My mother always told me stories about this magical place called Samtskhe Javakheti. She always said that the beauty of the land is like a mystical fairytale. Telling me about her first impression there, when her father took her when she was a child. Back then the entrance of Samtskhe-Javakheti was taken by the soviet army , so you had to have a certain pass to enter and because of the terrible road conditions that existed years ago, it took nine hours to drive, despite the fact, that the region was just 200 km away from the capital. Later it was her good friend Apostle Nicholas, she introduced me too. For me he was the reason the region still had Georgian identity. His life work of trying to built a good relationship between the two ethnic groups through religion and education, restoring and building churches and schools.

Rafal Milach - Black sea of concrete

 

The fertile Ukraine – Hitler dreamt of it but it fell prey to Stalin. It was him and the likes who planted this land. They did what they could. They are long gone but the fertile land of Ukraine continues to yield its crop – subsequent lumps of concrete. Its surface is covered with cracks and rust-colored patches but it is still firmly set in the ground.

Irony as a landscape is a joint exhibition of young Russian photographers Oleg Borodin (27), Anton Zabrodin (31) and Alexander Lyubin (33). The artists perceive photography more than an object and go beyond the surface of prints with help of irony and symbolism.

In her work “The City of Brides” Alena Zhandarova explores a well known legend in Russia: “The City of Brides”.

Olya Ivanova has been documenting a celebration of the Village Day in a remote settlement by Sukhona River in Vologda Oblast, Russia. Since 2 years she was driven by finding the real Russian character.

In his longterm project “The Koreans of Kazakhstan” Michael Vince Kim explores the identity of the Korean immigrants who were deported  in 1937 to Central Asia from the Soviet Union.

28th September 2015, Moscow

Last night I took the night train back to Moscow. I did not sleep well because the situation was to new for me and I was thinking about the last week. About the people that I’ve met and the stories I heard from them. When I came to Moscow with the plans for my project I was afraid that the people are not interested in telling there story’s or that the intention of my work doesn’t make sense for them. But after some meeting I had the feeling that the people want to share it. That it’s important to gave them a place for their voice. After the day with Dima he writes me a message: “You are such a nice personality and you gave me so much good vibes”. This gives me the feeling that it’s right what I’m doing.

I’m happy that I could meet all this nice and different personalities and I hope that the future will change the life conditions for LGBT people in Russia. That they can live the life that they want.

Thanks to Maria, Slava, Ivan, Katha, Dima, Konstantin, Anastasia, Anastasia, Natascha, Katharina and Alexandra.

And the people who helped me: Coming Out, Andrey, Ksenia, Xenia, Anastasia, Lena and Tim.

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24th September 2015, Nischni Nowgorod

Today I meet Anastasia again and her friend Alexandra. She’s heterosexual and also lived a year in Germany. We meet in a Café because both haven’t got enough space at there apartment. In Russian cities the most people live with roomates to share the rent. We look the movie about the 2 guys and 2 girls holding hands and kissing in Russia on youtube. They tell me that the movie with the two guys really shocked them. “How can people really hit them on the streets?”

“Postcards” is a selfpublished zine, a visual diary of a group of friends about their everyday life in Russia and some absurd encounters during their travels. Issued and edited by the creative duo of Nastya Pestrikova and Zhenya Pikulev, who are working on the 1st printed Issue of the IconaMag, an online zine about modern visual culture.