Secluded in the West Siberian plain lies Aidara. The village is only reachable by the river Ket, the passage requires attention and experience as fallen trees are often creating obstacles under the water surface. The next bigger settlement lies around three hours down the river. The village of 150 inhabitants is mainly consisting of a community of Russian Orthodox Old Believers who live by the strict rules of their religion.
An avatar walks into a bar… Or so the joke begins. Incarnating a protein cocktail, an alien sex worker, the sultry scent of a chrysanth and geopolitics, it is as much biographical as fictional, as immediate as foreign. An avatar of this kind is like a bottle rocket, a catalyst that can make a mob explode, regroup and occupy the nearest shopping mall. The punch line never comes: the figure of speech attains shape and hits a passerby right in her right eye.
„Nearly 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the unipolar has ceased to exist, and the empire is trying to regain its position in the region. Its power of influence radiates into the former Soviet republics, changing their attitudes and taking a variety of forms: the conflicts or accelerated national identity formation. For past 6 years Sputnik Photographers have been investigating if the people living in post-soviet countries still need to be awed by something that does not formally exist any longer.“