While the Western world criticizes Russia for the upheaval of local living conditions in Sochi, whole villages are being uprooted in Estonia simply because the "old ways" are an eyesore near a prominent airport.
Annika Haas Estonia
Estonian Association of Press Photographers
As a portraitist and a documentary photographer I am drawn to portraying people in the environments they create – the tight, closed, yet safe places humans inhabit. This interest has shifted the main focus of my art to social and cultural minorities, as margins often tend to be more colourful, their stories more engrossing than those of the mainstream. I am enchanted by the ability of the marginal groups/individuals to create their own rules and logic for functioning in spite of the ruling norms. The environmental “cocoons” the minority groups dwell in give their inhabitants the distinctive appearance that can be reflected in photography. Among the groups I have captured are the Russian Old Believers living on the Estonian-Russian border whose doings I have followed through the camera lens for over 15 years now; gypsies, going about their business in their fairly segregated existence; sexual minorities; women with shaved heads. Capturing their OWN FACE with a photo camera demands dedication; reaching the authentic, true way of being of a minority group requires much time, yet yields great depths. I like to call this method “investigative photography”.