Vepsian forest
Project info

Due to the policy of forced assimilation of small ethnic cultures in the late 1930s, the state action 1960-70s, aimed at changing the traditional rural settlement system (policy of eliminating the "unpromising" villages), territorial fragmentation, exacerbated by the lack of roads, for centuries existed socio-economic and ethno-cultural communication of Vepsians have been violated. Many villages were depopulated. The tendency for the ethnic group depopulation was intensified. According to the results of the last census of 2010 in Russia were less than 6000 Veps, but in the territory of the primordial center of the Veps Culture - Vepsian forest lived only a few hundred people.
During the last 3 years, I have traveled through abandoned Veps villages and projected archival photographs taken at the beginning of XX century in these places, on the walls of ruined houses. Projection, "return" of the photographs in the places where they were made, it is not a tribute to the past, as a protest against the loss of historical memory. Place, namely wooden log houses are of particular importance here are "storage media", the only thing that reminds of the Veps ethnic group in these places. So historical memory disappears as the last "pillar" of the memory are destroyed. My intervention - interaction with decaying houses - it's a kind of a ritual appeal to the mythology of vanishing nation. Traveling by bike, I repeat the way Vepsians that they left their homes - from Vepsian forest in Oshta, Vytegra.
Vepsian forest - is a project about the loss, the home loss, death. History of Vepsians confirms the thesis about the weak level of local identity on the territory of Russia. The loss of local identity due to multiple historical scrapped in the history of our country - the oppression of small nations in the 30s, the Great Terror, the deportation of peoples, big communist construction, Perestroyka and etc... All this affect the nature and levels of our identity - both at the national and regional level.