I was born in the Arkhangelsk region located in Northern Russia. My nationality, my family, and my land were never clear to me: I didn't know my roots, and my family fell apart when I turned 11 - my mother left me. With no strong attachments to a specific place, people, or culture, I spent my youth traveling alone around the world, growing increasingly distant from my place of birth.
Upon my return home, I embarked on a quest to forge emotional connections with the place I had always called home. I began to explore the culture of the Arkhangelsk region in search of my own place within it. Over three years, I journeyed through the region in Soviet cars and traditional Pomor boats, staying in villages for months, documenting folklore and rural traditions. Discovering and feeling newfound, subtle connections between myself and the northern sacred landscape, mythology, rural philosophy, and the visual essence of the North, the photography project evolved into more than just a geographical exploration. It became a profound journey within myself, a quest for a sense of belonging, and a visual representation of home.
Below, you will find visual sketches captured during these three-year expeditions. The project itself, which contains documentary stories of four individuals from different parts of the region, will be presented as a digital media project.