DIFFELARITIES is a documentary photography project about the lives of people in the two eternal countries-competitors – the USA and Russia. Relations between these countries have been changing dramatically in XX-XXI centuries. They were allies, and they were in the process of global geopolitical confrontation; there were thaws and assistance as well as mutual accusations and sanctions. But what do we know about these countries and life of people beyond the headlines?
People in the US say that America is a country of immigrants. Russian immigrants are common in the US. A lot of Russians fled their “motherland” for different reasons: economic and political problems, personal issues, or they were just chasing the “American dream”…
I’m also a new immigrant who fled Russia seeking better life. As seek a new life as an American, I would like to better understand what the real America is.
Russia has been my home for 30 years and I’ve documented life in this country for a decade as a photojournalist, and now I’m immigrating to the US to start a new life. I’ve only been to the US once in 2015, and 3 weeks were enough to fall in live with the country, but not enough to understand it. To understand the USA and it’s people better and to find a new place to live, I plan to ride around the states on a bicycle, trying to answer some questions: What does the real America – beyond the headlines – look like? What is a Russian immigrant going to face in this new environment? How is my life going to change? While looking for answers to these questions, I will try to see the USA with an immigrant’s eyes and photograph what I see.
In the end of the journey, I will compare everyday life of ordinary people of Russia and the USA through documentary photography. Around 700 photographs from my decade of work in Russia have been already chosen, and that would be the first part of this project. During my journey around the US, I will also collect visual documents of people’s lives and build the second part of the archive. These two archives will help me bring up the picture and explore the questions – are Russians and Americans that different? Or do we have more similarities than we think? DIFFELARITIES is the project that will try to help find the answers.
As the result of the project, a set of 150-200 documentary photographs describing and comparing different aspects of life in Russia and in the USA will be published in the end of the journey here, on DIFFELARITIES website. Also, a digital book will be issued. On my way I will be looking for possibilities to publish a paper book and make an exhibition of the project. Stay tuned!