This diary I began keeping in 2008, when I moved to Kazan. All the years of study, I tried to find my place in this city, changing areas, streets. For some period I lived in an old student dormitory.
When your roommates are girls just like you, it’s a great opportunity to explore yourself and see how your femininity develops in your first living space away from your parents. We search for ourselves, trying out different ways of interaction with the world and with men playing the roles of adult women. It’s fun, but then it nearly always ends in tragedy.
Photographing – it was an obsession and a form of voyeurism. And, in the dormitory, your feelings become wild. Love becomes rough – it comes to you through the window at night when the dorm supervisor falls asleep. You face everyday problems, the game of survival and loneliness with bitter feelings, when you are surrounded by people for twenty four hours a day.
A dormitory is a place without any personal space. There was someone before you, and there will be someone after. Your life does not belong to yourself but to the neighbors, the walls, the ears, the kitchen. This is not your place, and it will never be your home. You are either constantly looking for it, or you have lost it forever.
Liailia Gimadeeva (1991) is a photographer based in Astrakhan region in Russia. She has studied mass communications and social sciences at the Kazan Federal University.