Cold Celebration

© Sasha Bauer

Cold Celebration

Translation: Letter to Grandfather Frost. 
 Dear Grandfather Frost, I know you don’t exist and New Years has not been a holiday for me for a long time. Dad has left but New Year’s Day stayed. This seems to be unfair but I have gotten used to it. I want to try to remember that New Years is a holiday. All I want is a little bit snow this cold night.

So it happened that New Year is not my favorite holiday. As it often happens the reasons can be tracked to the family history.

The last few years of my father’s life, who suffered from alcohol addiction, he would get severely intoxicated during holiday season, and five years later he eventually passed away on the Christmas Eve celebrated by Catholics and most of the christian world. The 9 days remembrance dinner fell on New Years Day, making it a remembrance New Years celebration.

Archival family New Year’s photo.


Our family was hardly surprised by this fact because dad sincerely loved holidays, so his “decision” to get his family together for a farewell on January 1st was very understandable. He picked a great day for it.

My father’s passing away was sudden and extremely painful for me and my whole family – this event forever changed how I feel about New Years. All these years, I couldn’t think of another holiday that would have been more cruel, cold, and lonely for me.

Inscription on an unfinished building: happy new year.

Portrait of my father.

I had to struggle through pain, darkness and loneliness that came crushing onto me after his death. Thanks to great personal efforts and therapy, I was able to find place for the family history and move on with my adult life. Lonely New Year nights are in the past even though in the back of my mind I am still afraid that the nightmare may repeat. In this project, I reflect on the experience of the emotional trauma from my family and my journey to healing.

Winter landscape.

My diary entry.

Christmas lights.

New Year decoration.

Christmas tree branch.

Archival family New Year’s photo.

Christmas decorations in the window.

Installation with archival family photos.

Submit Your Photo Essay
Sasha Bauer
the authorSasha Bauer
Born at Surgut [1988], Russia. Based in St. Petersburg. In 2008 I have discovered passion for photography. Starting from 2010 I work with medium format (film) photography. She is interested in both documentary and art genres. In my projects, I explore personal and collective topics such as: personal relationships, family, types of housing and spaces, people's private lives and personal experiences.
• Education and training: 2010 - "Basics of photography" course, photo school "Svetopis", Surgut. 2011 - "From basics to mastery" course, Academy of Photography, Saint-Petersburg. 2011 - 2013 - Department of photoreporters of Galperin, the Russian Union of Journalists, Saint-Petersburg. From 2014 A member of The Russian Union of Art Photographers
• Exibitions: 2011 Moscow museum of biology of K. Timiryazev, photo contest "Water World of Russia", Moscow. 2011 IV International photo contest of Karl Bulla "Visible features of the era", Saint-Petersburg. 2012 Final exibition at the Department of photo reporters "54-th", Saint-Petersburg. 2013 Baltic Biennale of Photography. The 6th International contest of professional and amateur photography "Photomania-2013", Kaliningrad. 2013 Gallery "Art-Hall" by creative association of Petersburg photographers "Art-Confession", Vyborg. 2014 State Russian Museum. III Museum Binnale of contemporary Photography, Saint-Petersburg.
• Publications: DODHO magazine Matryoshka dolls.
• Сompetitions​: 2014 short list FotoVisura Grant; 2014 participant in the final exhibition of the photo contest Young photographers of Russia; 2014 Photographer of the Year and winner of the photo contest Polar Perspective.

Leave a Reply