Identity Index
The identity index. It forces me to halt.
As if a message, a sign or a symbol are left here just for me.
There is something that touches the very deep of my soul.
The mixed feelings don’t let me understand immediately what to think about the messages.
I do my best to avoid subjectivity, opting for direct angle when capturing the symbols on film. Working with the exposures, I watch the signs, the symbols and the images communicated by photography resonate in me.
There are actually two words in Russian to be translated into English as Russians: the former, Rossiyane meaning Russian citizens of any ethnicity, while the latter Russkiy attributing only the major ethnicity of the country. The same with the name of the country itself: Russia can be translated either as Rossiya, the modern neutral title, or Rus’, one of archaic names of the country that comprised some territories of modern Ukraine, Belarus and the European part of Russia, with capital in Novgorod (862—882) and Kiev (882—1240). The modern regulation and legal practice in this country proves that Russkiy and Rus’ can be considered attributes of hate, or in some cases even extremist’s speech.
This book is the result of a larger research, devoted to studying representations of social protest through documentation of anonymous graffiti whose authors could be considered guilty by courts as extremists (Art. 282 of Russia’s Criminal Code). Visible signs and visual markers of Russian national identity made by the residents of the city become part of the urban landscape and come into conflict with the official position of the government, which uses the same Russian images as propaganda.
The publication of the project in Russia can also be prosecuted under the art. 282.
Moscow (2012-2015)