March 16, 2014

{Ignorance is not Bliss- Moscow, Russia}

When I woke up this morning I didn’t quite understand why I felt strongly impressed to come to Voronezh, or even Ahha for that matter. The family didn’t have much information however I feel as though I slightly failed. Did I capture what I was there for? Did the language barrier discourage and therefore impact my work? Will the images I took even have any significance to the family? These are just a few of the questions racing through my mind. Timofey picked me up and then we headed to Illya’s house, a high-rise apartment on the 18th floor where we had tea and chocolate then checked into the hostel where I showered and then we headed to grab a light breakfast. We then headed to this amazing antique market where I got an old shopko military hat from 1980 and a Zorki 4k, and old 35mm camera from 1977 made in the USSR. After the market we went to a restaurant in Moscow called Babooshka where I had a traditional Russian meal of chicken and vegetables, Timofey had me try his cow liver with mashed potatoes but thankfully I was full so a few bites was sufficient. We then walked around the city, to the main monuments where Illya translated all of the significance. We threw coins, as tradition, stopped at a Krispy Kreme, because Illya had never had a doughnut, and then back to the hostel. On the drive home I realized the reason I am in Russia. Illya has never seen his great grandmother (Babooshka), not even a photo of her until I came here. Timofey has not seen her in 17 years. As I showed them photos of AHHA and Voronezh I could tell it meant something to them, I could tell I was the bridge that their family needed but couldn’t do on their own. Although I still feel like a girl in search of her wedding dress, trying on the right one and crying tears of joy because she knows it’s, THE ONE, the same feeling I want with the images I shoot, to have confirmation that I’ve successfully captured the right images, I felt a direct peace about just being here for this family.

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