/ Tanya Shkirando / Photo story

Russia in portraits

– Text by Yuri Molodkovets

Although at first glance the project may seem simple, it can be traced back to the history of photography and its main goal – to document everything and give it order. Within every country and generation of photographers, there is always someone who focuses on the national types that exist in the territory. Looking back, we can remember how the 19th century Russian masters did this – Prokudin-Gorski and Bulla, for example. But the task is getting more complex in every historical epoch, as we get divided into “smaller tribes”, who live their closed lives in search of happiness. Tatiana Shkirando creates individual portraits. The background, details of clothing, emotions – everything helps to decode the subject. We all are very different, but looking at these pictures, it is clear that this is Russia at the beginning of the 21st century. I consider the epigraph, chosen by Tatiana, to be very precise: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery).

Tanya Shkirando (1978) is a photographer based in Russia, St.Petersburg. She graduated from the Faculty of Photojournalism in 2010 and has participated in masterclasses lead by Sergey Maximishin, Steve McCurry and Arja Hyytiainen.