2012 - 2016
The Udmurts is a Finno-Ugric nation. They live in a Republic of Udmurtia and some neighboring areas. The World Health Organization data states that starting from the end on the eighties this region has had one of the top highest levels of suicides in the world. It is three times higher than the critical norm which is 10,5% per head.
Suicides in Udmurtia outstand in certain aspects. First of all most of them are committed by men and in rural areas (twice more often than in the cities). Mostly people just hang themselves. There are several reasons for that. One of them is sheltered in the cultural traditions of the nation. The Udmurts are shamanists and in their legends the suicide rope was vested with mystical powers.
Amongst other reasons could be named alcohol and extraordinary vulnerability of the Udmurt men. Besides, living in a reserved environment, which is quiet the Udmurt village, makes and influence: for example gossips about wife cheating spread like fire and there is no way to escape shame.
After the death of a man his family and friends, suicides' widows and wives, are left to live on their own and cope with all the hardships of living in a countryside. They survive in spite of everything.
Widows get immersed into daily household life and as time goes by any misery erases from their heads. Udmurts are inseparability connected to the nature, which is the essential part of their religion and rituals. The nature, as endless, mesmerizing, mysterious and powerful as it can be, surrounds small villages of the Udmurts. They are completely blended with it both spiritually and physically. There it always remains with a person reminding him how tiny and lonely he might appear to be.
This series of photographs does not tell us only about the self-murderers themselves, but about those who remain after them, and what they are left with, how their tragedy becomes the tragedy of the whole nation.
The series is about the life that goes and cannot be disturbed by somebody’s personal wish to interrupt it.