“Anastasiia, she folds her memories like a parachute”
Ukraine is like a sea; it is always familiar, yet never the same. After my numerous trips in the hope to grasp the ephemeral identity of this fascinating country, I met Anastasiia, a gallery assistant in Kyiv. We fell in love. Our happiness of being in love consisted of two seemingly opposite feelings: the feeling of immobility by the physical distance between our environments, and the timeless feeling of floating in each other’s close proximity.
My way of looking and listening is determined by the realization that we deeply long for relational engagement and connection with each other. Anastasiia taught me to discover Ukraine with new eyes.
In different periods during the last two years we travelled together from Kyiv, to Odessa and Crimea. It was in the Crimea peninsula, that the form of our dialogue, a series of landscapes and portraits, became our shared language. We reflect on this ever-changing society through the prism of friendship, love and family relations. I could already picture myself being a pensioner in Simferopol, when the war began.
Crimea has always been a place of arrival and departure and cannot be possessed; it already saw many settlers come and go again. Everyday scenes tell a story of intertwined relations that are challenged but will not unravel.