Looking for my mother

Voronezh

Russia

My project is about closeness with mom. In my childhood, my mother almost never was near. First because of her second marriage, then because of her alcoholism. And then she completely disappeared.

My childhood passed in an attempt to hide and protect myself from the label “orphan”. The world was so terrible to me, so full of pain, that from an early age I noticed that my body was losing its sensitivity, becoming overgrown with armor. Years later, I realized that this was the only way to survive. I put on a mask and felt pain and cold, put on another and another, and so on until I no longer had contact with the world. The masks grew into me and became my face. It was only as an adult, removing one layer after another, that I was able to realize how many of them I was wearing.

For 15 years I didn’t know about my mother, but I continued to look for her, not even knowing if she was still alive. I remember her as a young woman. I often saw faces in the crowd that looked like hers, but I could only compare each one to a frozen image from my childhood.

I didn’t recognize her when we met. I saw a strange woman with my mother’s eyes.

This is an archive photo of me in childhood.
Archive photo, collage. My mother is with her parents. I tried to rediscover my family history.
My mother\’s body. Recognition of mother began with the recognition of her body.
The drowned child dress as a symbol of my mother’s childhood trauma and her alcoholism.
Baby photo of my mom. A photo from archive. She felt herself like an unloved daughter.
This is a portrait of my mother.
An archived photo from my school Yearbook (school album), a collage.
Now our closeness with mom continues to grow.
Archive photo of my mother. Her young image lingered in my memory for a long time, but gradually it began to fade.
This flower shows our connection with mom.
Through my body, I tried to feel our connection as women, women of a kind.
My hand. Our closeness continues to grow, and I hope that we will not lose each other.