The Crash 

Photography Book Dummy, 104 pages  

As a child, I loved to read fantasy, SCI-Fi, and adventure literature — these books fuelled my imagination. I grew up in the conservative North Caucasus region, where girls dreamed of a successful marriage and having many kids. Nevertheless, I craved traveling to different countries, cities, and planets, and even crashing and surviving over a desert island.

By the age of 29, I had visited two dozen countries. I climbed volcanoes, and mountains, went to ancient ruins and pyramids, rode a bicycle in the desert, surfed in the ocean, and flew through the sky on a paraglider.

In spring 2020, I came to a tropical island in Thailand. In this little tropical paradise, I was going to improve my mental and physical health in anticipation of dramatic changes in the world. Then I lost a best friend, who committed suicide thousands of miles away. Because of this loss, I gradually began to lose the sense of connection with space, the present, and myself. Moving between the sea and the mountains of Thailand, I began to peer into the surrounding landscape and other areas. I put myself in different backgrounds and tried to appear through photography, to see the proof that I exist.

Having suffered an emotional wreck on the island, I began to recall stories about the heroes of colonial novels who conquered foreign lands. Only now, I realized that there were only men. Therefore, I juxtaposed illustrations from Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island with self-portraits, and landscapes, to tell my own story and to break away from the narrative of classic literature.

Thailand, 2020-2022