personal experience of an abusive relationship with a man,
    which led the author of the project to an attempt at suicide.

  • Re-captured screen from the operational survey. One of the gang members is crying and turns away from the
    opened grave of the girl he killed, in the video you can hear him saying that he is afraid to look at the bones.

  • Re-captured screen from the operational survey. One of the gang members is crying and turns away from the
    opened grave of the girl he killed, in the video you can hear him saying that he is afraid to look at the bones.

  • The documentary part of the project is presented in the form of re-filmed screenshots from investigative
    experiments with a gang that killed girls, as well as operational filming from the place of detection of embryos. After
    reshooting, the film was kept for several days in the mine waters of the Levikhinsky mine. Films are presented as
    negatives. The documentary part of the project also presents the spaces in which the events unfolded near Levikha.
    This is a portrait of one of the murdered girls.

  • Mermaids will never become mothers, so in their world they swing empty cradles. I know how much it hurts.

  • The souls of the murdered girls remained forever in the forests near the town of Levikha.

  • This photograph was taken by me for therapeutic purposes, it is closely related to the 11th photograph in this
    series. In the 11th photo, there is a closet behind my back, in which I kept my things, without taking them out of my
    travel bag. The short moments of happiness in our relationship always ended in rage and male cruelty. I did not
    unpack my things so that I could always quickly escape from home. In this photo, the closet is empty, leaving behind
    the white mermaid clothes and wedding shoes that were never worn.

  • Sometime later after the discovery of the girls’ bodies, discarded mummified embryos of varying degrees of
    development will be found nearby, over which the local research institute completed a series of studies and got rid
    of it as unnecessary. Later, a cross will be erected at this place in memory of a series of tragedies near the village of Levikha.

  • Re-captured screen from operational survey, where discarded embryos were found.

  • A note from one of the murdered girls to mother. She was forced to write it by her killers so that her parents
    would not look for the girl as long as possible. The text of the note: "Mom, I went to visit friends in Moscow. I'll be
    back in a week and explain everything."

  • Bus stop in front of the forest where the mass graves were found. For several years, local residents walked past
    the forest, where at least 15 girls lay and did not know about it, until a dog found one of the bodies.

  • Simultaneously with the murders of the girls, the Levikhinsky mine was flooded, and a large-scale ecological
    disaster began a couple of kilometers from the burials. Acidic mine waters are still killing vast forest areas and
    poisoning local waters.

  • I am reconstructing the world of mermaids, because my story is very similar to theirs, with the only difference
    that I physically survived, but since then I have forever stopped writing diaries, which were once full of poetry. I
    place among the negative portraits of girls my own picture of a period of painful relationship with a man, because
    part of me died then.

  • Simultaneously with the murders of the girls, the Levikhinsky mine was flooded, and a large-scale ecological
    disaster began a couple of kilometers from the burials. Acidic mine waters are still killing vast forest areas and
    poisoning local waters.

  • Portrait of one of the killed girls. She was the only one among those killed who had a little daughter.


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