From the Inbox – Alexandra Demenkova

Kastornoe, 2008

“This series of photographs is about Kastornoe, in Kursk Region, Russia, which is the native place of my father. I used to go there when I was a child, both with my father and my grandmother; so, it’s a bit nostalgic work about the memories, childhood, about the flow of time. I had a desire to go back there as an adult for the first time, (and first time in about ten years), to go on my own, to meet my relatives, to see if there is still anything of what my father and grandmother told me about, of what I saw and remember myself.

I wanted to see a small drying up river where I went to swim, a pond where my father was fishing as a boy. It happened naturally that one of my focuses, unlike in some other projects of mine about Russia, was not on poor people or people having problems with alcohol, but on children playing, swimming, enjoying life in spite of surrounding poverty. It is about joy and misery at the same time; what I saw there made me think about the circumstances of human life and death, the short and fugitive period of childhood, sometimes unspoiled by reality, however severe it was.” - Alexandra Demenkova

Photographs ©Alexandra Demenkova

Special thanks to Paul Brunner, a fellow stranger, who brought this work to my attention. He worked with Alexandra to put together an edit of this series for LPV, and I think it’s great.  It’s really refreshing because it’s not to often that someone emails me and says, ‘hey, have you seen this work, I think it’d be good on LPV.’  It’d be awesome if it happened more often. Thanks again, Paul!