2018 - 2020
This work is a photographic project I have undertaken in the Russian Federation.
For six months in 2018 and seven months in 2011-12, I photographed architecture
and the use of public space, mostly within Siberia and the Far East. I also photographed many of the people I met either in their homes, schools or workplace.
I plan to edit the work into a photobook examining this region within the context of
the past ten years under Vladimir Putin.
The situation in Russia is now unique. Events that have unfolded in the last ten years,
both internally and internationally, continue to have vast ramifications upon the Russian people. The cost of living there has skyrocketed. Russia’s relationship with the West is at its lowest point since the Cold War. Yet the promise of Putin’s early years and the memory of his taking control of a country in chaos twenty years ago remains the
steadfast anchor of his populist appeal.
I was living in Irkutsk during the presidential elections in 2018 and my impression was that, as in the US, a great number of people don’t vote and are somewhat fatalistic about change yet are vocal and opinionated about what should change. There is a powerful and undying nationalism in Russia, the intensity of which I’ve yet to encounter anywhere. However, just as in the USA, I find the qualities of contemporary nationalism to be highly complex and nuanced
in terms of the influence of either country’s history and sense of themselves or ourselves as a world power.